Heroes In Black & White (13): Antonello Cuccureddu

Posted on 23/10/2010

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The athleticism of Gianluca Zambrotta, the workman like grinta of Gianluca Pessotto & Alessandro Birindelli, the late but o so special Andrea Fortunato, the beautiful Antonio Cabrini; watching left backs at Juventus has been very easy on the eye throughout history. But before all those greats came Antonello Cuccureddu.
He began his career at home town club Alghero, moving to first Torres then Brescia before finally joining Juventus in 1969. In a trend that continues to great effect even today he began his career as a winger, although this is one switch that cannot be credited to Juve as he moved to the deeper role at Brescia.
Once there however he excelled, an attacking full-back before the term became common language, Cuccureddu stayed in Turin for 12 seasons, playing 433 times, making him tenth in the clubs all-time appearance records.
Like many players of that era he was a serial winner in Bianconeri, the clubs period of dominance reflected in his trophy haul, with six scudetti & an Italian Cup win to his name, alongside many other great players of Juve’s past like Bettega, Zoff & of course Scirea.
One greatly held memory of him is the final game of the 1972-73 season when Juve went into the final round trailing Milan by a single point. The Rossoneri went on to lose their last match 5-3 to Hellas, while Juve came from behind to defeat Roma 2-1, the winner a delightful shot from the edge of the area, securing the clubs 15th title.
However he is most well remembered for helping the club secure the first of its European trophies. A key figure in the team that won the 1977 UEFA Cup, Cuccureddu was named Man of the Match in the second leg of the Final. A great defensive effort in Bilbao saw hold onto its precious away goals lead.
Both his Juventus and Italy careers were shortened by the arrival of Antonio Cabrini, but the legacy left by Cuccureddu is still fondly recalled by fans to this day. He was also one of the first players to make the move to Fiorentina from Juve. The fact he is still well liked & respected by fans of both clubs speaks volumes to his quality & class.
Source: Il Tifosi
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