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Top Facts about Antonio Cabrini, the Italian Former Defender

Sat 06 November 2021 | 18:30

In this article we are going to take look at top facts about Antonio Cabrini.

Antonio Cabrini was born on 8 October 1957. He is currently an Italian professional football manager and a former football player. Antonio Cabrini played left-back, mostly with 

Juventus

. One of the top facts about Antonio Cabrini is that he lifted the 1982 FIFA World Cup with the Italy national team.

Antonio Cabrini was nicknamed Bell'Antonio (which means "beautiful Antonio"), due to his reputation as a charismatic and handsome football player. On the pitch, Antonio Cabrini made a name for himself as one of Italy's best defenders ever, and is remembered in specific for forming one of the most formidable defensive lines of all time with Italy national team and Juventus, alongside goalkeeper 

Dino Zoff

, as well as defenders like Claudio Gentile and Gaetano Scirea. 

Antonio Cabrini managed to win the Best Young Player Award at the 1978 FIFA World Cup, after helping Italy achieved the fourth-place finish, and also represented Italy at Euro 1980, once again finishing in the fourth place.

Antonio Cabrini is one of the few football players to have won all UEFA Club tournaments, an accomplishment he achieved with Juventus.

Top Facts about Antonio Cabrini, the Italian Former Defender

Considered one of the first modern full- backs, as well as one of the greatest football players of the role worldwide, Antonio Cabrini linked his name mainly to Juventus, a team in which he played for thirteen seasons between the 1970s and 1980s, and of which he was captain from 1988 to 1989.

Together with the goalkeeper Dino Zoff, Gaetano Scirea and the other full-back Claudio Gentile, his team mates and national team mates, Antonio Cabrini made one of the greatest defensive lines in the history of football.

With the bianconeri Antonio Cabrini played 440 games and scored 52 goals, winning six Italian league titles, two Italian Cups and all the major UEFA club competitions: the first player, along with the aforementioned Gaetano Scirea to reach this goal.

In the Italy national team Antonio Cabrini played 73 games and scored 9 goals, making him the most prolific defender in the history of the Azzurri .

Antonio Cabrini was a candidate for the Golden Ball several times and in 1978 he finished 13th place.

Now let’s start reviewing the top facts about Antonio Cabrini.

Antonio Cabrini at a glance

  • Date of birth:

    8 October, 1957

  • Place of birth:

    Cremona  

  • Age:

    64

  • Height:

    Not known

  • Citizenship:

     Italy

  • Position:

    Defender - Left-Back

  • Foot:

    Not known

  • Current status:

     Retired

  • Date of Retirement:

    1 July, 1991

Contract status: 

-

Antonio Cabrini Club career

As mentioned before, Antonio Cabrini was born in Cremona, Lombardy. He played his first  professional football match with the local team U.S. Cremonese in the Serie C during the 1973–74 season. He made played three games three games and gained a starting place the next 1974–75 season. In the 1975–76 season he played in the Serie B for Atalanta, and in the summer of 1976 he moved to Juventus, the club for which Antonio was to playy most of his professional career.

With Juventus, Antonio Cabrini won the Serie A title six times, the Coppa Italia two times, one UEFA Super Cup, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup and one Intercontinental European/South American Cup.

In his last season with Juventus, he was the captain of the team, after inheriting the armband from Scirea. In 1989, after 13 glorious seasons with the Turin team, he joined Bologna for two more years. Then he retired as a football player.

One of the top facts about Antonio Cabrini is that he played a total of 352 Serie A games and scored 35 goals. He played 297 of the games with Juventus and scored 33 of his goals for Juventus.

Antonio Cabrini international career

One of the top facts about Antonio Cabrini is that he was called up to Italy national team as a player of the list of 20 footballers to participate in the 1978 FIFA World Cup In spite of the fact that he had never played for the national senior team. Antonio Cabrini, however, had 23 caps for junior teams).

Antonio Cabrini made his first appearance on 2 June 1978, in Italy's first match against France, which ended in a 2–1 victory to the Azzurri. Italy national team went on to finish the World Cup in the fourth place, and Antonio was named the Best Young Player of the Tournament.

In no time, Antonio Cabrini became an international regular player for the next nine years. He participated as a starter in all of Italy's matches in three successive FIFA World Cups: namely in 1978, 1982 and 1986.

In general, Antonio Cabrini played in 18 matches during FIFA World Cup final stages, winning the 1982 World Cup in spite of the fact that he missed a penalty kick in the final against West Germany. He also played for Italy national team at Euro 1980 as a starter on home soil, finishing the competition in fourth place, after they reached the semi-finals.

Antonio Cabrini was a member of the 1982 FIFA World Cup-winning team that also included goalkeeper Dino Zoff, Gaetano Scirea, Giuseppe Bergomi, Claudio Gentile in defence, Marco Tardelli and Bruno Conti in midfield, and Antonio's Juventus teammate 

Paolo Rossi

 in forward. Antonio Cabrini had a brilliant performance throughout the FIFA World Cup, helping to lead his nation to win the trophy, keeping two clean sheets throughout the tournament. He also scored the important match-winning goal in Italy's 2–1 second round victory over defending champions Argentina national team.

