A family derby

Cevenini Brothers SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.38 / 110

It was 26th December 1920. It was time for celebration and the giving of presents in Milan but it was also time for the derby. U.S Milanese were playing against Inter. When looking at the Nerazzurri’s team, the fans thought they were seeing things with a sense of déjà vu that repeated itself five times. Luigi, Aldo, Mario, Cesare and Carlo Cevenini were all on the pitch at the same time. A dynasty of footballing brothers like the Sentimenti brothers who would follow later, they set a record for the number of siblings on one team in the same match that is yet to be matched. The record books tell us that Inter won that match 2-1, with goals from Lugi and Carlo.

Out of all five brothers, one stood out in particular. Luigi or ‘Zizi’ had that air of maverick genius. He had a hot head, two good feet and extraordinary sense of where the goal was. His awareness of his own ability often saw him act out against his own teammates who felt weren’t capable of keeping up and he often did so in an ungentlemanly fashion. Osvaldo Aliatis knew this well after he was given a slap in front of everyone after misplacing a pass.

He went out everywhere onto the pitch with a cigarette but he dribbled round entire teams, scoring and setting up fantastic goals.

The middle brother, Luigi was in an uncomfortable role where he had to adapt to things by himself and he managed it. Especially out on the pitch. His erratic behaviour on and off the pitch became a must-see in the 1920s. Like how ahead of a derby he disappeared from the city of Milan. The truth came out two weeks later. Luigi had been in England for trials with the inventors of football. Perhaps they were the only ones worthy of his talent. Perhaps.

Cevenini Brothers

Luigi Cevenini (Milan, 13 March 1895 – Masano di Villa Guardia, 23 July 1968) was the third of three brothers. For the Nerazzurri, he played between 1912 and 1915, 1919 and 1921, 1922 and 1927 scoring 158 in 190 appearances. With Inter, he won the league in the 1919-1920 season. He represented Italy 29 times and scored eleven times.