Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Soccer Memories-Part 43, New Italian Serie ‘A’ Foreign Players 1980/81 and 1981/82.


Series looking at the new Foreign player signings in the Serie A in the 1980s and their impact.


In the 1980s, the Italian Serie A was on the verge of becoming the most prestigious League in the World. In these early years of the decade, the new foreign player arrivals were less numerous. In 1980, there were eleven new foreigners.

The Austrian midfielder Herbert Prohaska of FK Austria, joined Inter. West German and Koln midfielder Herbert Neumann joined Udinese.

Republic of Ireland midfielder Liam Brady joined Juventus from Arsenal. He had caught their eye in the previous April when Arsenal eliminated Juventus in the Cup Winners Cup.

Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini

(Liam Brady)

Dutch defender Michel van de Korput joined Torino from Feyenoord.

The most prestigious of the newcomers was Dutch defender Ruud Krol. The 1974 and 1978 World Cup Finalist had finally left Ajax to join Napoli (after a brief stint at Vancouver Whitecaps).

Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini

(Ruud Krol)

1978 World Cup Champion, the Argentine striker Daniel Bertoni joined Fiorentina from Spanish side Sevilla.

His compatriot, the Argentine forward Sergio Elio Angel Fortunato joined Perugia from Estudiantes.

As many as four Brazilians were part of this initial group. Brazilian striker Eneas joined Bologna from Portuguesa. His compatriot and brilliant midfielder Paulo Roberto Falcão joined AS Roma from Internacional Porto Alegre.

Brazilian striker Juary joined Avellino from Mexican side Leones Negros.

Brazilian midfielder Luís Sílvio Danuello joined Pistoiese from Ponte Preta.

Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini

(Daniel Bertoni)

Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini


Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini


Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini

(Paulo Roberto Falcão)

Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini

(Luis Silvio Danuello)

From this initial group, Herbert Neumann would not find much success. After one season he would join Bologna and after their relegation, he would return home to Koln in 1982. His arrival itself was somewhat of a surprise as he had only gained one cap for his Nation.

Van de Korput lasted three seasons at Torino, though his club did no better than mid-table placings in this period.

Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini

(Herbert Neumann)

Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini

(Michel van de Korput)

Ruud Krol was at Napoli for four years. In this first season, Napoli finished third and finished fourth in 1982. Napoli would finish mid-table his last two seasons, but overall, he is considered to have been successful in his time in Italy.

Herbert Prohaska had a successful three years in Italy. In this first season, Inter would finish fourth and would finish fifth in the following season but win the Coppa Italia. He was transferred AS Roma in 1982 to make way for new signing, the West German Hansi Muller. He won the Scudetto at Roma in 1983. He returned home to FK Austria to make way for the new Brazilian signing Toninho Cerezo.

Photo From: 1980-81 Calciatori Panini

(Herbert Prohaska)

Liam Brady would have a successful time in Italy. He celebrated two Scudetti with Juventus in 1981 and 1982. Much to the dismay of many fans, he had to leave Juventus to make way for Michel Platini in 1982. He joined Sampdoria and after two good seasons joined Inter in 1984. After two more seasons he was offloaded to Ascoli towards the end of his career in 1986. However, in midseason 1986/87, he returned to the English League to join West Ham United.

Daniel Bertoni would spend his final seven years in Italy. His spell at Fiorentina was memorable with the runner-up finish in 1981/82. He left in 1984 to join his compatriot at Napoli in the latter’s inaugural year in Serie A. After two seasons, he joined Udinese in 1986 in one last season (1986/87), a season that ended in relegation and Bertoni retired.

Sergio Elio Angel Fortunato jmade only twelve appearances (2 goals) before joining Spanish side Las Palmas in the following season.

Enéas de Camargo had a good start at Bologna but was then disappointing. He managed to score 3 times in 20 matches.

In the beginning of the following season (1980/81), he joined Udinese as an exchange with Herbert Neumann. But left the club before the season even started and returned home to Palmeiras.

Juary played for modest side Avellino for two seasons and scored 13 goals. He joined Internazionale Milano for one season (1982/83) scoring just 2 goals in a disappointing spell. He followed that one season spells at Ascoli (1983/84, 5 goals) and Cremonese (1984/85, 2 goals and relegation). He would leave Italy in 1985 and join Portuguese side Porto. He is remembered for scoring the second goal in the 1987 Champions Cup Final vs. Bayern Munich.

