Enzo Scifo
(Belgium)



     Originally Italian born by Italian parents, Vincenzo Scifo was nicknamed the 'Little Pele' after scoring 432 goals in only four seasons as a junior. He moved to Anderlecht in 1980 and made his first division debut in the Belgian league three years later. At the age of 18, Enzo gained Belgian nationality in June 1984 just in time for the European Championships.

    He was one of the most promosing youngsters in the world in the mid-80s and most top clubs battled to sign the Belgian playmaker. In 1986, Belgium surprised many by reaching the semifinals of the World Cup in Mexico, and Scifo contributed a great deal to their success. He played in all the seven games and scored two goals. Anderlecht could not stop him from taking the big step to the Serie A in 1987. Unfortunately his spell at Inter Milan was anything but successful and he was soon transferred to French side Bordeaux. After another miserable season, Enzo was ready to give up football at the tender age of 23.

    Guy Roux, the Auxerre manager, saved Enzo’s career and took him under his wings and soon Scifo was back at his best level again. By the time the 1990 World Cup started in Italy, many expected Belgium to emulate their achivements of four years earlier. Scifo scored a magnificent goal against Uruguay in the first round, but England scored a last minute winner in extra-time of the second round which meant Belgium were eliminated much sooner than they had hoped for.

    Scifo went back to Italy and had a few successful years with Torino where he won the Italian Cup and also enjoyed success at Monaco before he returned back home to Anderlecht after ten years away. He participated also in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups with moderate success. Enzo Scifo is one of only 14 players who have participated in four World Cups. He retired from the national team shortly after the World Cup in France 1998.

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