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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Without any doubt Grande Torino was the best ever team in italian fotball history, and in my opinion, the greatest club the game has ever seen. Valerio Bacigalupo, Aldo Ballarin, Virgilio Maroso, Pino Grezar, Mario Rigamonti, Eusebio Castigliano, Romeo Menti, Ezio Loik, Guglielmo Gabetto, Valentino Mazzola, Franco Ossola were the names that built.

The legendary Grande Torino (The Great Torino), how our invincible all-conquering Torino team of the forties is called in Italy as the ultimate form of respect and to set them apart from any other team, because that team in Italy is still the touchstone to compare all the other greatest teams in football history since Grande Torino dominated their era like perhaps no other team in the world before or since, and setting all the most important records of italian football:

-most consecutive Italian Serie A league titles, 5 straight championships from 1943 to 1949 (1942/43, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49, in 1944 and 1945 no Serie A league was played because of World War II) which ties giu***tus record of 5 straight Serie A league titles of 1930/31, 1931/32, 1932/33, 1933/34 and 1934/35

-most consecutive seasons being undefeated at home, 4 straight seasons (1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49)

-most consecutive matches being undefeated at home, 93 straight matches, with 83 wins and 10 draws (from January 24, 1943 to April 30, 1949)

-most consecutive matches being undefeated in one season, 21 matches from the 20th to the 41th match achieving 38 points (1947/48)

-most points in a season (before the 3 points per win rules) 65 points (1947/48)

-winning the Serie A league with more points ahead of the runner up team, 16 points on giu***tus, Milan and Triestina with 65 points to 49 (1947/48)

-biggest ever advantage on the so called "media inglese" (I don't know how it translates in english, perhaps "english average"? by the way it's the one that gives two points at home and one point away) 6 points above(1946/47)

-greatest ever home win, 10-0 to Alessandria (1947/48)

-greatest ever away win, 0-7 to Roma (1945/46 finals)

-biggest comeback in Serie A history, 4-3 win to Lazio after trailing 0-3 at home (1947/48 season)

-most wins in a season (16 teams league) 20 wins of 30 matches (1942/43)

-most wins in a season (20-21 teams league) 28 wins of 38 matches (1946/47) and 29 wins o 40 matches (1947/48)

-most home wins in one season, 19 wins on 20 matches (1947/48)

-most away wins in a season (16 teams league) 10 wins on 15 matches (1942/43)

-most away wins in a season (20-21 teams league) 13 wins on 19 matches (1946/47)

-most home points in one season, 39 points on 40 available (1947/48)

-most away points in one season (16 teams league) 22 points on 30 available (1942/43)

-less home points lost in one season, 1 point of 40 available (1947/48 and 1948/49)

-less defeats in a season, 3 defeats on 38 matches (1946/47 and 1948/49)

-less away defeats in one season, 3 defeats on 19 matches (1946/47 and 1948/49)

-most goals scored in one season, 125 goals (1947/48)

-most home goals scored in one season, 89 goals (1947/48)

-most away goals scored in one season (16 teams league) 31 goals(1942/43)

-most away goals scored in one season (20-21 teams league) 36 goals (1946/47 and 1947/48)

-most goals scored in the 5 championship seasons, 408 goals scored (1942/43, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49)

-less goals suffered in one season (21 teams league) 33 goals (1947/48)

-less away goals suffered in one season (16 teams league) 9 goals (1942/43)

-best ever percentage of goals scored in one season, 3.787 goals per match (1947/48)

-more points on the second half of the season, 34 points on 38 available (1946/47) and 36 points on 40 available (1947/48)

All records that still stands today and that will arguably not even tied let alone broken by another team. Not to mention that the Italy National Team starting lineup in the second half of the forties was almost entirely made of Grande Torino players which regularly contributed with 8-9 starters, and in 1947 for the friendly match Italy - Hungary 3-2 the Azzurri starting lineup was made of 10 Grande Torino players plus the giu***tus goalkeeper, and this only because the italian manager Vittorio Pozzo didn't have the guts to go all the way, so he sat out for that match the Azzurri starting keeper Valerio Bacigalupo who of course was the goalkeeper of Grande Torino, otherwise it would have been the whole Grande Torino team playing for Italy, but 10 players is still another italian record!

