‘The Rock’ passes away


A tough, versatile defender nicknamed 'La Roccia' – ‘The Rock’ – Burgnich started his Serie A career with Udinese, and also won a Scudetto with Juventus in 1960/61 before joining ‘La grande Inter’ coached by the legendary Helenio Herrera.

‘The Rock’ passes away

In 12 years with the Nerazzurri, he formed a formidable defensive partnership with the likes of Giacinto Facchetti and Armando Picchi. Burgnich helped Inter win both the European Champion Clubs’ Cup and European/South American Cup in 1964 and 1965, and four domestic titles, in 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1971.

Burgnich, who ended his career with Napoli before retiring in 1977, was capped 66 times by Italy between 1963 and 1974. His greatest triumph with the national team came in 1968, when the Azzurri captured the EURO title on home soil by beating Yugoslavia after a replay in the final.

He also played in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, helping Italy reach the final before they were beaten 4-1 by Brazil in Mexico City. Following his retirement as a player, he became a coach, taking the helm at several Italian clubs over two decades.

“There are men you always want to have by your side, players you always want on your team, legends you always want to be part of your history,” said Inter in paying tribute.

“Tarcisio Burgnich embodied the strength and values of our club, and Inter had the privilege of seeing him fight for his colours: statuesque, relentless, humble and always loyal. Farewell Tarcisio, you will always be our 'Rock'.

”On the eve of [EURO 2020], a great champion of Europe leaves us," said Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina. "With his strength and determination, he has written beautiful pages in the history of Italian football.”

A minute of silence will be observed in Burgnich's memory ahead of the friendly match between Italy and San Marino in Cagliari on Friday.

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