A painful joy

Graziano Bini SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.3 / 110

There are certain goals that live long in the memory. Goals that may seem useless in terms of the result, but they still remain embedded in a fan’s mind for years and years, if not forever. That was the case with the spectacular goal scored by Graziano Bini against Real Madrid in the semi-final of the 1981 European Cup. The tie itself was tough, with an undeserved 2-0 defeat at the Bernabeu ultimately too much for Inter to overcome in the return leg, a 1-0 win not enough to reach the final. “We missed Oriali in the first leg,” said Bini. “He would have been marking Uli Stielike. I am convinced that we would have progressed with Lele and then beaten Liverpool in the final.”

Graziano Bini’s career at Inter saw the player overcome a number of tough obstacles as he kept proving himself. He was signed after trying out successfully in front of Helenio Herrera, soon making his debut as a 17-year-old under Invernizzi in 1972. However, he struggled to find space within the side, with the iconic Facchetti sitting firmly above him in the defensive pecking order. His stature (1.88m) and characteristics ensured that he was the chosen heir to Giacinto, although at first securing a starting role seemed impossible. This was the case until the arrival of Eugenio Bersellini. The ‘Iron Sergeant’ decided to gamble on the player and this soon paid off. From 1977 to 1982, he enjoyed a great spell as he won the 1980 Scudetto and then also the Coppa Italia in both 1978 and 1982, the first settled thanks to a goal from Bini himself.

For three years I addressed Facchetti, Mazzola and Boninsegna all formally, and at no point did they ever tell me not to. However, they were right to do so because it was a form of maximum respect.

As a true old-fashioned sweeper, he departed Inter after 14 seasons in Serie A, notably struggling with a number of successive injuries towards the end, one of which was linked to his foot. Enjoying a decorated and long Nerazzurri career, Bini will forever be remembered thanks to that goal.

Graziano Bini

Following a brief stint with Cremonese early on, Graziano bini made his Nerazzurri debut at the age of 17. Wearing the captain’s armband, he won the Scudetto and two Coppa Italia trophies. He also took part in the 1981 Mundialito for clubs, scoring twice. During the 1985-86 season, he moved to Genoa where he spent his final two seasons as a player in Serie B.