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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Virgilio Felice Levratto

Virgilio Felice Levratto is a mythical figure in the Italian football world. His shot was so powerful that he often broke the goal and he was nicknamed Sfondareti (goal breaker).


Source Lazio Wiki

Born on October 26 1904 at Carcare near Savona, Levratto started playing football at a very young age for Savoja Vado Ligure first and then for Lampos Vado Ligure. He was  very well-known locally and news of this incredibly powerful youngster obviously arrived to Nicolò Campetta, president of Football Club Vado. At 14 Virgilio Felice signed his first semi-professional contract. It was 1918, the first World War was over and the national football competitions returned after the war break. Vado were in the Third Division.


In 1922 Vado played the first Coppa Italia and they reached the final against Udinese, which was played on July 16, 1922 at Vado. The match ended goalless so they continued playing. The first to score would win the Cup but only until sundown. If it was still goalless the match would be repeated in Udine. Udinese decided to go for the draw, but Levratto got the ball, dribbled past two defenders and then gave the ball an almighty whack, that not only finished in the top hand corner but was so powerful that it broke the net. A legend had just been created.


Despite playing in the Second Division, he was called by Vittorio Pozzo to play in the Olympic Games of 1924 in Paris. In the game against Luxemburg, one of his shots hit the goalkeeper, Etienne Bauch, in the face. He started bleeding from the mouth. The shot had caused a deep cut to the goalkeeper’s tongue. The medics managed to stitch it together and Bauch went back in goal. Shortly after Bauch was faced by Levratto yet again. What should he do? Be brave or run away? He chose the second option and Levratto, taking pity on the poor chap, deliberately kicked the ball wide.


He left Vado in 1924 and moved to Verona. After a year he was back in Liguria and played for Genoa 1893. He stayed with the Rossoblu for seven seasons with 188 appearances and 84 goals. In 1932 he signed for Ambrosiana Inter and in 1934 he moved to Rome to play for Lazio. He stayed two years with Lazio playing alongside Silvio Piola. He made 53 appearances and scored 9 goals.


He then ended his career with Savona where he played his final years and helped them win the Serie C championship in 1939-40.


He played 28 games for Italy with 11 goals, winning a bronze medal in the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam.


When he finished playing, he became a manager and coached, among others, Savona, Messina and Lecce. He was assistant to Fulvio Bernardini at Fiorentina from 1953 to 1958 and won the scudetto in 1955-56.


In 1959 he became the protagonist of an Italian song. A famous popular quartet in Italy, Quartetto Cetra, got to know him and wrote a song about an imaginary player, named Spartaco, who was so good, he was better than Levratto.



Levratto died in Genoa on June 30, 1968. He was a mythical player and despite the fact that he did not really win much, he became a legend that still lives on today.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1934-35

23 (4)

23 (4)

-

1935-36

30 (5)

27 (4)

3 (1)

Total

53 (9)

50 (8)

3 (1)

Sources





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