Call us

Giorgio Bernardin

Giorgio Bernardin piede di Dio

Giorgio Bernardin was born in Bonassola on the 24th April 1928, starting very soon his sporting career in the Entella team of Chiavari. In 1949 he moved to the more prestigious Sampdoria; in the next season this club sent him to play in Lecce (Serie C) to allow the still very young player to gain more experience.

Giorgio remained there two years, until, in 1952, he caught the eye of dynamic president and coach of Spal Paolo Mazza, who was then known by the soubriquet of “the campaign wizard” because of his uncanny ability in spotting talented young players in lesser teams whom he later introduced to more solid football realities.

16th November 1952 marked Giorgio’s debut in Serie A (the Italian Premier League) wearing the colours of Spal in a match against Sampdoria. Bernardin, a middle-fielder with a great header and, most of all, great feet, soon became an irremovable regular in his two seasons in Ferrara.
In June ’54 his team faced Palermo on the neutral pitch of Rome in a play-off to avoid retrocession: Spal won 2-1, sealing the result with a free kick goal by Bernardin.
Back in Ferrara, he was triumphantly hailed as “God’s foot”.
The young boy was by now courting attraction and Mazza was definitely not the one to let the opportunity slip through his fingers. Bernardin joined therefore Inter, fresh winner of the 1954 shield, for the remarkable sum of £. 70 million, thus becoming the most-highly paid player after the Swedish Jepson bought by Achille Lauro’s Napoli.

Once in Milan, Bernardin played with the likes of Skoglund, Ghezzi, Benito Lorenzi (nicknamed “Poison”), Bearzot, Nesti, Vincenzi, Bolchi: all the great Inter champions of the ‘50s. At the time the coach was Alfredo Foni, and the president Carlo Masseroni.

His first match in the new team was a 2-0 win on Udinese on 19th September 1954. In that season Bernardin played 30 matches as regular – there were no substitutions at the time – scoring a goal against Atalanta. At the end of that championship he was on loan for a season to Triestina, where he played a key-role in averting the team’s retrocession. Back in the fold of Inter, he gained thirty caps in the next two championships – scoring a goal against Triestina in ‘56/’57– and played Birmingham City on 19th March 1957 in the Inter-Cities Fair Cup - later UEFA Champions League - under the coaching of Annibale Frossi. Angelo Moratti, after having taken over the society from Masseroni, had by now become president, or, rather, the President.

Meanwhile, Giorgio Bernardin joined Italy B in a match against France and, successively, represented his country against Yugoslavia. Because of his fear of flying, he unfortunately missed the test against Ireland in Dublin: for this reason, he would not be called again.
In the ‘56/’57 championship he came back to Trieste with the Argentine Massei, and next year he was handed over to Roma, where he partnered Losi, Ghiggia, and Griffith. In a friendly versus Santos, the team of a young Pelè, Bernardin had the privilege to mark O’Rey.
A series of injuries put a premature stop to his career after 207 caps in eight successive Serie A championships.
His last match was played in Turin against Juventus on 27th December 1959.