Grande Torino had everything, they were even ahead of their times since they played with the 4-4-2 10 years before Brazil 1958 and some of their game tactics even anticipated of 35 years the Dutch Total Football that revolutionised the game in the 70s (!), all the players were great champions and in a star studded galaxy of stars the best player was the legendary captain Valentino Mazzola (who was also the captain of Italy), who was the father of Sandro Mazzola (former Toro general manager who was also a great champion playing for Internazionale and the Italy National Team in the 60s-70s) but Valentino Mazzola was in a class by himself and cannot be compared to any other player in football history, as he was an all-around playmaker who could do everything, direct the team, pass, score, tackle, defend, inspire and lead his team mates, he was arguably the first modern all-around player in football history, and without any doubt the best italian player of all times and one of the 10 greatest ever players in football history

Unfortunately as we all know on May 4, 1949 the plane carrying Grande Torino (on its way from a friendly match in Lisbon with Benfica after having secured their record fifth back to back Serie A title) crashed against the cathedral of Superga, on a hill near Turin, killing all players and managers and leaving no survivors, and weeping out one of the greatest ever teams in football history at the top of their era, because without this tragedy they would have won many other titles, and there are strong chances that Italy (who as already said was almost completely made of Grande Torino players) could have won the 1950 World Cup in Brazil and retire the original Rimet World Cup as the first country to win it for three times ... so the Superga tragedy (as it is called in Italy) not just changed the history of italian football, but the history of world football too.

Grande Torino is still today in the hearts of all italian fans (regardless what team they support) as they were when they played, and they are beloved by all italians more than any other team, including the three Italy World Champion sides of 1934, 1938 and 1982, because italian people back then (as of today) saw/see in them a symbol of national pride and a hope for a better tomorrow that helped italian people to get through the the wounds and hardships of post World War II.

So the Superga tragedy was the biggest tragedy not just in italian football history, but in italian sports history.

But Grande Torino didn't die at Superga on May 4, 1949 because Heroes never die and Legends lives forever, so The Immortals are still with us granata people, watches after us and never leaves us alone, they are just playing an away match, and then another, and another one... but one day they will return when we'll have another great Toro that will relive our glorious past.

Thanks to barry20lions from http://www.toronews.net for the beautiful story. :thmbup:

Photos from the legends:


Valerio Bacigalupo

Aldo Ballarin

Virgilio Maroso

Pino Grezar

Mario Rigamonti

Eusebio Castigliano

Romeo Menti

Ezio Loik

Guglielmo Gabetto

Franco Ossola




Valentino Mazzola


Il Grande Toro

Il Grande Toro on the pitch

The captain with his son Sandro

The legendary jersey

Basilica Superga

04.05.1949 - the Superga disaster

The Superga disaster II

Leftovers from the plane

Only the destiny was powerful enough to stop them

Turin is saying farewell to the heroes of the city

The Legends will live forever!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, really touching. Here's another very simillar photo of Valentino & Sandro like an attachment.

And also another one from the farewell to the legends at Piazza Castello:
 

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in my brother's room(where im now) there is a big poster of the grande Toro, with all their signatures too...nice one:)
 

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As chauvinistic Belgian I was thinking didn't Enzo Scifo also win the UEFA-cup while he was at Torino? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Kampfschwein said:
As chauvinistic Belgian I was thinking didn't Enzo Scifo also win the UEFA-cup while he was at Torino? :)
Toro only managed to reach the UEFA Cup finals in 1991/1992 where we lost from Ajax. :depress:

MacoBoy said:
Wow thanx Romanticar!!
I every time Danny.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sparta said:
We didn't lost the Uefa Cup; strange final was; stolen by Ajax
Can you tell us something more about this Sparta? I just know that we needed only a little bit of luck to win it but... :(
 

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Greatest side in Italian football history beyond reasonable doubt. Tragic ending that's all one can say. Aside from a title win 1976 and a runners up spot in 1985, it's been mainly downhill from there and that's the worst part.
 

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Evil 37 said:
Greatest side in Italian football history beyond reasonable doubt. Tragic ending that's all one can say. Aside from a title win 1976 and a runners up spot in 1985, it's been mainly downhill from there and that's the worst part.
Not much to add to that. One of the biggest tragedies in football. :(

Congrats on the forum BTW!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)

Gigi Meroni
(24. february 1943 - 15. october 1967)

Playing career:

Calcio Como 1907 serie B
stagione 1960-61
stagione 1961-62 3 gol

Genoa FC 1893 serie A
stagione 1962-63 1 gol
stagione 1963-64 5 gol

Torino Calcio 1906 serie A
stagione 1964-65 5 gol
stagione 1965-66 7 gol
stagione 1966-67 9 gol
stagione 1967-68 1 gol (passed away on 15. october 1967)

Gigi Meroni. The Claret Butterfly was capable of that touch of fantasy and magic that put him in a different pitch, although he physically shared it with other 21 players. Gigi had scored, in 103 games, just 23 goals, but it was not only the goals but the way he scored them.

On the afternoon of October 15, 1967, Gigi Meroni and Fabrizio Poletti returned home. While crossing Corso Re Umberto, a mad car driven by attilio romero (today he is president of Toro) run over Gigi, barely touching Poletti. The Butterfly died on the spot.

