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Lega Pro Review – Stefano Borgonovo’s Como Shirt Enters Football’s Hall Of Fame

30 years ago, a promising young 17-year-old striker called Stefano Borgonovo made his debut for Como in a Serie A game against Ascoli. It was the clubs debut season in the top-flight of Italian football and Borgonovo looked to have the world at his feet. While the club where he served his apprenticeship fell out of the limelight, Borgonovo continued to enjoy the trappings of a top professional footballer spending time at AC Milan, Fiorentina & Udinese which ultimately led to three International call-ups for the Azzurri in 1989.

Stefano Borgonovo: A hero in Como, also won a Scudetto, European Cup and Intercontinental Cup with Milan under Sacchi.

Stefano Borgonovo: A hero in Como, also won a Scudetto, European Cup and Intercontinental Cup with Milan under Sacchi.

After retiring from football in 1996, Borgonovo returned to the club that had given him his big break when he was asked to join the coaching staff at the Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia. In 2006 he was in placed in charge of the Primavera side, but just two years later tragedy struck when he was diagnosed with the neurological disease known as SLA (sclerose laterale amyotrophique), a condition which effects the nervous system and which ultimately leads to paralysis.

When the news of Borgonovo’s illness became public, former teammates including Paolo Maldini and Roberto Baggio helped their ex colleague set up his own foundation, called the Fondazione Stefano Borgonovo onlus. It is an organisation which raises money to help fund research into the illness.

To help the foundation raise awareness in the peninsula, Como played the whole of last season with the foundation logo emblazoned across their shirts and at the end of the campaign, the majority of the jerseys were auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Borgonovo trust. This week, one of the remaining shirts has been given to The Spanish Museum Of Football in Madrid where it will be displayed with Barcelona’s Unicef shirt and Fiorentina’s Save The Children jersey. Borgonovo and his wife Chantal were ecstatic at hearing the news.

More information about the foundation can be found at

On the field, its been an eventful week for Como after the club threw away a two goal lead last Sunday against Foligno, their coach Ernesto Ramella was sacked and replaced by his assistant Giuseppe Manari whose time in the hot seat will commence with a daunting trip to in-form Sorrento on Sunday. Another coach who can put his feet up for the rest of the season is Gianluca Grassadonia, relieved of his duties at Paganese on Wednesday. The new man at the helm at the Stadio Marcello Torre is Pino Palumbo who returns to the club where he was sacked after just 11 games last season.

Ternana extend their lead at the top of C1A thanks to a 2-0 home win against Tritium. Their nearest challengers, Taranto were suprisingly held to a goalles draw at Spal. Pavia prop up the rest after they were beaten 0-2 at home by Sorrento. Foligno’s surprise point in Como lifts them off the foot of the table but they remain seven points from safety.

Siracusa are a point clear of Trapani at the summit of C1B after the Sicilians won a tight encounter at third place Portogruaro, a goal from Argentinian striker Lucas Longoni 13 minutes from time gave Andrea Sottil’s men all three points. Triestina finally had something to cheer about after an horrific couple of weeks running out comprehensive 3-0 winners at home to Virtus Lanciano.

After last weeks minor blip, Casale top the standings once again in C2A after a comfortable home win against Sambonifacese. Rimini leapfrog over Treviso into second spot after they beat Borgo a Buggiano 2-0 and the Biancoceleste were held to a 1-1 draw at lowly Savona. In C2B the dream of back to back promotions for Perugia took a step nearer reality as Il Grifone won 1-0 away at Chieti. L’Aquila hammered crisis club Ebolitana 3-0 at the Stadio Tommaso Fattori to keep up the pressure in second spot.

The dates for the 32nd edition of the Torneo Quadrangolare Lega Pro have now been confirmed. The two semi-finals will feature an Under 21 representative side from C1A take on their C2A counterparts and one from C1B do likewise with C2B. The games will take place on Tuesday January 24 at the Stadio Augusto Bisceglie in Aversa. The third and fourth place play-off and final will be staged in Avellino at the Stadio Partenio on Thursday January 26. A full review of the tournament will appear on these pages in the coming weeks.

Latest results

Avellino 1 – 0 Pisa
Carpi 3 – 0 Viareggio
Como 2 – 2 Foligno
Foggia 1 – 1 Pro Vercelli
Lumezzane 0 – 2 Benevento
Monza 0 – 2 Reggiana
Pavia 0 – 2 Sorrento
Spa 0 – 0 Taranto
Ternana 2 – 0 Tritium
Barletta 3 – 1 Prato
Bassano 0 – 1 Pergocrema
Cremonese 1 – 0 Andria
Latina 1 – 0 Carrarese
Portogruaro 0 – 1 Siracusa
Spezia 2 – 1 Frosinone
Sudtirol 2 – 0 Feralpi Salo’
Trapani 3 – 0 Piacenza
Triestina  3 – 0 Virtus Lanciano
Alessandria 1 – 0 Santarcangelo
Bellaria 1 – 0 Valenzana
Casale 2 – 0 Sambonifacese
Cuneo 2 – 1 Giacomense
Lecco 0 – 3 Virtus Entella
Mantova 0 – 0 San Marino
Poggibonsi 5 – 2 Montichiari
Pro Patria 0 – 2 Renate
Rimini 2 – 0 Borgo A Buggiano
Savona 1 – 1 Treviso
Aversa Normanna 2 – 0 Isola Liri
Chieti 0 – 1 Perugia
Fondi 2 – 1 Vibonese
Gavorrano 0 – 0 Arzanese
Giulianova 1 – 1 Campobasso
L’Aquila 3 – 0 Ebolitana
Melfi 1 – 2 Fano
Neapolis Frattese 0 – 2 Catanzaro
Paganese 1 – 0 Milazzo

Follow Steve Mitchell on twitter (@barafundler) for further updates from Lega Pro and Italian football in general throughout the week.

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