Stellars Club

Silvio’s captains

Silvio Gazzaniga was an Italian sculptor and goldsmith, who worked in the company GDE Bertoni manufacturers of trophies and medals, in Milan, Italy, the company was known as Bertoni of Milan.

Silvio was born in Milan on January 23, 1921, he studied at the art school of Lombardy, at the “Humanitarian School of Applied Arts”, and at the “High School of Art” in the Sforzesco Castle where he studied the branches of art that specialized him as a goldsmith and jeweler.

The company’s most famous production is the FIFA World Cup trophy, made in 1971 after winning an international competition.

FIFA awarded the original trophy, the Jules Rimet Cup, to Brazil after they won their third World Cup in 1970. For this reason, the current design dates back to early 1972, when the international federation held a competition in which 53 designs were submitted by artists from seven different countries.

The Italian Silvio Gazzaniga, who also designed the design for the UEFA Cup, now known as the Europa League, was the winner.

Its design represents two human figures holding the Earth as a symbol of the joy and greatness of the athlete at the moment of triumph.

The production was entrusted to a transalpine company, the Milan-based jeweller GDE Bertoni, which still takes care of the trophy’s conservation before each final.

The cup was created in 1971, and work began immediately. Given the difficulties Gazzaniga encountered in preparing sketches that could show the beauty he had in his imagination, he was interested in showing the fluidity of the design, and for that he had to create a plasticine model and a plaster cast. The symbolic beauty and photogenic quality of Silvio Gazzaniga’s design won him the competition. FIFA gave its approval to the 18-carat cup, which was immediately launched in January 1972.

The cup was made using the lost wax method, as were many other works made by this method in antiquity. Solidly made of 18 carat gold, but with a hollow inside, it weighs 6 kilos and 142 grams, with a height of 36.8 cm.

Five of these kilograms are pure gold, and their price is around 150,000 euros.

Indisputably, the value of the most valuable trophy in the world of sport is much higher and is valued at $20 million.

It also has a base of 13 cm in diameter, this base is composed of two stripes or bands of Malachite stone, and on its lower side or base are inscribed the countries that have already been champions. These bands of malachite due to the cut of the stone make it a unique and incomparable piece.

As a curiosity it is worth noting that the winning team only holds the trophy in their hands for a few moments in the ceremony that takes place after the final. In fact, there is no longer any provision for the trophy to be awarded on a permanent basis, with FIFA keeping the original trophy in its possession and giving the winner a gold-plated metal replica (a copy of the original), which it keeps for the next four years.

The moment when the captain of the winning team lifts the World Cup trophy is engraved in the hearts of the fans. It is a photograph that belongs to the collective imagination of the winning country, a unique moment in the history of the beautiful game. A chapter we would like to have relived in Brazil or Russia but, unfortunately, we will have to enjoy it from another perspective and see how others take it. That magical, unique moment is reserved for the captains of each national team that plays in the World Cup. No captain in history has ever repeated a moment of protocol, a moment that remains part of the legend of a country and is watched by millions of fans around the world.

After being lifted by the new world champions in Moscow at the last FIFA World Cup? in Russia, the FIFA World Cup Trophy has returned to its home in the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich, awaiting the hands of the next Silvio captain to lift it to the sky of footballing glory.

With the new design, 11 captains have lifted the trophy, leaving their legacy and handprints on the cup. They are Silvio’s captains:

1974 – Franz Beckenbauer (Germany)

1978 – Daniel Pasarella (Argentina)

1982 – Dino Zoff (Italy)

1986 – Diego Armando Maradona (Argentina)

1990 – Lottar Matthaüs (Germany)

1994 – Dunga (Brazil)

1998 – Didier Deschamps (France)

2002 – Cafu (Brazil)

2006 – Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)

2010 – Iker Casillas (Spain)

2014 – Philipp Lahm (Germany)

2018 – Hugo Lloris (France)

But in the history of football will always remain in the memory of its first great captain, the first who left his mark on it, Silvio Gazzaniga, its creator, for the legacy of football and all those who make it great. Grazie Silvio!!!

Juanjo Vila (Director of Tactical Football / UEFA Pro Coach)


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