25.09.13 / 01:16

Who was Arpad Weisz?

With him, Inter won the first Scudetto of Italy's single-table competition

MILAN - The Arena di Milano is an historic site for Inter and most of all for him, the first to coach in a tracksuit and to go out onto the pitch with his players: Arpad Weisz, who in the 1929/30 season won the first Scudetto in a single-table Serie A. A coach truly ahead of his time.

On Thursday, the Allievi youth sides of Inter, AC Milan and Bologna will take to the pitch in the first edition of the three-team tournament organised by the City of Milan, together with the City of Bologna, the organisation 'W il Calcio' [Up with Football], and numerous other figures from government and trade unions.

Who was Arpad? A Hungarian-born Jew and a player who had already seen the world by the 1930s. Milan managed to lure him into his second career as a coach. He was methodical, well versed in tactics and very young in an era in which it was a job for much more experienced men. And he was someone in love with the sport.

Arpad Weisz’s second career was a brilliant and victorious one. He encountered the young Giuseppe Meazza and quickly understood his genius. After that legendary Scudetto with the Nerazzurri, the then husband and father of two went on to coach Bologna in another successful stint.

At school we learn about the Nazis and their horrific extermination of the Jews, and it’s something awful that we store as a kind of knowledge. But it’s often difficult to perceive that it could also be something so real and concrete.

The story of Arpad Weisz, however, makes it tragically tangible. A football idol forced to flee the country due to the enactment of the Italian Racial Laws, first to Paris, then to the Netherlands. A man, a woman and two children on the run. Until the morning they were caught.

Awaiting him was a long and drawn-out end in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. His family was met with an immediate death, gassed upon their arrival in Birkenau.

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Tags: club, youth academy

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