In total, Antonio Cabrini played in 73 matches for his national team and netted nine goals, which is an Italy international record for a defender. He ended his professional career with the Italy in October 1987, playing in his final match on 17 October 1987, in a 0–0 draw against Switzerland. It is worth mentioning that Antonio also was the captain of the national side ten times.

Antonio Cabrini style of play

One of the top facts about Antonio Cabrini that he is regarded as one of the best full-backs of his generation and of all time, as well as being considered as one of the greatest defenders in the history of Italian football as he was a fast and strong attacking left-back. 

As he was a former left winger, Antonio Cabrini was also able to play on the left side of an attacking trident. Antonio was later switched to left-back by his coach Ivanoe "Babo" Nolli during the time he played at the Cremonese youth side.

Antonio Cabrini said, "He was my real discoverer, he made me as a football player". He successfully managed to play in in defence. "That day it was clear that Cremonese football club had lost a decent winger and gained a promising left-back”, recalled Carlo Felice Chiesa, one of the most well-known journalists.

Antonio Cabrini's attacking skill, eye for goal, cleverness, and crossing talent, along with his passing, flair, and technical aptitude, enabled him to develop the role of the modern full-back in Italian football, and he added a new attacking aspect to the position.

Antonio Cabrini was well-known for being prolific in front of the goal, in spite of his defensive playing role, courtesy of his striking skill from distance, and his capability to make attacking runs up the side; due to his timing and elevation, he was strong in the air as well, and was also a good free kick and penalty kick taker.

These skills, combined with his intelligence, reliability, and defensive ability, as well as his athletic, and physical abilities, made him one of the greatest full-backs in the world in his prime. 

In spite of the fact that Antonio Cabrini enjoyed popularity off the pitch and open character, he was known for being a man of few words throughout his career. Moreover, Cabrini also stood out for his discipline as a football player, as he neither used to smoke nor drink.

Antonio Cabrini professional managerial career

One of the

top facts about Antonio Cabrini

is that he started his professional coaching career in 2000 with Serie C1 team Arezzo, replacing Serse Cosmi and lost promotion on playoffs. He then coached Serie B's Crotone with a little fortune, and later served as head coach for Serie C1 clubs Pisa and Novara Calcio, although he was expelled.

Next, Antonio Cabrini was announced to become the new head coach of Syria national team in September 2007, but soon after the declaration, problems started in the Syrian FA between the board of Directors and the Syrian National Teams Sponsors and therefore the contract with Cabrini was eventually terminated in February 2008, before he really starts his work with the team. Antonio Cabrini was planned to take the Syria national team through the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifications and to make a preparation camp in Italy, but all that was cancelled after the financial problems within the Syrian FA.

Antonio Cabrini at Italy women's national team

One of the top facts about Antonio Cabrini is that on 14 May 2012, he was appointed manager of Italy women's national team. On 4 August 2017, after five years as a manager, Cabrini was replaced by Milena Bertolini.

Antonio Cabrini off the pitch

As mentioned before, Antonio Cabrini was nicknamed Bell'Antonio e Fidanzato d'Italia because of the great popularity he enjoyed among the people.

On 15 September 2008 he participated as a competitor in the sixth edition of the television program Italian TV reality show L'Isola dei Famosi (localized version of Celebrity Survivor), however he had to ignore continuing the competition after three weeks due to a hernia. 

In the same year Antonio Cabrini tried his hand as a writer by publishing the novel Blackmail Perfect.

In the summer of 2009, Antonio Cabrini entered into politics by joining Italia dei Valori (Italy of Values), as a party responsible for sports issues in the Lazio region. The political movement was led by Antonio Di Pietro. Also on television, in 2010 he was a commentator for Dahlia TV . Furthermore, Antonio Cabrini was ambassador for Expo Milano 2015.

One of the

top facts about Antonio Cabrini

is that he was also invited by some important directors to work in the cinema. “Maestro Franco Zeffirelli had contacted me for the lead role in 'Jesus of Nazareth', but I did not accept it because it was not my job. However, I do not deny that the proposal flattered me!.”

Antonio Cabrini family

Regarding his family, the top fact about Antonio Cabrini is that he is now married to Carla. They have two children. Their daughter’s name is Martina and their son’s name is Edoardo.

Antonio was previously married to Consuelo Benzi.

Antonio Cabrini as a handsome football player

Juventus has some Italian players in the ranking of the 10 most good-looking football players of all time at the FIFA World Cup. Two Bianconeri players are among the four Italian players in the ranking: Antonio Cabrini and Fabio Cannavaro. The other Italians are Paolo Maldini and Francesco Totti. 

The ranking was drawn up by Rete Globo and the Globoesporte website, after having surveyed 'followers' and subscribers on the web. The others are the Brazilian Bellini (captain of the 1958 world champion Selecao), the British Beckham and Owen, the Argentine Redondo, the Portuguese Figo and the Swedish Ljungberg.

