Matera capital of world youth football

It was a Sunday afternoon in early September 1989, on an anonymous and desolate road inPoland. The crash was terrible, but it was fatal for Gaetano Scirea the resulting fire. Accompanied by a local driver was going to the Warsaw airport to return toItaly. Then he was the first collaborator of the great Dino Zoff in the staff of Juventus F.C.: he had sent him on a mission to observe the next opponents in the UEFA Cup for the black and white team, the Poles of Gornik Zabrze. And so at the age of 36 the great Gai left us. And with him the only right way of thinking about football. Since then, in fact, it has been less and less sport and getting more business, less and less passion and more and more interest … the football I was irresistibly attracted and passionate, which made me dream and emotion since I was child. The football of Gaetano Scirea, exceptional man and a great defender, who played 700 games in his career  without never being ejected. Fair play in sport for him was a rule of life.

And it is this value that has always inspired the organizers of the international tournament under 16 in Matera named after him: the Trofeo Gaetano Scirea? Slogan is in fact “Fair play in sport”. The idea was born in 1990, the year after the tragic incident, by a group of football fans from Matera and Juventus supporters, among them Mimmo Bellacicco and Vincenzo Selvaggi, respectively-in-law and brother of Franco, who had shared with Scirea the triumphant adventure in the World Cup in Spain ’82 . Through the years the tournament has grown and is now in its 17th edition, in which 16 Italian and foreign teams partecipate: Juventus (present every year to honor the memory of his late captain), Partizan Belgrade, Inter , Udinese, Australians FC Phoenix Melbourne, the Czechs of the Sigma Olomouc, the Croats of NK Osijek, the Swiss S.C. Kriens and then eight teams from Basilicata and Puglia, Gioventù  Castellaneta 94, Virtus Laterza, Ginosa, Bisceglie, Toritto, New Football Academy Bari, Invicta Matera and a representative of Basilicata.  Not only sport but a unmissible chance to visit Matera and his unique territory.

The tournament begins Saturday, June 8 with the inaugural match at the XXI Settembre-Franco Salerno of Matera and ends Friday 14, with matches also in Toritto, Castellaneta, Laterza, Ginosa andAltamura. Will the tournament launch this year too a few young champion? In the past in fact, we have seen on these fields the Spanish Raul and Guti, Shevchenko, Tacchinardi, Morfeo, Marchisio, Giovinco and Jovetic. And finally Simone Zaza, the young striker of Metaponto, who has just finished a great season at Ascoli in Serie B with 18 goals scored and is now disputed by the most important Italian teams: he will kick off the tournament with the official greeting to the public and the participating teams.

And so the world goes for a week in the flask. At Matera.

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