It is difficult and unfair to recall someone who is a myth, a legend, a piece of footballing and sporting history, without having known him. Without having been able to appreciate his deeds, know his personality, grasp his greatness with one's eyes. Imagine, then, how much it must feel for the children to talk about their father, a mythical father, without having viewed him play in person.
There is no other remedy other than rely on memories, testimonies, and the stories of those who knew the man, the stories of those who lived alongside him. Of those who were able to appreciate every minute of that intense and short life, not even 36 years.
Armando Picchi. He left us 50 years ago, at 4 am on May 27 1971. Seven years earlier, exactly seven years earlier, on May 27 1964, at the Prater in Vienna, he raised the first European Cup in Inter’s history. And he received a perfect ten in the newspapers’ report cards: Him, the captain and sweeper of Herrera's Great Inter, had managed to keep out the big names of Puskás, Gento and Di Stéfano.
A fair and proud man. Respectful and respected. Intuitive and ironic. Charismatic. These are the thoughts, the writings, the adjectives that everyone has always used to describe him. With an extraordinary personality and kindness, with a confident and easy way of doing things. He instilled confidence and energy. These last words are from Tarcisio Burgnich, his faithful teammate, who died yesterday, in a knotted thread of Nerazzurri history that is unwinding still today after many years, in the month of May, in these days when we are reminded precisely of the successes of that mythical and legendary Inter.
Armando Picchi. The number 6 shirt and the white armband. A unique temperament. A statuesque physique to fill that Nerazzurri round neck wool jersey. Director of the Defence, a born Coach. His hands rested on the shoulders of his teammates with the same kindness and firmness with which he raised the Nerazzurri trophies. "A commander, more than a captain. A man of courage, on and off the pitch": These words are from Sandro Mazzola.
It's been 50 years. Words, photos, and videos aren’t enough to fill this void. But they can at least console. And make you proud.