Luis Silvio Danuello had a very disappointing spell at Pistoiese and managed only six appearances. It was said that Pistoiese had signed him in the erroneous belief that he was a striker, where in fact he was a winger. He returned to Ponte Preta in 1981.

The most successful of the 1980 arrivals was Paulo Roberto Falcão at Roma. He would become one of the greatest players in the Serie A of the 80s. AS Roma’s success in the decade owes much to him as they would be Juventus’ closest rivals. He would be instrumental in leading AS Roma to the Scudetto in 1983 and then reaching the Champions Cup Final in 1984. The Roman side also won the Coppa Italia in 1981 and 1984.


In 1981/82, the more modest sides made a number of signings. Como signed Austrian defender Hans-Dieter Mirnegg from West German side MSV Duisburg.

Photo From: 1981-82 Calciatori Panini

(Hans-Dieter Mirnegg)

His Austrian compatriot Walter Schachner joined newly promoted Cesena from FK Austria.

Belgium and Club Brugge midfielder Rene Vanderyecken joined newly promoted Genoa.

Romanian forward Viorel Nastase left the relegated West German side TSV Munich 1860 to join Catanzaro.

Photo From: 1981-82 Calciatori Panini

(Viorel Nastase)

Manchester United’s Scottish forward Joe Jordan joined newly promoted AC Milan (back from Serie B after relegation due to Totonero).

The Ivory Coast midfielder François Zahoui became the very first African player in the Serie A by joining Ascoli from Stella Club d'Adjamé.

Brazilian defender Orlando Pereira joined Udinese from Vasco da Gama.

Photo From: 1981-82 Calciatori Panini

(Orlando Pereira)

Although not strictly considered foreign signings, there was the arrival of two San Marino players. Massimo Bonini joined Juventus from newly promoted Cesena.

Teenager Marco Macina also made his debut with Bologna.

Hans-Dieter Mirnegg would suffer relegation with Como and leave after a single season and eleven appearances (joining FC Union Wels).

Rene Vandereycken would be injured at the end of the season and in fact would miss the 1982 World Cup as a result. The following season he would make a handful of appearances and return to Belgium by joining Anderlecht in 1983.

Photo From: 1981-82 Calciatori Panini

(Rene Vandereycken)

Nastase remained at Catanzaro for three seasons He suffered relegation in 1983 and played one more season in Serie B with the club. In three years, he made only thirty-one appearances and scored three goals. He left Italy in 1984 and joined Salzburg.

Zahoui was not successful in Serie A and only made eleven appearances in two seasons. He left Italy in 1983 to join French side Nancy. The next African player to join the Serie A would be the Senegalese Roger Mendy in 1992 (with Pescara).

Photo From: 1981-82 Calciatori Panini

(François Zahoui)

Despite relegation with AC Milan in 1982, Joe Jordan remained with AC Milan and helped them get promoted to the Serie A in 1983. He had a final disappointing season at Verona in 1983/84 before returning to England and joining Southampton in 1984.

Orlando Pereira lasted one season at Udinese before returning home to Coritiba in 1982.

The most successful of the 1981 arrivals was Walter Schachner. The Austrian striker remained in the Serie A for seven years until 1988. After Cesena, he joined Torino in 1983 and achieved a second-place finish in 1985. He joined Avellino in 1986 and left in 1988 after the club’s relegation. He returned home to Austria and joined Sturm Graz.

Photo From: 1981-82 Calciatori Panini

(Joe Jordan)

Photo From: 1981-82 Calciatori Panini

(Walter Schachner)

As far as the San Marino duo, Massimo Bonini was an integral part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s Juventus. He won the Scudetto on multiple occasions and European Cups. He remained with the ‘Bianconeri’ until 1988 before joining Bologna.

Marco Macina was less successful. After this initial season, he bounced from club to club in the lower Divisions. He had one last stint in the Serie A with AC Milan in 1985/86, before once again playing for lower division sides.

Photo From: 1981-82 Calciatori Panini

(Massimo Bonini)

On balance, the most successful Serie A foreign newcomers in the 1980-81 period were Paulo Roberto Falcão, Liam Brady and Walter Schachner due to their longevity.

Special mention for Daniel Bertoni, Ruud Krol and Herbert Prohaska for maintaining their high standards.

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