Ronaldo in tears, Collina facing the deluge: The 5 craziest outcomes in Serie A history


Milano. Last Sunday. While the sun is slowly setting on the Lombard capital, the tifosi of AC Milan, they are struggling to leave San Siro. They know it: their team’s victory against Atalanta Bergamo (2-0) brings them a little closer to the title with one day to go from the end of Serie A. For a little over forty-five minutes, they will count five points ahead of Inter, the sworn enemy, who must play in Cagliari in stride. If the Nerazzurri do not win, the « cugini » rossoneri will be officially crowned champions of Italy.

In the locker room of the Milan enclosure, Olivier Giroud and Mike Maignan, who introduced their children to the San Siro meadow after the meeting, decided to wait an hour, just like their teammates. In the stands, some tifosi do the same, before being kindly invited to join the outside of the stadium by security. . However, they will quickly understand that the title will have to wait, and that the party will not be for now. Solid, icy, Inter won in Sardinia (1-3) and postponed the deadline by at least a week.

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Milan is obviously the big favorite, with two results out of three possible in Sassuolo, Sunday (6 p.m.): in the event of a victory or a draw, the title will be rossonero. But if Stefano Pioli’s team were to lose in Reggio Emilia, Inter would retain their title if they win against Sampdoria. This is a miracle? Probably, but Calcio would not be at their first attempt. Here are five unexpected endings in Italian football history.

1973: The « Fatal Verona » for Milan

It’s a keepsake that was recently taken out of its box. During the week preceding its trip to Verona on May 8, AC Milan had to relive its painful past for several days. An expression to symbolize it: « Fatal Verona ». Or rather the nightmare in the literal sense of the term. We are then on May 23, 1973. The team of the legendary Nereo Rocco, who won three days earlier in the Cup final against Leeds, goes to the Stadio Bentegodi in the shoes of the leader.

Before the last day, the situation is as follows: 44 points for Milan, 43 for Juve and Lazio. After trying to postpone the match to recover from the tiring trip to Thessaloniki, the Rossoneri, trailing by three goals after only half an hour of play, collapsed (5-3) on the lawn of Hellas. Meanwhile, Juve won in Rome (1-2) thanks to a late goal from Cuccureddu and won the title on the wire.

« In the locker room, no one spoke. There were the leaders, the president, the coach, the players. We were there, and for half an hour there was not a single word, because we were destroyed by what had just happened. “, recalled Milan striker Luciano Chiarugi.

1982: Fiorentina-Juve, the quarter of an hour when everything changes

Above all, do not start one of your sentences with « May 1982 » if you are chatting with tifosi from Fiorentina. For them, it’s the story of a theft. Context: before the 30th and last day of the championship, Viola and Juve have 44 points each. Everything will therefore be decided on the last match, before a possible « spareggio » (a final) to decide between the two teams in the event of a new tie. The Old Lady faces Catanzaro, already kept in the top flight, while Giancarlo De Sisti’s team travels to Cagliari. After 75 minutes, the status quo is maintained with two 0-0 on both grounds. Then everything changes.

On the side of Cagliari, Graziani thinks to open the scoring for the Viola, but his goal is refused by the referee Mattei, who believes that the latter has hindered the exit of the Sardinian goalkeeper. In slow motion, the images leave more than a doubt. Juve won at Catanzaro from the penalty spot. But the Calabrian team plague for a forgotten penalty, according to them, after an elbow from Sergio Brio against Carlo Borghi in the area.

« Thieves“, headlines the day after the match the Florentine weekly “Il Brivido Sportivo”.I saw Boniperti (the president of Juve, editor’s note) eating peanuts in the stands, he looked like an American mafioso« , gets carried away the Florentine director Franco Zeffirelli, great tifoso of the Viola. He will be sentenced to a fine of 40,000 lire.

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1986: The suicide of Roma

Only two days are missing from this 1985-1986 exercise. At the top, Sven-Göran Eriksson’s Roma and Giovanni Trapattoni’s Juve are struggling to decide with 41 points each. On the program for the penultimate day: Roma-Lecce, Milan-Juve. The Giallorossi have on paper the easiest game against an already relegated team. But the unlikely happens at the Olimpico: Carlo Ancelotti and his teammates collapse (2-3) while the Old Lady does the job against Milan (1-0). The classification is upset before the last act: Juve 43, Roma 41. Stunned, the Roman club also lost for its last match in Como and finished 4 points behind the Bianconeri.

2000: Collina, the man of the rain

It is an image that has gone straight into the history of Calcio. Umbrella in the left hand, ball in the right hand, Pierluigi Collina finds himself alone against the deluge of Perugia. The Italian referee must make a crucial decision after suspending Perugia-Juve at half-time (0-0), decisive for the title: resume or stop definitively. Meanwhile, in Rome, Lazio soars against Reggina (3-0) and regains the lead in the standings with 72 points, one point ahead of the Old Lady (71 points), who is pushing for the postponement of the meeting.

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But Collina decides otherwise and opts for the resumption of the match after a good hour of discussions. Alessandro Calori gives the advantage in stride (49th) to the locals and brings down the Juve of Zidane, Del Piero, Inzaghi, Davids, Conte and company. For Lazio, able to recover ten points in the last seven days, this Scudetto obtained in endless controversy fell from the sky one afternoon in May 2000.

« We quickly understood that the match would not be suspendedAntonio Conte would tell years later. The authorities were afraid that the tifosi of Lazio landed to make mayhem. During the week, we had received very harsh attacks, everyone was against us.  » Hero of the meeting, Calori will speak to him of a « media storm » after the meeting: « I couldn’t leave the stadium, I had requests from everywhere. Something historic had just happened, it could be felt. It was the epilogue of a crazy week in Perugia, where I had never seen so many cameras. »

2002: Ronaldo’s Tears

May 5, 2002. Here is a date (or rather an open wound) that the tifosi of Inter probably do not wish on anyone, or even on their « cugini » from AC Milan on Sunday. Any Beneamata fan who lived through this Sunday is destined to never forget it, just like this image of an inconsolable Ronaldo on the bench.

That day, the Nerazzurri are persuaded to win a Scudetto that they have been missing for thirteen long years. In the standings: Inter 69 pts, Juve 68, Roma 67. The Nerazzurri have an appointment in the capital to face a Lazio out of the race for qualification in C1, but still in the fight for that of the UEFA Cup. However, almost everyone is counting on a victory for Inter, whose tifosi are also paired with those of the Roman club. The latter also wish to avoid a possible Scudetto of the historic rival: Roma, still in the running for the « tricolor ».

The afternoon started off pretty well for Inter: Christian Vieri took advantage of a ball released by Angelo Peruzzi from a corner to open the scoring (1-0). The start of a walk? Not really. If Luigi Di Biagio manages to restore the advantage to his people after the equalizer of Karel Poborsky (1-2), the Slovak side nerazzurro Vratislav Gresko commits the irreparable just before half-time by addressing a header too light to Francesco Toldo , his keeper. Opportunistic, Poborsky scored twice and equalized (2-2) just before halftime.

Tense, paralyzed, Hector Cuper’s team collapsed in the second period. Diego Simeone crucified his former team (3-2) by almost apologizing after his goal, before Simone Inzaghi finally shattered Inter’s dream (4-2). A little over twenty years later, the former Lazio striker now finds himself on the Inter bench. He hopes to relive the same scenario as that May 5, 2002, but in reverse…

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