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

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

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Gareth Bale says Real Madrid are eyeing a six-trophy campaign this season

Gareth Bale says Real Madrid are targeting an even bigger trophy haul this season.

Premier League: Gylfi Sigurdsson delighted with move to Swansea from Tottenham

Gylfi Sigurdsson has told Sky Sports he is delighted to have joined former club Swansea from Tottenham.

Transfer news: Tottenham sign Ben Davies and Michel Vorm, Gylfi Sigurdsson joins Swansea

Tottenham have signed Swansea duo Ben Davies and Michel Vorm, with Gylfi Sigurdsson moving in the opposite direction.

Mail Box

Defending Woodward With Perspective

One Mailer is telling us to hold fire on our Woodward criticism, whilst we also have some wonderful PFA Team of The year geekery, a well done to Vieira and much more...

Why The Obsession Over The Captaincy?

Asks the morning mailbox, before hastily returning to the debate over who should replace Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Ed Woodward's spending plans and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property