ALESSANDRO ALTOBELLI BIOGRAPHY :
Alessandro Altobelli (born 28 November 1955 in Sonnino, Latina) is a former professional Italian footballer, who played as a forward, and who won the 1982 World Cup with Italy. Nicknamed Spillo (“Needle”) for his slender build, Altobelli was a prolific goalscorer, and he became one of the greatest and most effective Italian strikers of the late 1970s and 1980s. Altobelli is currently the all-time top scorer in the Coppa Italia, with 56 goals in 93 appearances, and the ninth-highest scoring Italian player in all competitions, with almost 300 career goals.
Following spells at Latina (Serie C) and Brescia (Serie B), he was signed by Serie A giants Internazionale in 1977, for whom he played 466 times, scoring 209 goals (128 in Serie A). He contributed heavily to his team’s scudetto victory of 1980 (scoring 15 goals), and also helped Inter to win two Coppa Italia titles in 1978 and 1982, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer in the 1982 edition, with 9 goals. Altobelli was also the top scorer in the 1978–79 European Cup Winners’ Cup, with 7 goals, leading Inter to the quarter-finals of the tournament. After his lengthy period with Inter, he played one season with Juventus during the 1987–88 season, before ending his career with Brescia in Serie B once again, during the 1989–90 season.
For Italy, Altobelli was capped 61 times between 1980 and 1988, scoring 25 goals, and he is currently Italy’s sixth highest goalscorer. His most notable international goal was Italy’s third goal in the 1982 FIFA World Cup final, which Italy won 3–1 over West Germany. After coming on in the seventh minute of play for the injured Francesco Graziani, he became the second ever substitute to score in a FIFA World Cup final (after Dick Nanninga in 1978 and with Rudi Völler and Mario Götze repeating this, in 1986 and in 2014, respectively). Altobelli also played at Euro 80, with Italy finishing in fourth place on home soil, as well as representing Italy at the 1986 FIFA World Cup, scoring 4 goals, which were, however, not enough to prevent the defending champions from crashing out of the tournament in the round of 16. He also represented Italy at Euro 88, where he played as the team’s captain, leading the Italian squad to the semi-finals once again. He made 4 substitute appearances scoring just after coming on in a 2–0 win over Denmark in the group stages.
Style of play
Altobelli was a highly prolific goalscorer, who was regarded as a complete striker, and one of the greatest Italian forwards of his generation. A well rounded centre-forward, with an eye for goal, he excelled in the air due to his heading accuracy, power, elevation, agility and acrobatic ability; he was also a fast, strong, hard-working, and opportunistic player, with good technique, and he possessed an accurate shot with either foot, in spite of being naturally left-footed. Moreover, he was capable of protecting the ball with his back to goal, and holding it up for his teammates.
He is currently a sports analyst for beIN Sports. Also, he previously served as a pundit for AlJazeera. After retiring, he had briefly entered politics, and also worked as a sporting director for Padova, and as a scout for Inter.