Happy birthday to… Fabrizio Ravanelli

Italian football legend Fabrizio Ravanelli celebrates his 55th birthday today, remembering a career that involved nothing less than pushing beyond his own limitations to forge crucial moments in football history, such as the memorable goal in the Champions League final between Juventus and Ajax.

During his early years, following the move from Reggio Emilia to Turin, Ravanelli was often perceived as less technically skilled than he actually was. His performance reached its peak when placed in an environment that underscored his competitive spirit, determination, and commitment. A perfect exemplification of this came when Marcello Lippi shaped Juventus in a manner reflecting Ravanelli’s qualities. The synergy created between him and the squad was so powerful that the resemblance between the two was uncanny.

It was during a magical match at the Olimpico when Ravanelli, also known as Penna Bianca, snapped the ball from Van der Sar and scored in a manner that only he could have executed. However, he ended up disagreeing with the coach who replaced him, preventing him from becoming a complete hero.

Ravanelli was subsequently sent to England, but when he reflects upon his time at Juventus, not a trace of bitterness can be found. His candid demeanor, akin to when he raced across the field, makes his current role as a pundit intriguing and worthy of acknowledgment.

In the past, Ravanelli has been open about his allegiance, expressing a realistic perspective regardless of his sentimental bias. His assessment of Inter’s impressive performance earlier this season clearly showed this when he commented to Sportmediaset, “As a Juventus fan, this Inter scares me. They have significantly grown their self-confidence.”

As for Juventus’ prospects, in an interview with Corriere della Sera, Ravanelli rated them among the top four but not as contenders for the title. This view aligns with that of many others, including Massimiliano Allegri. Ravanelli praised Allegri for having a clutch of top-quality players, arguing that Juventus could have a terrific season. Yet, in term of the title, he pointed towards Napoli and Inter as the favorites.

Among his interesting views, Ravanelli voiced on SkySport last year that Rafa Leao, one of the most debated players in Italy, resembles the great Attilio Lombardo in his style of play. In addition, he advised Scamacca to take up the opportunity of a move to Paris Saint-Germain when it was offered, praising the club’s ability to nurture top talent.

Ravanelli also expressed his fondness for France, where he spent a significant part of his career. In an interview with Le Phoceen, he revealed his desire to become the sporting director for Marseille, the city that holds a special place in his heart as his son’s birthplace. His potential partnership with Rino Gattuso could potentially serve as an exceptional representation of true Italian influence abroad.

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