Vittorio Pozzo is a name the football community should be more familiar with. This is because he holds a unique record, arguably the greatest of all, given that the pinnacle of world football is the World Cup. Get to know the story of this icon and his achievement.
Image: Storie di Calcio
Vittorio Pozzo and his story
Vittorio Pozzo was born on March 2, 1886, in the city of Turin, Italy.
Given his birth date, we can already imagine that he was one of the pioneers in the world of football.
Before becoming one of the great coaches in history, Pozzo had a brief career as a player, playing from 1905 to 1911 for Switzerland’s Grasshopper and Italy’s Torino.
Considering the era when Pozzo was a player, there are no records of his number of matches or goals scored, details that we always highlight here.
His coaching career, in which he achieved much more success than as a player, began in 1912.
According to available records, on the mentioned date, he was part of the coaching staff for the Italian National Team, the Azzurra.
However, in the same year, 1912, he also joined Torino, where he would stay for 10 years. He later managed Milan from 1924 to 1926.
After his time with Milan, Vittorio Pozzo took charge of the Azzurra. His tenure as the coach of one of the greatest football teams in history lasted for 20 years (1928-1948), until his retirement.
With the Azzurra, Pozzo revolutionized Italy’s playing style, relying heavily on players of Italian origin born in South American countries such as Brazil (Anfilogino Guarisi), Argentina (Luis Monti, Raimundo Orsi, and Enrique Guaita), and Uruguay (Miguel Andreolo).
The negative aspect was his eventual involvement with the Fascist Party of Italy. This is not commendable in any circumstance, especially considering the era in which his career unfolded.
For this reason, the Delle Alpi Stadium (Two Alps), built for the 1990 World Cup in Turin, was named after Vittorio Pozzo. The stadium was demolished in 2008.
Pozzo passed away by the age of 82, in 1968.
Pozzo’s World Cup Triumphs
As expected, the second World Cup in history had a different format and a smaller number of teams compared to today.
The 1934 World Cup was hosted by Italy, so Pozzo was playing at home, with the support of his fans.
The qualified countries were Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Spain, Egypt, the United States, Austria, France, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Sweden.
The Azzurra made its debut in the competition against the United States, delivering the biggest victory of the tournament, 7-1.
The tournament started from the Round of 16, so Italy’s next opponent was Spain in the quarter-finals. Italy emerged victorious in extra time after a 1-1 draw in regular time.
In the semifinal, Italy defeated Austria 1-0. Finally, they won the championship by defeating Czechoslovakia again in extra time, 2-1, securing Italy’s first world title in front of their home crowd.
The 1938 World Cup in France followed the same format as the previous edition.
Italy faced Norway (2-1), the host nation (3-1), Brazil (2-1), and defeated Hungary 4-2 in the final.
In this way, for 85 years, Vittorio Pozzo has carried a record that came close to being equaled but never surpassed.
For this reason, we at Calcio Deal believe it’s necessary to give value to these achievements, even if they occurred in the early days of football.
It’s commendable that after so much time, so many World Cups, and so many incredible players and coaches who participated in the tournament, the individual who still holds the title of the most successful coach was born in the 19th century.
We also need to highlight that Pozzo is the only coach to have won both the World Cup and the Olympics, as Italy achieved Olympic gold in Berlin in 1936, between the 1934 and 1938 World Cups.
In the Qatar World Cup, Didier Deschamps came close to achieving this feat, but was stopped by Lionel Scaloni and the Argentine National Team, who are now trying to match Pozzo’s record.
Do you think Vittorio Pozzo’s record can be broken?
Written by João Felipe Miller and Vitor F L Miller.