Tuesday 10 March 2020, 12:02

Pozzo prepares Azzurri push

  • ​Vittorio Pozzo is the only man to have won two World Cups as coach

  • Guided Italy to victories at 1934 and 1938

  • First of those triumphs took place today in 1934

He was known as ‘Il Vecchio Maestro’ (The Old Master), and for good reason.

Vittorio Pozzo remains to this day the only man to have won two FIFA World Cups™ as coach, and 1934 was his first.

This image shows the veteran coach (far left) readying his players for extra time in that edition’s Final against Czechoslovakia, with the score locked at 1-1.

Hosts Italy had been nine minutes away from a shock defeat when Raimundo Orsi’s equaliser, along with a late tactical switch by Pozzo, gave them the initiative.

The former journalist pulled the great Giuseppe Meazza into a more withdrawn role, shifting Angelo Schiavio to centre-forward, and the change paid off five minutes into extra time when the latter guided home a dramatic winner.

The goal settled a gruelling Final played out in temperatures of over 40ºC, leaving their coach to attribute Italy's triumph to “hard work, moral steadfastness, a spirit of self-sacrifice and the unshakeable desire of a group of men”.

Those same qualities would, of course, be in evidence again four years later, when Pozzo and Gli Azzurri made history by retaining the Trophy in France.