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Shirt number 16 Uruguayan/Italian flags

Schiaffino

Uruguay/Italy

Full name: Juan Alberto Schiaffino
Date of birth: 28/07/1925
Position: Inside forward
International caps: 48 (Uruguay)
4 (Italy)
International goals: 12 (Uruguay)
0 (Italy)
World Cups: 1950 - Champions (Uruguay)
1954 - Semi Finals (Uruguay)
Clubs: Penarol
AC Milan
Roma
1943-1954
1954-1960
1960-1962

Juan Schiaffino is regarded as the finest player ever to emerge from Uruguay. An inside forward with a tremendous range of passing, Schiaffino broke into the Penarol first team at the age of 18. With Penarol, he won the Primera Division Uruguaya on four occassions (1949, 1951, 1953 and 1954) and was top scorer in 1945. Ten days before his twentieth birthday, "Pepe" made his international debut against Argentina in the South American Championship, a competition the Uruguayans went on to win.

Schiaffino in action

Schiaffino was instrumental in Uruguay's victory in the 1950 World Cup tournament, ending as the second highest goalscorer with five goals. The tournament was decided by a four team pool, rather than the usual final game. The Brazilians (tournament favourites and the home team) only needed a draw in their final group game, against Uruguay, to win the trophy. They looked to have wrapped it up after they scored early in the second half. However, Schiaffino dramatically turned the game around by scoring the equaliser midway through the half and then setting up the winner for Ghiggia with only 11 minutes to go.

By 1954, Schiaffino was the complete inside-left - he had the speed, the vision and a very fierce shot.

Schiaffino

During the World Cup tournament of that year, he was once again Uruguay's key player, scoring goals against Czechoslovakia and England, as they advanced to the semi finals. However, Uruguay were beaten 4-2 in extra time by Puskas' Olympic winning Hungarian side - the South Americans suffering from many injuries, including one to Schiaffino. The team could then not lift themselves and lost to Austria in the third place playoff.

Later that year, Shiaffino moved to Italian club AC Milan for a world record transfer fee of £72 000. He helped the club to three Scudetto championships (1955, 1957, 1959), the Coppa Italia (1956) and the 1958 European Cup final, where they lost to the great Real Madrid side of that decade. In all, he played 149 games and scored 47 goals for Milan. He also played for Italy in their qualifying campaign for the 1958 World Cup, but it wasn't to be, as they failed to reach the finals.

After a brief spell with Roma, Schiaffino retired in 1962. In 1976 he returned to football as manager of Penarol and later as the Uruguayan national team coach.