Italy pay tribute to Borgonovo

Italy players and staff past and present dedicated their battling performance in last night's defeat to Spain to former Azzurri striker Stefano Borgonovo, who died on Thursday.

Last Updated: 28/06/13 at 11:34 Post Comment

Italy: Paid tribute to Stefano Borgonovo

Italy: Paid tribute to Stefano Borgonovo

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Cesare Prandelli's men wore black armbands for the Confederations Cup semi-final meeting with the world champions, minutes after hearing Borgonovo had passed away at the age of 49 following a long battle with motor neurone disease.

But Italy were unable to dedicate a victory to the former AC Milan, Fiorentina and Udinese forward as Spain triumphed on penalties at the end of 120 goalless minutes.

There were 12 perfect spot-kicks before Leonardo Bonucci blazed his effort over the bar, leaving Jesus Navas to slot home and book a final showdown with Brazil.

Defender Giorgio Chiellini told figc.com: "He was someone that we knew well and we wanted to dedicate a victory to him, but unfortunately that wasn't possible.

"Our best wishes go out to all his loved ones."

Italy coach Prandelli, who recognised the courage with which Borgonovo had battled his disease since his diagnosis in 2008, added: "I dedicate this game to him and to his extraordinary family.

"They have all lived through a dramatic time with great serenity."

Also among Italy's delegation in Brazil is retired midfielder Demetrio Albertini, who in the late 1980s was Borgonovo's team-mate in Arrigo Sacchi's successful Milan side.

"Stefano was a great player," Albertini said. "He was a shy lad but he was an indomitable fighter against his disease. He battled it with an immeasurable strength because he wanted to help others."

Sacchi guided the Rossoneri to one Serie A title and two European Cups with Borgonovo in his squad and today he spoke fondly of his late charge.

He said: "He fought with an incredible strength and an extraordinary dignity against a disease as ugly as [MND]. He is a hero.

"He was incredibly unlucky but showed the desire to live and to stay with his family.

"He was fundamental to our European Cup win in 1990, too, scoring a decisive goal in the semi-final against Bayern. I will always remember his footballing qualities and his desire to live and fight."

Current Rossoneri striker Mario Balotelli had the last word on his official Twitter account, writing: "Your show of strength was a life lesson for all.

"Goodbye Stefano, you will always be with me. And with us!"

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho hits back at Arsene Wenger ahead of showdown

Jose Mourinho has retaliated after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger questioned Chelsea's defensive approach.

Ilkay Gundogan close to Manchester United move

Manchester United are close to agreeing a £21.5m deal to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to Sky sources.

Eden Hazard will stay at Chelsea and not move to Real Madrid, says Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not concerned about Real Madrid’s reported interest in Eden Hazard.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company