Italy's Foreign Stars of the 1980s and 1990s



Michel Platini and Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona and Michel Platini, 1987.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / IPP


The summer of 1966 had seen a landmark moment in Italian football - the elimination of the national team from the group stage of the World Cup by a footballing minnow, Pak Doo-ik's first half strike at Ayresome Park giving North Korea a sensational victory over the Azzurri. The FIGC (the Italian Football Federation) decided to act by permanently blocking the recruitment of foreign players by Italian clubs, a policy they'd temporarily put in place a year earlier. Only those foreign players already playing in Italy would be allowed to play in Serie A.

Fast forward 14 years to 1980 and the Totonero betting scandal was rocking Serie A and Serie B, and no Italian club had won the European Cup since Milan in 1969. To try and help reverse the general state of dissarray, the FIGC decided to abandon the ban on foreign players and allow Serie A clubs to sign one non-Italian footballer for the 1980-81 season, and then two players from 1982-83.

It was a move that would see Italy become the destination of choice for the majority of the world's top players, making Serie A the best league on the planet. Here's a look at the foreign players that each club turned to in their bid for Serie A and European glory…


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1980-81

Club Player
Ascoli crest Ascoli
Atalanta Atalanta
Avellino Avellino Juary
Bari Bari
Bologna crest Bologna Enéas
Brescia crest Brescia
Cagliari crest Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena
Como crest Como
Empoli crest Empoli
Cremonese crest Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Bertoni
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa
Inter Inter Herbert Prohaska
Juventus crest Juventus Liam Brady
Lazio crest Lazio
Lecce crest Lecce
Milan crest Milan
Napoli crest Napoli Ruud Krol
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia
Pescara crest Pescara Sergio Fortunato
Pisa crest Pisa
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Paulo Roberto Falcão
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria
Torino Crest Torino Michel van de Korput
Udinese crest Udinese Herbert Neumann
Hellas Verona crest Verona


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1981-82

Club Player
Ascoli crest Ascoli François Zahoui
Atalanta Atalanta
Avellino Avellino Juary
Bari Bari
Bologna crest Bologna Herbert Neumann
Brescia crest Brescia
Cagliari crest Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Walter Schachner
Como crest Como Dieter Mirnegg
Empoli crest Empoli
Cremonese crest Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Bertoni
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa René Vandereycken
Inter Inter Herbert Prohaska
Juventus crest Juventus Liam Brady
Lazio crest Lazio
Lecce crest Lecce
Milan crest Milan Joe Jordan
Napoli crest Napoli Ruud Krol
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Paulo Roberto Falcão
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria
Torino Crest Torino Michel van de Korput
Udinese crest Udinese Orlando Lelé
Hellas Verona crest Verona


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1982-83

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli crest Ascoli François Zahoui
Atalanta Atalanta
Avellino Avellino Gerónimo Barbadillo Søren Skov
Bari Bari
Bologna crest Bologna
Brescia crest Brescia
Cagliari crest Cagliari Julio Uribe Waldemar Victorino
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Walter Schachner
Como crest Como
Empoli crest Empoli
Cremonese crest Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Bertoni Daniel Passarella
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa René Vandereycken Jan Peters
Inter Inter Hansi Müller Juary
Juventus crest Juventus Michel Platini Zbigniew Boniek
Lazio crest Lazio
Lecce crest Lecce
Milan crest Milan Joe Jordan
Napoli crest Napoli Ruud Krol Ramón Díaz
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa Klaus Berggreen Jorge Caraballo
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Paulo Roberto Falcão Herbert Prohaska
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria Trevor Francis Liam Brady
Torino Crest Torino Michel van de Korput Patricio Hernández
Udinese crest Udinese Edinho Ivica Šurjak
Hellas Verona crest Verona Wladyslaw Zmuda Dirceu


