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Unsung heroes are players who never really get what they deserve from praise to awards. Some of them actually play a fundamental role in a side, but their work is never recognised. One of these players is Mauro Tassotti.
Many football fans around won’t recognise the name; others will remember him for his vicious elbow on Luis Enrique in the 1994 World Cup that broke the Barca legend’s nose and which handed the AC Milan hardman an 8 match ban by FIFA. This no-nonsense right-back was part of the Milan back four that helped them conquer the world under Arrigo Sacchi. Along with Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta, he would help Milan achieve back-to-back European Cups.
Due to Tassotti’s playing style and class he was nicknamed ‘Djalma Santos’ after the legendary Brazilian right-back (who will certainly feature in this series). Despite the Roman’s tremendous performances for the Rossoneri, Tassotti earned his first international call-up under former boss Arrigo Sacchi aged 32. Without a shadow of a doubt, the AC Milan faithful regard Tassotti as an instrumental figure of the side that thrashed Real Madrid 6-1 on aggregate, the side that cruised past Steaua Bucuresti 4-0 in the final.
Tassotti’s playing career for Milan lasted 17 years in which he won 3 European Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 5 Scudettos, 3 Intercontinental Cups and 3 Supercoppas. With a career packed with honours for the red side of Milan, Tassotti hasn’t forgotten the team in which he flourished in, and has been in the backroom staff at Milan since 2001.
No forward would want to come up against this man. A fantastic defensive right-back who was also good going forward, Tassotti is certainly not an ordinary player, he is a true great.
Written by Ahmed Assem
Follow Ahmed on Twitter @AhmedAssem97
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