068. Enrico Albertosi
Agile and acrobatic Italian Enrico Albertosi was one of the top goalkeepers in the world in the 1960s and 1970s. His career in Serie A spanned more than 20 years, and he achieved success at several clubs as well as having a long international career. However, towards the end of his career his reputation was scarred by a match-fixing scandal.
Albertosi first came to prominence when he made his Serie A debut for Fiorentina in 1958, and in a ten year spell in Florence he won two Italian Cup winners’ medals as well as the European Cup Winners’ Cup. During his time at Fiorentina he broke into the Italian national team, and was first choice goalkeeper for the 1966 World Cup in England, but after Italy’s embarrassing exit at the hands of North Korea he fell out of favour and missed out in the European Championships two years later.
In 1968, Albertosi moved on the the unfashionable Sardinian club Cagliari, where he was a part of the team that stunned Italian football by winning the Serie A title in 1970. Back in favour internationally, he went to that summer’s World Cup in Mexico and played a major part in Italy’s run to the final, where they overcame West Germany in an astonishing semi-final before losing to Brazil.
1974 saw Albertosi move on to AC Milan, where he would win another Italian Cup and a second Serie A title, in 1979. In 1980, however, he became involved in one of the biggest scandals to hit European football when he was accused, along with several other players and officials, of being involved in match fixing. Albertosi was arrested but none of the players ever faced legal action, although they were all banned from playing for various periods of time, and in the case of Albertosi it ended his top-flight career.
Once his ban was over, Albertosi came back to play in the Italian fourth division for Elpidiense from 1982 to 1984, when he finally retired from playing at the age of 44. Since retiring from the game, he has worked as a television pundit.