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1983-84

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli crest Ascoli Juary Aleksandar Trifunovic
Atalanta Atalanta
Avellino Avellino Gerónimo Barbadillo Ramón Díaz
Bari Bari
Bologna crest Bologna
Brescia crest Brescia
Cagliari crest Cagliari Julio Uribe
Catania Catania Luvanor Pedrinho
Cesena Cesena
Como crest Como
Empoli crest Empoli
Cremonese crest Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Bertoni Daniel Passarella
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa Jan Peters Elói Eloia
Inter Inter Hansi Müller Ludo Coeck
Juventus crest Juventus Michel Platini Zbigniew Boniek
Lazio crest Lazio Batista Michael Laudrup
Lecce crest Lecce
Milan crest Milan Luther Blissett Eric Gerets
Napoli crest Napoli Ruud Krol Dirceu
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa Klaus Berggreen Wim Kieft
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Paulo Roberto Falcão Toninho Cerezo
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria Trevor Francis Liam Brady
Torino Crest Torino Patricio Hernández Walter Schachner
Udinese crest Udinese Edinho Zico
Hellas Verona crest Verona Wladyslaw Zmuda Joe Jordan


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1984-85

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli crest Ascoli Dirceu Patricio Hernández
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg Lars Larsson
Avellino Avellino Gerónimo Barbadillo Ramón Díaz
Bari Bari
Bologna crest Bologna
Brescia crest Brescia
Cagliari crest Cagliari Julio Uribe
Catania Catania Luvanor Pedrinho
Cesena Cesena
Como crest Como Dan Corneliusson Hansi Müller
Empoli crest Empoli Wladyslaw Zmuda Juary
Cremonese crest Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Passarella Sócrates
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa Jan Peters Elói Eloia
Inter Inter Liam Brady Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Juventus crest Juventus Michel Platini Zbigniew Boniek
Lazio crest Lazio Batista Michael Laudrup
Lecce crest Lecce
Milan crest Milan Ray Wilkins Mark Hateley
Napoli crest Napoli Diego Maradona Daniel Bertoni
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa Klaus Berggreen Wim Kieft
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Paulo Roberto Falcão Toninho Cerezo
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria Trevor Francis Graeme Souness
Torino Crest Torino Walter Schachner Júnior
Udinese crest Udinese Edinho Zico
Hellas Verona crest Verona Preben Elkjær Hans-Peter Briegel


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1985-86

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli crest Ascoli Aleksandar Trifunovic
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg Jan Peters
Avellino Avellino Ramón Díaz Batista
Bari Bari Gordon Cowans Paul Rideout
Bologna crest Bologna
Brescia crest Brescia
Cagliari crest Cagliari
Catania Catania Luvanor Pedrinho
Cesena Cesena
Como crest Como Dan Corneliusson Dirceu
Empoli crest Empoli Wladyslaw Zmuda
Cremonese crest Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Passarella
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa
Inter Inter Liam Brady Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Juventus crest Juventus Michel Platini Michael Laudrup
Lazio crest Lazio
Lecce crest Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas
Milan crest Milan Ray Wilkins Mark Hateley
Napoli crest Napoli Diego Maradona Daniel Bertoni
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa Klaus Berggreen Wim Kieft
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Toninho Cerezo Zbigniew Boniek
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria Trevor Francis Graeme Souness
Torino Crest Torino Walter Schachner Júnior
Udinese crest Udinese Edinho Gerónimo Barbadillo
Hellas Verona crest Verona Preben Elkjær Hans-Peter Briegel


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1986-87

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli crest Ascoli Aleksandar Trifunovic Liam Brady
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg Trevor Francis
Avellino Avellino Walter Schachner Dirceu
Bari Bari Gordon Cowans Paul Rideout
Bologna crest Bologna
Brescia crest Brescia Branco
Cagliari crest Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena
Como crest Como Dan Corneliusson
Empoli crest Empoli Wladyslaw Zmuda
Cremonese crest Cremonese Johnny Ekström
Fiorentina Fiorentina Ramón Díaz
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa
Inter Inter Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Daniel Passarella
Juventus crest Juventus Michel Platini Michael Laudrup
Lazio crest Lazio
Lecce crest Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas
Milan crest Milan Ray Wilkins Mark Hateley
Napoli crest Napoli Diego Maradona
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Zbigniew Boniek Klaus Berggreen
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria Toninho Cerezo Hans-Peter Briegel
Torino Crest Torino Júnior Wim Kieft
Udinese crest Udinese Edinho Daniel Bertoni
Hellas Verona crest Verona Preben Elkjær


