As Italy have just won the Euros, there is no better time to share this classic from a friendly game against Northern Ireland in the summer of 2003. Italy won the fixture 2-0 to no surprise as they had a squad filled with household names at the time such as Ballon D’or winner Fabio Cannavaro, Antonio Di Natalie and Alessandro Birindelli.
Birindelli origionally started his career as a right winger during his time at Empoli before dropping back into right back. It is with Empoli that Birirndelli would play almost 150 games, helping them get promoted back to back seasons from the Serie C1 to the Serie A.
The lifelong Juventus fan would eventually get his move to the star studded side that would bolster the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Edgar Davids, Allessandro Del Piero and Filipo Inzaghi. Birindelli would go on to win 3 Serie A titles and 3 Suppercoppa Italiana’s before Juventus’s relegation at the end of the 2005/06 season due to the Calciopoli match fixing scandal which saw Juventus, alongside Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina be deducted points and fined but it was only Juventus who were to be relegated to Serie B. Juventus were also stripped of their 04/05 Serie A title.
Juventus won the Serie B with a six point gap above Napoli even after being given a 9 point deduction at the start of the season. This is no surprise as a handful of their star players stayed to help lift the super club back from the ashes. Players such as Birindelli, Trezeguet, Buffon, Chiellini, Nedved and Del Peiro all stayed loyal with Del Piero winning the golden boot for the season.
Birindelli would leave Juventus in 2008 after spending 11 years in Turin and moving to Pisa for a season then eventually retiring after a season with Valle del Giovenco. His son Samuele Birindelli currently plays centre half for Pisa and has made over 130 appearances since is debut in 2016.
This jersey was Puma’s first take on the Italian National Team and have managed to keep supplying belters ever since. A plain kit that looks very elegant with the blue tone that Italy have used for years plus the badge on this jersey is probably personal favourite of mine and agree that it should be used more often. The three stars above the puma badge on the sleeve is also a nice added feature.