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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Silvano Martina

Silvano Martina was born in Sarajevo from an Italian family. At the age of one his family left Yugoslavia and went back to Italy and he began playing football.

Silvano Martina is first from left standing. Source Wikipedia

Between 1972-74 he was Inter’s third goalkeeper and he debuted in Serie A on May 6, 1973 in the match won against Palermo 3-1. In order to get some playing time he was loaned to Sambenedettese in Serie B where he made 12 appearances. The next year he was at Varese, still in Serie B and he played the whole season. The team missed out on promotion by just one point. In 1976-77 he went back to Inter as back up goalkeeper for Ivano Bordon but played just one game for the Nerazzurri in Coppa Italia. In 1977-78 he was loaned to Brescia but even here he was the number 12 and played very little. The year after he signed for Genoa in Serie B but never played, so for the next season he was loaned to Varese in Serie C1. Here he played the entire year and contributed to Varese’s return to Serie B. Back at Genoa for 1980-81 he finally became the team’s main goalkeeper and in four years made 125 appearances, achieving a promotion to Serie A in his first year.

On November 22, 1981, he was the protagonist of the Giancarlo Antognoni accident. Playing in Florence, there was a long cross into the box for the Fiorentina captain. As he was going for the ball, Martina came out of his goal to face him and tried to get to the ball first but de facto kneed Antognoni in the head. He fractured his skull in two places and his heart stopped beating for about 30 seconds. Fortunately, the Genoa team doctor was able to untwist Antognoni’s tongue and give him CPR via chest compression and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He was in a coma for two days and then gradually recovered.

In 1984 Martina signed for Torino. He stayed three seasons in Turin. In his first Torino arrived second but in the next manager Gigi Radice preferred Renato Copparoni and in his third he was relegated to third goalkeeper.

In 1987 he signed for Lazio. The Biancocelesti had just survived the -9 season and were confident that promotion was the next step. Martina was reunited with his old manager from the Varese years, Eugenio Fascetti. Lazio conquered promotion in the last game, after three very dramatic years. In Serie A Lazio then managed to avoid relegation in the last game. Martina was the main goalkeeper for most of the season but towards the end he was substituted by Valerio Fiori.

He went back to Torino in 1989 and was second goalkeeper behind Luca Marchegiani. Torino won the Serie B Championship and Martina hence reached the fourth promotion of his career. The fifth came a year later with Verona in Serie B but he only played one game in Coppa Italia. He then retired.

Once he stopped playing, he became a sports agent and among his clients are Gianluigi Buffon and Edin Dzeko. Back in his Yugoslavian days he was best friends with Dzeko’s father.

Martina was a very reliable goalkeeper and despite the fact that he is remembered for the Antognoni accident, he gave a good contribution to the Lazio cause and helped clinch Serie A after three long, tough years.

Lazio Career


Total appearances

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia


















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