The anger, desperation and incredulity fuelled his teammates: some time back, the Toro fans had marched to force Pianelli to keep Gigi and not sell him to the agnellis. He was much loved by fans and teammates alike. Earlier that afternoon, he had predicted Combin "You'll score three goals in the derby". Indeed, after that week came the derby. Combin scored thrice, Carelli, Gigi's replacement, brought the rear. That year, Toro rounded up another seventh placing and the Coppa Italia. But it was, indeed, another sad year.

Alla quarta di campionato, la farfalla aprí le ali e ci salutó
(At the fourth turn of the championship, the butterfly opened his wings and left us)

Nel Corso Re Umberto c'e un palo della luce che sempre ha fiori. É un omaggio a Gigi.
(In the Re Umberto road, there's a lampost that always has flowers. In honor of Gigi)


Photos from the Legend:


Gigi during his childhood


In the Granata jersey


A photo from a newspaper


Gigi was part of the italian national team


This is him in the Azzuri shirt


The street where Gigi died and a lampost with his photo


The faithful fans are always there to salute and to thank Gigi for everything he had done for Toro


P.S. Thanks to Yuumei for the beautiful text above dedicated to Gigi!
:star: :thmbup:
 

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I hope I'll be able to write a better piece, soon ;)
 

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I´m workiiiiing :D :D
 

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IN LOVING MEMORY OF THE MYTHS
Red as blood, strong as Barbera, a poet called it. And never definition was truer. As that red sap of the life, made to revive hope in a defeated, starved country. As that thick wine of Piedmont,they put color and joy in faces torn to pieces by war.

They lived an era full of convulsions. Were born as subjects in a kingdom, then comrades in a tyranny and suddenly they were citizens in a republic. They knew of joy and sadness, of the deep deprivation and modest wealth of their times, were hailed by crowds and also whistled and misunderstood.

They are eighteen, and they draw near, as they used to do, walking. And it’s a walk short as a day, long as eternity and their bus, the Red Count, waits with the engine running. At midnight they will leave again, however now they have just arrived.

Those are young people’s faces, there is neither tension nor grimaces of disgust in them, the stress is not shown in the fresh faces and expressions. Alas, if we believe in the poet, they should: “To smoke meant sometimes a bit / to be amused meant laughing few / to eat we ate the cats / we were nothing, the astute one as the fool.” Yet they smile, they animately speak, they joke, they put the heads together to read a holder of newspaper.

Geniuses and figures were legion: Eusebio, calm, funambolic and brilliant, able to put a coin in his pocket with a movement of his plushy foot; Guglielmo, jokeful, always plastic, elegant and unruly, whose only rule was the greased hair-style; as Franco the eel, slalom of class and touch of kingdom of fairies. Two partners of field, business and life, making possible the impossible.

There were also classics among them. That Virgilio that could bring to Heavens with his class, but not without supporting the shoes on the most delicate part of the bullock of Piazza St. Carlo. There was also Romeo, that instead of waking up Juliet with a kiss, made the lawn tremble with his shoots. Julius, that “ came and saw” but didn't succeed in passing to the “win” or to pass the Rubicon. Also Rubens, that also without brush, traced his way with cleverness, sweat and style.

There were then the practical ones: Aldo, kind and simple as pugnacious and imposing; Giuseppe, silent and worker, has as motto “we need to be ordered”; Ezio, thoughtful and sober, didn't vernish his game, that only was used for his true job of varnish seller. The three of few words and many facts.
 

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They could not have a group of friends of the soul that lived in the same road: Valerio the timid one, if he failed on Sundays the world would fall over him, even if he was really good as few, Mario the fighter, fierce in the game and audacious on his motorcycle, Danilo the artist, sang wonderfully and played in all places.

There were, also, the unknown. Pierino, heir of Virgilio, clever, physically dry, repertoire preferably airborne. Ruggiero, crowned of glory in France, all strength and future apply to Guglielmo’s place. Dino that could never play but that always had the illusion to be as his companions. Milo, another champion from France, left footed, quick in the wing and basis of his country.

And there was that one whose name was enough. You only had to say his name and add "and the others", and it was already done, evoked them to everybody. Captain and flag, charge and cavalcade, cloak and sword, right and left, torch and thunder in clear sky. As always, he leads the group, driving it, by a respectable looking man that turns around the fifties and that seems to be the guide of the group.

The eighteen - beautiful number and beautiful name for a team – cut through among the congregated crowd. There are murmurs, incredulous eyes, fingers that want to aim and later, as if it was sacrilege, they leave the gesture undone.

The clock points five minutes to five, afternoon, and for the first time there is silence among them. Many tense up, recognizing loved faces among the crowd, establishing a dialogue with their gaze. The heads go down as soon as the prayers start, the eyes sweet and melancholic are lifted and placed on the tombstone, they slowly read their own names, as if for the first time they saw them... and they are already fifty-six years that they complete this same ritual.
 
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