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serie A

Recently finished a cracking commission from the guys at Pro:Direct – a Roberto Baggio illustrated comic, to help launch Diadora’s new Baggio ‘Matchwinner’ football boots. Began with a dramatic front cover of Roberto in classic Azzurri colours…

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Inside was a double page spread featuring Roberto’s many career highlights, including Ballon D’Or 1993…

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Serie A champions with Juve 1994/95 & Milan 1995/96…

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Here’s full spread…

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and the back page detailed Roberto coming to the Pro:Direct flagship store LDN19 in London to launch the new boots…

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Brilliant job, & I loved doing it, but that was only half of it, because my wife & I were also invited to the launch event. There were printed copies of Baggio comics all round the store…

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the in-store graphics & interactive touch screens were also based on the comic illustrations…

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Football Italia TV presenter James Richardson hosted an entertaining Q & A session in front of a packed out audience…

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and then the best bit, I got to present the man himself with a framed print – which he graciously accepted – whether he actually liked it or not!

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Had a fantastic time from start to finish, with massive thanks to Scott & Ned at Pro:Direct

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Only a couple more World Cup Captains to go before we get to number 20. Here’s number 18, Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro. Fabio skippered Italy to victory in the 2006 World Cup Final in Berlin, beating France on penalties, after the game finished 1-1.

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Cannavaro’s defensive display earned him the nickname ‘Muro di Berlino’ (“The Berlin Wall”). Fabio went on to be capped a record 136 times by Italy.

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World Cup Captain #12, legendary Italian keeper Dino Zoff. Dino made his international debut in 1968, and was 40 years old when he skippered Italy to their third World Cup triumph in Spain1982, beating West Germany 3-1 in the final.

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Zoff was capped 112 times, and in 1973/4 he went 1,142 minutes without conceding a goal (an international record). He also went on to coach Juventus, Lazio, and the Italian national team.

Italian striker Giuseppe Meazza, the 3rd player in 20 World Cup Captains postcard collection.

Born in 1910, he was a perfect predator in front of goal, and a skilled creator for others. Meazza made his name at Inter Milan in Serie A, also played for AC Milan & Juventus. Giuseppe had previously helped Italy win the World Cup in 1934, but at the 1938 tournament held in France, he led his country to victory as captain.

Italy beat Hungary 4-2 in the final.

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This is the matchball an ‘Allen’, 13 panels with laces

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Continuing the 20 World Cup Captains illustrated postcard collection…

Here’s the first ever keeper to lift the World Cup – Italy’s Gianpiero Combi in 1934. Italy hosted the tournament, and beat Czechoslovakia in the final, 2-1 after extra-time. It was Gianpiero’s 47th and last appearance for his country. Born 1902, he played for Juventus in Serie A.

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Checked out lots of old photos as part of my research – look at the difference in kit & equipment compared with today. Gianpiero’s got a natty white belt (70’s disco style), chunky workmen boots, kneepads, and gardening gloves! Maybe Gigi Buffon will consider wearing a belt in Brazil?

This is the ball from the 1934 World Cup Final – the ‘Federale 102’, lace up style with 13 panels. Good to know these things!

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