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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Mauro Tassotti

Mauro Tassotti was born in Rome, on January 19, 1960.


He spent his whole youth career at Lazio and joined the first team in the 1977-78 season but without getting any games.


His debut came on November 5, 1978 in an away game at Ascoli. He showed promise and at 18 years old made 14 league appearances that season plus 1 in Coppa Italia.


It was in the 1978-79 season that Tassotti became first choice full-back at Lazio. He played 27 league games and 5 in Coppa Italia. He had a good season as a strong, tenacious man to man marker. He played a total of 47 appearances for Lazio, 41 in Serie A.


In July 1980 Tassotti signed for Milan. In his first season Milan were in Serie B due to the "Calcio Scommesse" (betting scandal), Tassotti played 33 games and the Rossoneri won promotion.


Over the next 15 seasons (one more in serie B, 1982-83) Tassotti would be the regular first choice right full-back, with his number 2 shirt. He played under Liedholm, Sacchi and Capello and won everything there was to win at club level. He formed one of the greatest defensive line-ups of all time alongside Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Alessandro "Billy" Costacurta.


He played a total of 363 games for Milan in Serie A (8 goals), 65 in Serie B, 75 in Coppa Italia (1 goal), 44 in Champions League (one goal), 13 in the UEFA Cup, 5 in Mitropa Cup, 5 in Super Coppa, 4 in UEFA Super Cup, 4 in Intercontinental Cup and 2 in the Torneo Estivo of 1986. A grand total of 583 appearances for the Rossoneri.


At A.C Milan he won 5 scudetti, 3 Champions Leagues (one as captain), 3 UEFA Super Cups, 2 Intercontinental Cups, 4 Italian Supercoppa's and 2 Serie B championships.


At International level he did not make his debut until the age of 32, under former Milan manager Arrigo Sacchi. He participated in the 1994 World Cup in the United States but was banned for 8 games after the quarter-final, when he elbowed and broke Luis Enrique of Spain's nose. His instinctive gesture was not seen by the referee but pre-VAR it was reviewed by FIFA officials after the game. Tassotti never played internationally again. He had made 7 appearances for Italy adding to his 10 caps for the Under 21's.


After retiring in 1997 he undertook a coaching career. He started in the Milan youth sector until 2001. He remained for the next 19 years in various positions; caretaker coach with Cesare Maldini (2001) and then as assistant manager (2001-2015) with Fatih Terim, Carlo Ancelotti, Leonardo, Massimiliano Allegri, Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi. With Allegri (a scudetto) and in particular with Carlo Ancelotti he would win more silverware (including a scudetto and 2 Champions Leagues). He then also worked as a talent scout for a year (2015-16) before terminating his 36- year career with the club.


In 2016 he became assistant coach for the Ukraine national team under another Milan legend, Andriy Shevchenko. He stayed for 5 years and in 2021 was assistant coach at Genoa in Serie A.


Tassotti at Lazio was a hard and physical right full-back ideal for man to man marking. At Milan initially under the expert guidance of Swede Nils Liedholm he refined his skills and was even compared to Djalma Santos (legendary classy Brazilian full-back). With Arrigo Sacchi he adapted and flourished with the zonal marking system. Tassotti kept his tenacious tackling and defensive abilities but combined with positional sense and tactical awareness made him one of the best defenders of his generation. His physical strength in particular enabled him to cover ground quickly, with Milan playing a high defensive line and the offside trap. He developed into a modern full-back capable of defending and attacking. He was able to attack, dribble and provide accurate crosses and assists from the right wing.


He became known as "The Professor" for his composure and consistency. Another nickname was "Il Tasso" (The badger). He certainly had an incredibly successful club career.


Lazio formed and groomed Tassotti and Lazio fans took pride in his achievements. He was always considered a Lazio boy who had gone on to greater things but remained the Lazio fan from San Basilio, a peripheral and difficult area of Rome.


Appearances for Lazio

Season

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1978-79

15

14

1

1979-80

32

27

5

Total

47

41

6

Sources:



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