085. Giampiero Boniperti
Italian striker Giampiero Boniperti is one of the most legendary figures at Juventus, the club where he spent most of his career. Having started out as a player in the lower leagues with Momo, his move to Turin early in 1947 would be the last of his career. He remained with Juventus for the next fourteen years, setting several club records.
Boniperti made an instant impact at Juventus. Having played a few games for the club at the end of the 1946-47 season, his first full season in 1947-48 saw him finish as leading goalscorer in Serie A, his performances earning him a place in the Italian national team. In 1950 he won his first Serie A Championship medal with Juventus, and also made one appearance in an unsuccessful World Cup campaign for Italy.
Winning another Serie A title in 1952, Boniperti was one of Italy’s most prolific strikers in the early 1950s, regularly scoring more than fifteen league goals a season. Later in the 1950s, the goals did not come as frequently as Juventus’ domestic success dried up for several years, although Boniperti did make a second World Cup appearance in 1954.
Most of the club success in Boniperti’s career came towards the end of his time as a player. He won his third Serie A title in 1958, the Italian Cup in 1959 and a league and cup double in 1960. After taking a fifth championship with Juventus in 1961, Boniperti ended his playing career as the holder of the club records for both appearances and goals in all competitions. His club goalscoring record stood for more than forty years before being broken.
After his retirement, Boniperti returned to Juventus in 1971 to take over as club president, as was responsible for several inspired coaching appointments that helped the club to achieve a new era of domestic and European success. Over Boniperti’s nineteen years as president, Juventus won nine Serie A titles, four Italian Cups and all three European club trophies.