Giuseppe Meazza was one of the greatest geniuses in the history of football.
For about 10 years, he was the best player on the face of the earth (as well as one of the first “celebrities” known for his flings off the field and loved not only in stadiums but also in brothels)… and to this day, he is considered the greatest Italian player of all time.
He embodies the prototype of genius and recklessness.
A quick control of the ball, a body feint, a dribble, and then a confident surge towards the goal, with tight dribbling, and finally, a sudden stop to invite the opposing goalkeeper to come towards him. As the opposing goalkeeper approached, Meazza responded quickly with an incredibly precise shot, almost always using the inside of his foot, often aiming for one of the lower corners of the goal. These were the “Meazza-style” goals that made him famous.
But Meazza was also extremely skilled with his head, and his goals were of great quality due to the elegance of his execution. There wasn’t much power in his headers, but rather an unmistakable and unique style, with a slight deflection of the ball using the front side of his head, while his body maintained maximum coordination.
Fascism wanted to make him the herald of its entire political agenda, and he was given the nickname “Balilla“. In reality, Giuseppe was not a warrior or a soldier: he trained little and poorly, preferring to spend his time enjoying himself with women and alcohol. He was a modest young man who sublimated his natural qualities as a universal forward on the field.
Initially underestimated for his limited physical attributes, he made everyone reconsider.
His exceptional technique, mesmerizing dribbling, and the famous “leaf fall” free kicks with which he bypassed the defensive wall are worth remembering. His technique in taking penalties was also legendary, characterized by a double step.
Héctor Scarone is probably the greatest Uruguayan footballer in history, a true genius who is talked about too little.
Héctor Scarone was a complete forward: fast, powerful, excellent in assists, and infallible in front of the goal, a great free-kick taker and penalty specialist, he had no weaknesses. He was the spearhead of South American, Olympic, and world champion Uruguay in the 1920s.
Guys, we are discussing an extraordinary player here. In today’s context, he would likely receive similar treatment as Messi, and I am not exaggerating.
Admittedly, he had a fiery temperament, being somewhat arrogant, temperamental, and contentious. However, his feet produced an unparalleled magic on the field. As a versatile forward, he could excel in various positions, ranging from midfield to the attacking line. Yet, his true brilliance shone brightest as an attacking midfielder with playmaking responsibilities, reminiscent of a modern hybrid between a second striker and a trequartista.
Similar to Meazza, he may have been small in stature, but he possessed a more muscular and powerful physique compared to the Italian. Additionally, his incredible leaping ability made him an exceptional header of the ball. While Meazza played with grace and a bohemian touch, Scarone embodied a more badass persona. He endured numerous fouls from defenders but returned the favor with equal measure.
His greatest attributes included a natural goal-scoring instinct, an extraordinary game vision worthy of a trequartista, impeccable ball control, and an exceptional kicking technique. His shots were both powerful and accurate. As mentioned earlier, he also displayed remarkable proficiency in penalty taking and execution.
Matthias Sindelar was surely the greatest Austrian soccer player ever as well as the greatest representative of Danubian Football.
To look at him, he seemed light as a feather, but don’t be fooled! , on the field he was unstoppable: extremely quick, elegant and agile, he had a deadly dry dribble and an extraordinary finishing ability!
Matthias Sindelar epitomized poetry on the football field.
Effortlessly light, he moved with grace, almost gliding on tiptoes. In a time when fotball was highly physical, he preferred to avoid confrontations. Instead of shouldering opponents, he would simply dribble past them, exhibiting divine skill. His exceptional technique and mesmerizing dribbling made him an unstoppable force on the field.
As a center forward, he defied the typical mold of his era, displaying exceptional mobility and dynamism. He would often drop back to midfield, assuming the role of a playmaker.
Following Austria’s annexation by Nazi Germany, the Austrian league transitioned to amateur status. Consequently, Jewish sports clubs were publicly declared illegal, leading to the dismissal of Jewish members and managers.
The Nazis also imposed restrictions on Austria Vienna members, prohibiting them from associating with Jews. Sindelar, disapproving of these developments, steadfastly refused to perform the Nazi salute on multiple occasions, including the famous reunification match.
In January ’39, at the age of 36, he was found dead alongside his Italian Jewish girlfriend. While it was likely a murder, his death was officially ruled as a suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.