Grande Torino ("The Great Torino") is the name by which the Torino F.C. team of the 1940s is populalry known in Italy. Torino F.C. set many important records of Italian football, all of which still stand today.Grande Torino played with the 4-4-2 10 years before the Brazil 1958 World Cup team, and some of their game tactics anticipated by 35 years the Dutch Total Football that revolutionized the game in the 1970s.The starting lineup of Grande Torino included Valerio Bacigalupo, Aldo Ballarin, Virgilio Maroso, Pino Grezar, Mario Rigamonti, Eusebio Castigliano, Romeo Menti, Ezio Loik, Guglielmo Gabetto, Valentino Mazzola, and Franco Ossola.The Italy national football team starting lineup in the second half of the forties consisted almost entirely of Grande Torino players, which regularly contribuited with 8-9 starters. On May 11, 1947, for the friendly match between Italy and Hungary 3-2, the Azzurri starting lineup was made of 10 Grande Torino players plus the Juventus goalkeeper Sentimenti IV. Italian manager Vittorio Pozzo reserved the Azzurri starting keeper Valerio Bacigalupo; otherwise it would have been the whole Grande Torino team playing for Italy.Legendary captain Valentino Mazzola was also the captain of the Italy national football team as well as the father of Sandro Mazzola, who was also a great champion playing for Inter Milan and Italy in the 1960s-70s. Valentino was an all-around playmaker midfielder who could direct the team, pass, score, tackle, defend, inspire and lead his teammates.Grande Torino Records * Most consecutive Italian Serie A league titles: 5 straight championships from 1943 to 1949 (1942/43, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49, in 1944 and 1945 no league matches were played because of World War II), which ties Juventus record of 5 straight Serie A league titles of 1930/31, 1931/32, 1932/33, 1933/34 and 1934/35 * Most consecutive seasons undefeated at home: 4 straight seasons (1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49) * Most consecutive league matches undefeated at home: 93 straight matches, with 83 wins and 10 draws (from January 24, 1943 to April 30, 1949) * Most consective matches undefeated in one season: 21 matches from the 20th to the 41th match achieving 38 points (1947/48) * Most points in one season (before the 3 points per win rules): 65 points (1947/48) * Winning the Serie A league with more points ahead of the runner up team: 16 points on Juventus, AC Milan and Triestina with 65 points to 49 (1947/48) * Biggest ever advantage on the English average: 6 points above (1946/47) * Greatest ever home win: 10-0 to Alessandria (1947/48) * Greatest ever away win: 0-7 to AS Roma (1945/46 Serie A Finals) * Most wins in one season (16 teams league): 20 wins in 30 matches (1942/43) * Most wins in one season (20-21 teams league): 28 wins in 38 matches (1946/47) and 29 wins in 40 matches (1947/48) * Most home wins in one season: 19 wins on 20 matches (1947/48) * Most away wins in one season (16 teams league): 10 wins in 15 matches (1942/43) * Most away wins in one season (20-21 teams league): 13 wins in 19 matches (1946/47) * Most home points in one season: 39 points on 40 available (1947/48) * Most away points in one season (16 teams league): 22 points on 30 available (1942/43) * Fewest home points lost in one season: 1 point on 40 available (1947/48 and 1948/49) * Fewest defeats in one season: 3 defeats on 38 matches (1946/47 and 1948/49) * Fewest away defeats in one season: 3 defeats on 19 matches (1946/47 and 1948/49) * Most goals scored in one season: 125 goals (1947/48) * Most home goals scored in one season: 89 goals (1947/48) * Most away goals scored in one season (16 teams league): 31 goals (1942/43) * Most away goals scored in one season (20-21 teams league): 36 goals (1946/47 and 1947/48) * Most goals scored in the 5 championship seasons: 408 goals scored (1942/43, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49) * Fewest goals suffered in one season (21 teams league): 33 goals (1947/48) * Fewest away goals suffered in one season (16 teams league): 9 goals (1942/43) * Best ever percentage of goals scored in one season: 3.787 goals per match (1947/48) * More points in the second half of the season: 34 points on 38 available (1946/47) and 36 points on 40 available (1947/48)
The Superga tragedy
Unfortunately, on May 4, 1949, after having secured their record fifth back-to-back Serie A title, and on their way home after a friendly match with Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal, the airplane carrying Grande Torino crashed against the Cathedral of Superga, on a hill near Turin, killing all the players and managers.Grande Torino is still much loved by Italian football fans as a symbol of national pride that helped Italian people get through the hardships of post World War II.