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1987-88

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli crest Ascoli Walter Casagrande Hugo Maradona
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg
Avellino Avellino Walter Schachner Nikos Anastopoulos
Bari Bari Gordon Cowans Paul Rideout
Bologna crest Bologna
Brescia crest Brescia Branco
Cagliari crest Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Davor Jozic
Como crest Como Dan Corneliusson Claudio Borghi
Empoli crest Empoli
Cremonese crest Cremonese Johnny Ekström Davor Cop
Fiorentina Fiorentina Ramón Díaz Glenn Hysén
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa
Inter Inter Daniel Passarella Enzo Scifo
Juventus crest Juventus Michael Laudrup Ian Rush
Lazio crest Lazio Fabio Nigro
Lecce crest Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas
Milan crest Milan Ruud Gullit Marco van Basten
Napoli crest Napoli Diego Maradona Careca
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia Júnior Blaž Sliškovic
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa Paul Elliott Dunga
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Zbigniew Boniek Rudi Völler
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria Toninho Cerezo Hans-Peter Briegel
Torino Crest Torino Toni Polster Klaus Berggreen
Udinese crest Udinese
Hellas Verona crest Verona Preben Elkjær Thomas Berthold


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1988-89

Club Player 1 Player 2 Player 3
Ascoli crest Ascoli Walter Casagrande Mustafa Arslanovic Borislav Cvetkovic
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg Evair Robert Prytz
Avellino Avellino
Bari Bari
Bologna crest Bologna Stéphane Demol Hugo Rubio Mika Aaltonen
Brescia crest Brescia
Cagliari crest Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Davor Jozic Hans Holmqvist
Como crest Como Dan Corneliusson Milton
Empoli crest Empoli
Cremonese crest Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Glenn Hysén Dunga Diego Aguirre
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa
Inter Inter Lothar Matthäus Andreas Brehme Ramón Díaz
Juventus crest Juventus Michael Laudrup Oleksandr Zavarov Rui Barros
Lazio crest Lazio Rubén Sosa Nelson Gutiérrez Gustavo Dezotti
Lecce crest Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas István Vincze
Milan crest Milan Ruud Gullit Marco van Basten Frank Rijkaard
Napoli crest Napoli Diego Maradona Careca Alemão
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia Júnior Edmar Tita
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa Paul Elliott Mario Been Francis Severeyns
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Rudi Völler Renato Gaúcho Andrade
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria Toninho Cerezo Víctor Muñoz
Torino Crest Torino Müller Haris Škoro Edu Marangon
Udinese crest Udinese
Hellas Verona crest Verona Thomas Berthold Claudio Caniggia Pedro Troglio


ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1989-90

Club Player 1 Player 2 Player 3
Ascoli crest Ascoli Walter Casagrande Mustafa Arslanovic Borislav Cvetkovic
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg Evair Claudio Caniggia
Avellino Avellino
Bari Bari Gérson Caçapa João Paulo Néstor Lorenzo
Bologna crest Bologna Nikolay Iliev Herbert Waas Geovani Silva
Brescia crest Brescia
Cagliari crest Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Davor Jozic Hans Holmqvist Vladislav Ðukic
Como crest Como Milton
Empoli crest Empoli Gustavo Neffa Gustavo Dezotti Anders Limpar
Cremonese crest Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Dunga Luboš Kubík Oscar Dertycia
Foggia Foggia
Genoa crest Genoa Carlos Aguilera Rubén Paz José Perdomo
Inter Inter Lothar Matthäus Andreas Brehme Jürgen Klinsmann
Juventus crest Juventus Oleksandr Zavarov Rui Barros Sergei Aleinikov
Lazio crest Lazio Rubén Sosa Pedro Troglio Amarildo
Lecce crest Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas István Vincze
Milan crest Milan Ruud Gullit Marco van Basten Frank Rijkaard
Napoli crest Napoli Diego Maradona Careca Alemão
Parma crest Parma
Perugia crest Perugia Edmar
Pescara crest Pescara
Pisa crest Pisa Mario Been
Reggiana Reggiana
Roma crest Roma Rudi Völler Thomas Berthold
Sampdoria crest Sampdoria Toninho Cerezo Víctor Muñoz Srecko Katanec
Torino Crest Torino Müller Haris Škoro
Udinese crest Udinese Néstor Sensini Abel Balbo Ricardo Gallego
Hellas Verona crest Verona Nelson Gutiérrez Robert Prytz Víctor Sotomayor