The complete ranking is as follows:

1- Hilderaldo Bellini

2- Cabrini

3- Redondo

4- Owen

5- Maldini

6- Figo

7- Totti

8- Ljungberg

9- Beckham

10- Cannavaro

Antonio Cabrini and his admirers

In the people’s opinion, Antonio Cabrini represented the “Bell'Antonio”. He at first wrote that it caused some embarrassment for him. He said, “It was a bit annoying. I was an eighteen year old boy who played football and my main goal was to do my job well. After the FIFA World Cup in Argentina, my image worked at the marketing and sponsorship level. So after a first moment of distrust, I started coping with the situation!"

Antonio Cabrini, confessed to one of the many follies of his many admirers: “I remember a trip with Juventus in Campobasso. The bus left us fifty meters from the hotel that hosted us, in front of thousands of people. I entered the hall with my clothes torn and my hands full of hearts of gold! ".

The former Italian footballer revealed that there was a person in charge of answering the letters from the fans, “I admit it; it was my mom. Having to play I could not answer all the girls who wrote to me and so I asked her to take care of it. I have kept them all!", admitted Antonio Cabrini.

Antonio Cabrini on Enzo Bearzot

Antonio Cabrini believes Enzo Bearzot was a father, more than a coach

According to Antonio Cabrini, if his life were a film it would be a "thriller, full of twists, a bit like what happens on football fields". And to think that his debut as a defender was not fully supported by his family. “My father was not very happy: having a farm in the province of Cremona he hoped I would work with him. My mother, on the other hand, supported me immediately, also accompanied me to the auditions” Antonio Cabrini said. Still on the subject of his career, Antonio explained that the coach to whom he owes the most is Enzo Bearzot, “a father, more than a coach He was a great character that I will never forget”.

Antonio Cabrini on his most memorable match

Antonio Cabrini believes that the most memorable match for him is the final match of the 1982 FIFA World Cup. “The final between Italy and West Germany in 82 was the most memorable match for me. It was important not only because of the sporting victory. That match was a bit of a watershed for our country, which came out of the dark period of the Red Brigades and, thanks to football, experienced a golden moment of renewed union!", declared Antonio Cabrini, who concluded: “Then I also like to remember the first trophy won at 15 with Cremonese against Juventus!.”

Antonio Cabrini controversial quotes about Maradona

One of the top facts about Antonio Cabrini is that he had some controversial quotes about the death of

Diego Maradona

.

Antonio Cabrini has said “He would still be alive if he had been playing for Juventus and not for

Napoli

then. He would still be with us. The Turin environment would save him. But his love for Naples, as strong and genuine as it was, was sick.”

“A living legend and a gentleman opponent,” Cabrini told Irpinia TV. “Who, like many other champions, was able to give the best and the worst at the same time.

“Maradona on the pitch could have won a match alone and in another environment, he could have won the match of his life which ended too soon.

He added “Maradona came from a poor family, and in Naples he found an environment similar to the one he came from. He was full of passion and dedication to the city because he identified with its problems. Neapoli has changed with him.”

“He would still be here with us if he came to Juve because the environment would have saved him, not the club but the environment itself.

“The love of Naples was as strong and authentic as it was ill. Naples loved him madly, but it was a 'sick love'. It was like a mother's unconditional love for a son who makes a mistake, but to whom everything is forgiven.”

“Maradona transcended football and Naples chose him, regardless of any vice, as a saint to venerate.”

“Naples was Maradona and Maradona was Naples. He was able to give the best of himself and the worst at the same time,” the former Juventus football player concluded.

Then, Antonio Cabrini apologised and clarified about what he had said.

The former Bianconeri football player claimed that his words on the Argentine legend after his death were only some words taken out of context by the media.

Antonio Cabrini said that he never wanted to offend Napoli fans.

Former Juventus defender Cabrini, who played against Maradona at both the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cup finals, paid tribute to his old adversary after hearing the news, but sparked controversy by suggesting he would have lived longer had he chosen to ply his trade in Turin instead of Naples at club level.

Antonio Cabrini expressed his apology for causing offence to the city that will always remember the former Argentine legend as it is favourite son, but also said that his remarks had been taken out of context by the media.

“You misinterpreted my words, it was not a moral judgment but a comment on the energy of a city that couldn’t contain this passion,” Antonio Cabrini wrote on Twitter.

“I thought that the quieter environment in which I lived at Juve would perhaps have protected him. I apologise to anyone who felt offended.”

Antonio Cabrini honours

Juventus

  • Serie A in 1976–77, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1985–86

  • Coppa Italia in 1978–79, 1982–83

  • European Cup in 1984–85

  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1983–84

  • UEFA Cup in 1976–77

  • UEFA Super Cup in 1984

  • Intercontinental Cup in 1985

Italy national team

  • FIFA World Cup in 1982

Individual

  • FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award in 1978

 

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