by Alessandro Giannetti


All victories with her are always special, but some – undoubtedly – more.

May 11, 1975, the penultimate day: the Innominabile arrives in Florence to celebrate yet another championship, the Viola has four points ahead of the second (Napoli) and for the mathematical title it just needs a miserable draw.

Fiorentina, ninth in the standings, seem to have nothing more to ask from that disappointing championship. It seems.

The previous day, Stampa Sera had the title in large letters “The day of the Scudetto”; and then, with the sadistic complacency of the judge who genuflects at the farewell, “The Lady’s fans will invade Florence” (yes, just “fans” with the “S”). And indeed the hunchbacks (gobbi), moving from every corner of Tuscany as a whole, really invade Florence, with their colorless flags, trumpeting already in the morning through the streets of the invisible city and anticipating the utmost pleasure: celebrating a championship at our home, triumphing before our eyes and our banners, imagining Florence as a Troy in flames crossed by the Achaean hordes.

In Turin, they are really safe and some boxes of champagne are transported on its bus to the “guest” changing room of the Florentine stadium.

The designated referee is a still young Luigi Agnolin from Bassano del Grappa, whose particular and contradictory story cannot be adequately narrated here.

The battleship of the Innominabile ranks: Zoff, Gentile, Cuccureddu; Furino, Morini, Scirea; Viola F., Causio, Anastasi, Capello, Bettega. The Fiorentina remodel (Galdiolo, Roggi, Brizi, Merlo and Guerini were missing in one fell swoop) appears on the field with: Superchi, Beatrice, Lelj; Rosi, Pellegrini, Della Martira; Desolate, Case, Casarsa, Antognoni, Saltutti. The Comunale is packed beyond belief in every order of place, with hunchbacks (gobbi) all over the place, loaded and ready to cheer at the first goal of Causio, Bettega, Anastasi or maybe Capello.

La Gazzetta dello Sport, 12/05/1975 (Museo Fiorentina Archive)


The first goal made by Zoff alone. On a cross from Saltutti, Caso and Furino pounce on their heads: the ball, probably hit by the Bianconeri midfielder, ends up on the pole to the right of Zoff, carom on the same in a plunging stretch and ends up in the net. It is 34 minutes and five minutes later Fiorentina doubles. Casarsa moves the ball and chain onto the trocar, sees the elegant insertion of Antognoni on the right and serves him from outside the area, cutting out the rushing Viola. Antonio, looking at the stars, shoots with first intention and scores.

On the terraces the hunchbacks begin to get nervous, caught by the delightful teasing of the Florentines. The interval (“Seeds, peanuts, hunchbacks, lupins!”) Is an ordeal. They revive just for Rosi’s own goal in the 61st minute, which seems to reopen the game, but in the 73rd minute, when Gentile landslide in the area on Saltutti launched at the net (with today’s rules it would also have been “red” for “last man”), Agnolin whistles the penalty.

Oh no, that’s too much! Boniperti leaves the stadium angry and Casarsa, standing still, realizes. And there are three! And the hunchbacks, sportily, begin to displace: but wait, there is time … The time to see the pearl of Caso, who with a masterful right from outside the area removes the cobwebs in the seven to the left of Zoff.

Now you can really go, and “have a good homecoming”, we would say today.

La Gazzetta dello Sport, 12/05/1975 (Museo Fiorentina Archive)


That was truly a special victory: for the occasion, the way, the place, and also for Antonio’s goal. In addition, because in the opposing field all four of those players were gathered together who for years have represented in our eyes the very soul of the “hunchback”: Franco Causio, known as the “Baron” (for the evil ones not referring to the well-known title noble, but to the augmentative of the noun), likeable like a dermatitis in August, “Ass low” Capello (who, not surprisingly, will also become one of the nicest coaches of her), Roberto Bettega (later risen to the role of Deputy -President of the Innominabile), whom his fans called “Bobby gol”, but who for us was pleasantly “stuntman”, and Beppe Furino, aka “Furia”, who if he had played in Varese or Ternana would have taken more reds he and Guccini at the tavern.

They went back on the bus quietly, bringing back the champagne; but not all. Someone said, in fact, smiling with his eyes, that he heard a noise of smashing bottles coming from the “guests” changing room of the “Comunale”.

11/05/1975, Fiorentina players celebrate after a goal (Photo TORRINI)


The following morning, at school, an inspired hand began to write on the blackboard: “The Arno murmured calmly and placidly as the first hunchbacks passed / on the 11th of May”.

I don’t remember that the teacher was a person particularly interested in football. But that day he didn’t use the blackboard.

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