MILAN - Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Inter legend Giuseppe Meazza. We spoke to his daughters Silvana and Gabriella, who remembered their father with love, passion, emotion and immense pride.
Silvana Meazza: "It is a great emotion that I feel today, on the hundredth anniversary of the birth of my father, to know that there are many people who still remember, love and respect him, even without knowing him. The fact that today we are talking about my father today means that he knew in his life as a sportsman, with his life, to teach something. And this makes me very proud. He loved to Inter and it is important to know that Inter still loves him. Only through circumstances and contingencies was he forced to play for other teams in his career, but Inter, and the national team, were always more important for him. His heart beat for the Nerazzurri. Dad was a very sporting man, he had great respect for opponents, and I remember he told me that the only time he failed to respect an opponent he was very hurt. He lost control, took the ball and laid it on the floor, went to the player who had made him lose his temper, and almost gave him a punch. Then he left the pitch very sorry for what he had done, without even waiting for the referee to tell him something. He told us over and over again that what he had done was very serious, something he was ashamed of and that nobody should ever do. He really suffered. Mistakes can be made in life and he learned from his mistakes, as on that occasion. I am proud to have had a father with the integrity that he had. And now I smile when someone who doesn't know us asks me and my sister: 'Are you relatives of the stadium?'. And us, smiling, say: 'Yes, we're the daughters...' It's a funny thing that fills us with pride. For my father, football was life, Inter was life. A love that is never forgotten and that we cannot forget either."
Gabriella Meazza: "It was a different era one hundred years ago. Just like my father was a man of past times, with other values: sport above all else. He said it often, and really thought it. The ideals that he had were quite different from those of today; real ideals, without any big economic interests, moved rather by a sincere love for sport. My father would have been a good example for the youth of today. It filled him with pride to be a legend, beyond all the economic benefits it might have brought. He was an example of honesty and purity of mind, an icon that lasts forever. So when life took him away from Inter, he suffered. He lived with Inter and for Inter; it was his greatest love. Despite some betrayals, which, as I said, he did not go looking for. When we asked him how he could play for Milan and Juventus, he answered: 'Please, let's not talk about it.' And his eyes seemed disappointed. Dad was very reserved, he talked to us very little about football, apart from his passion for it. But I remember once - although I was very young, not even fourteen - when he brought the boys of the academy to Liguria, where we too were at the seaside, and he paused to tell us how polite and well-mannered Giacinto Facchetti was. 'He has been brought up very well,' he told us. And they both loved Inter, like we always had. So today, I tell those who have Inter in their hearts what our father told us: 'Don't just be fans. Be sporting as well.' "