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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Luigi Polentes

Updated: Aug 15, 2023


Luigi Polentes was born in San Giacomo di Veglia (Treviso), October 12, 1944.


At 15 Polentes started playing for his local team San Giacomo. He then almost immediately joined nearby Vittorio Veneto in Serie C. He played for the Rossoblú for three years. In his last year they were relegated to Serie D and after 90 appearances Polentes moved on.


In 1965 he joined Empoli in Serie C. He played for the Tuscan Azzurri for two seasons making 65 appearances.


In 1967 he moved to Perugia, newly promoted to Serie B. He stayed with the Grifoni ("The Griffins") for two seasons playing 83 games.


In 1969 came the big step up to Lazio in Serie A. In his first year in Rome he played 18 matches and scored his first professional goal, away against Verona. Lazio had a good season and finished eighth.


The following year Lazio ran into problems and were relegated. Polentes again played 18 games in Serie A plus 2 in Coppa Italia. But he did win the Cup of the Alps and played in every single match of the tournament.


In the 1971-72 season Lazio bounced straight back up to Serie A. The Biancocelesti won promotion under new manager Tommaso Maestrelli and Polentes played 28 league games, plus 3 in Coppa Italia.


The 1972-73 season saw Lazio as a protagonist in Serie A, going close to winning the title, but ending up third, only two points behind champions Juventus. Polentes played less regularly making only 7 league appearances and 1 in Coppa Italia, this was mainly due to the rise of local defender Giancarlo Oddi.


In 1973-74 Lazio became Italian champions. Maestrelli's crazy gang had a fantastic season winning the scudetto ahead of Juventus. Polentes gave his contribution playing 9 times in the league plus 4 in Coppa Italia.


The year after, the Biancocelesti were unable to repeat themselves but were a solid 4th, gaining a UEFA place. Maestrelli started to suffer from a serious illness and the team's performances were negatively affected. Polentes played 12 games in Serie A, plus 1 in Coppa Italia.


The 1975-76 season was again influenced by Maestrelli's failing health and also by the fact that talisman "Long John " Chinaglia had left to play for New York Cosmos. Lazio got involved in the relegation battle but managed to stay up. Polentes played 18 times in Serie A and 2 games in Coppa Italia.


The 1976-77 season would be Polentes' last for Lazio. The Biancocelesti, under manager Luís Vinicio, had a better season and came 5th, qualifying for the UEFA Cup. Polentes however only played one game in Serie A. In the summer of 1977 he decided to move on. He had made a highly respectable 144 appearances for Lazio and scored one goal.


In 1977-78 he played for Modena in Serie B. He played 28 games for the Canarini ("The Canaries") but the Gialloblu were relegated to Serie C.


Polentes then returned to Vittorio Veneto near home and played two more years at regional level.


At this point, at 36 years of age, Polentes decided it was enough and called it a day.


After retiring he stayed in his local area and went into the wine business. He became a winegrower in San Martino di Colle Umberto near Treviso. His wines gained a good reputation in the trade. He also kept his connections with local club Vittorio Veneto becoming president of the former players association. He was also active in social and voluntary work.


Polentes was a tough and physically strong defender. He could play both at full-back and at centre-back. He was what Italians call "roccioso" meaning made of stone. He was extremely fit and strong and no doubt not a pleasure to be marked by. He had the peak of his career at Lazio with the incredible added satisfaction of becoming Italian champion. His name is not reeled off in the historic starting eleven but he is remembered as part of that bizarre group of characters that gave Lazio fans the ultimate joy of the 1974 scudetto. Polentes certainly gave an important contribution.


Luigi Polentes died on April 21, 2011, in Vittorio Veneto.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Mitropa Cup

Fairs Cup

Anglo Italian Cup

Cup of the Alps

1969-70

24 (1)

18 (1)

-

-

-

1

-

2

3

1970-71

26

18

-

2

-

-

1

5

1971-72

31

-

28

3

-

-

-

1972-73

9

7

-

1

-

-

-

1

1973-74

13

9

-

4

-

-

-

1974-75

13

12

-

1

-

-

-

1975-76

27

18

-

7

2

-

-

1976-77

1

1

-

-

-

-

-

Total

144 (1)

83 (1)

28

18

2

1

1

3

8

Source


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