Watch: This day 30 years ago, Salvatore Schillaci entered the 1990 World Cup with a bang

Tue, Jun 09 2020

Schillaci, flanked by Pietro Vierchwood and Carlo Ancelotti, at Italia 90. Credit: Creative Commons

On this day 30 years ago, Salvatore ‘Toto’ Schillaci announced himself to the world of a football as he rescued hosts Italy in their opening 1990 World Cup encounter with Austria in Rome.

The Juventus striker wasn’t quite the obscure figure he’s been made out to be – he’d scored 21 goals in his first season with the Old Lady as they won the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup.

Still, he wasn’t expected to lead an Italy attack spearheaded by Gianluca Vialli and Andrea Carnevale, and there was some surprise when he was sprung from the bench ahead of Roberto Baggio.

Primed at 0-0 with 15 minutes remaining, Schillaci made his entrance and it took him just two minutes to score his first international goal in just his second cap.

The ingenuity of Vialli, running away from goal on the edge of the box, gave him his chance, an inch-perfect cross finding an unmarked Schillaci to deliver a fine header into the roof of the net.

A legend was born.

The extratime.ie sportscast will run throughout the month as we recount Italia '90 day-to-day as it happened. Listen to day two, which includes Italy v Austria, here.