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

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1981-82

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

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1982-83

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli Ascoli François Zahoui
Atalanta Atalanta
Avellino Avellino Gerónimo Barbadillo Søren Skov
Bari Bari
Bologna Bologna
Brescia Brescia
Cagliari Cagliari Julio Uribe Waldemar Victorino
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Walter Schachner
Como Como
Empoli Empoli
Cremonese Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Bertoni Daniel Passarella
Foggia Foggia
Genoa Genoa René Vandereycken Jan Peters
Inter Inter Hansi Müller Juary
Juventus Juventus Michel Platini Zbigniew Boniek
Lazio Lazio
Lecce Lecce
Milan Milan Joe Jordan
Napoli Napoli Ruud Krol Ramón Díaz
Parma Parma
Perugia Perugia
Pescara Pescara
Pisa 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 Udinese Edinho Ivica Šurjak
Verona Verona Wladyslaw Zmuda Dirceu

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1983-84

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli Ascoli Juary Aleksandar Trifunovic
Atalanta Atalanta
Avellino Avellino Gerónimo Barbadillo Ramón Díaz
Bari Bari
Bologna Bologna
Brescia Brescia
Cagliari Cagliari Julio Uribe
Catania Catania Luvanor Pedrinho
Cesena Cesena
Como Como
Empoli Empoli
Cremonese Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Bertoni Daniel Passarella
Foggia Foggia
Genoa Genoa Jan Peters Elói Eloia
Inter Inter Hansi Müller Ludo Coeck
Juventus Juventus Michel Platini Zbigniew Boniek
Lazio Lazio Batista Michael Laudrup
Lecce Lecce
Milan Milan Luther Blissett Eric Gerets
Napoli Napoli Ruud Krol Dirceu
Parma Parma
Perugia Perugia
Pescara Pescara
Pisa 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 Udinese Edinho Zico
Verona Verona Wladyslaw Zmuda Joe Jordan

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1984-85

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli Ascoli Dirceu Patricio Hernández
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg Lars Larsson
Avellino Avellino Gerónimo Barbadillo Ramón Díaz
Bari Bari
Bologna Bologna
Brescia Brescia
Cagliari Cagliari Julio Uribe
Catania Catania Luvanor Pedrinho
Cesena Cesena
Como Como Dan Corneliusson Hansi Müller
Empoli Empoli Wladyslaw Zmuda Juary
Cremonese Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Passarella Sócrates
Foggia Foggia
Genoa Genoa Jan Peters Elói Eloia
Inter Inter Liam Brady Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Juventus Juventus Michel Platini Zbigniew Boniek
Lazio Lazio Batista Michael Laudrup
Lecce Lecce
Milan Milan Ray Wilkins Mark Hateley
Napoli Napoli Diego Maradona Daniel Bertoni
Parma Parma
Perugia Perugia
Pescara Pescara
Pisa 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 Udinese Edinho Zico
Verona Verona Preben Elkjær Hans-Peter Briegel

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1985-86

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli Ascoli Aleksandar Trifunovic
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg Jan Peters
Avellino Avellino Ramón Díaz Batista
Bari Bari Gordon Cowans Paul Rideout
Bologna Bologna
Brescia Brescia
Cagliari Cagliari
Catania Catania Luvanor Pedrinho
Cesena Cesena
Como Como Dan Corneliusson Dirceu
Empoli Empoli Wladyslaw Zmuda
Cremonese Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Daniel Passarella
Foggia Foggia
Genoa Genoa
Inter Inter Liam Brady Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Juventus Juventus Michel Platini Michael Laudrup
Lazio Lazio
Lecce Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas
Milan Milan Ray Wilkins Mark Hateley
Napoli Napoli Diego Maradona Daniel Bertoni
Parma Parma
Perugia Perugia
Pescara Pescara
Pisa 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 Udinese Edinho Gerónimo Barbadillo
Verona Verona Preben Elkjær Hans-Peter Briegel

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1986-87

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

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1987-88

Club Player 1 Player 2
Ascoli Ascoli Walter Casagrande Hugo Maradona
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg
Avellino Avellino Walter Schachner Nikos Anastopoulos
Bari Bari Gordon Cowans Paul Rideout
Bologna Bologna
Brescia Brescia Branco
Cagliari Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Davor Jozic
Como Como Dan Corneliusson Claudio Borghi
Empoli Empoli
Cremonese Cremonese Johnny Ekström Davor Cop
Fiorentina Fiorentina Ramón Díaz Glenn Hysén
Foggia Foggia
Genoa Genoa
Inter Inter Daniel Passarella Enzo Scifo
Juventus Juventus Michael Laudrup Ian Rush
Lazio Lazio Fabio Nigro
Lecce Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas
Milan Milan Ruud Gullit Marco van Basten
Napoli Napoli Diego Maradona Careca
Parma Parma
Perugia Perugia Júnior Blaž Sliškovic
Pescara Pescara
Pisa 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 Udinese
Verona Verona Preben Elkjær Thomas Berthold

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1988-89

Club Player 1 Player 2 Player 3
Ascoli Ascoli Walter Casagrande Mustafa Arslanovic Borislav Cvetkovic
Atalanta Atalanta Glenn Strömberg Evair Robert Prytz
Avellino Avellino
Bari Bari
Bologna Bologna Stéphane Demol Hugo Rubio Mika Aaltonen
Brescia Brescia
Cagliari Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Davor Jozic Hans Holmqvist
Como Como Dan Corneliusson Milton
Empoli Empoli
Cremonese Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Glenn Hysén Dunga Diego Aguirre
Foggia Foggia
Genoa Genoa
Inter Inter Lothar Matthäus Andreas Brehme Ramón Díaz
Juventus Juventus Michael Laudrup Oleksandr Zavarov Rui Barros
Lazio Lazio Rubén Sosa Nelson Gutiérrez Gustavo Dezotti
Lecce Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas István Vincze
Milan Milan Ruud Gullit Marco van Basten Frank Rijkaard
Napoli Napoli Diego Maradona Careca Alemão
Parma Parma
Perugia Perugia Júnior Edmar Tita
Pescara Pescara
Pisa 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 Udinese
Verona Verona Thomas Berthold Claudio Caniggia Pedro Troglio

ITALY'S FOREIGN PLAYERS 1989-90

Club Player 1 Player 2 Player 3
Ascoli 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 Bologna Nikolay Iliev Herbert Waas Geovani Silva
Brescia Brescia
Cagliari Cagliari
Catania Catania
Cesena Cesena Davor Jozic Hans Holmqvist Vladislav Ðukic
Como Como Milton
Empoli Empoli Gustavo Neffa Gustavo Dezotti Anders Limpar
Cremonese Cremonese
Fiorentina Fiorentina Dunga Luboš Kubík Oscar Dertycia
Foggia Foggia
Genoa Genoa Carlos Aguilera Rubén Paz José Perdomo
Inter Inter Lothar Matthäus Andreas Brehme Jürgen Klinsmann
Juventus Juventus Oleksandr Zavarov Rui Barros Sergei Aleinikov
Lazio Lazio Rubén Sosa Pedro Troglio Amarildo
Lecce Lecce Pedro Pasculli Juan Barbas István Vincze
Milan Milan Ruud Gullit Marco van Basten Frank Rijkaard
Napoli Napoli Diego Maradona Careca Alemão
Parma Parma
Perugia Perugia Edmar
Pescara Pescara
Pisa 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 Udinese Néstor Sensini Abel Balbo Ricardo Gallego
Verona Verona Nelson Gutiérrez Robert Prytz Víctor Sotomayor








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