In the late 1980’s through to the early 1990’s, Enzo Scifo was one of the best midfielders in Europe. In an era when the world was littered with top class talent in midfield, the young Belgian stood out time after time on the world’s biggest stage.
After taking Belgium and Anderlecht by storm, there was little surprise that a move abroad was on the cards. His reputation was enhanced when he had a memorable World Cup in Mexico as Belgium reached the semi-finals.
When the call from Serie A and the Nerazzurri came, Scifo answered it with gusto, however, his time with Inter proved unsuccessful and after 28 appearances and only four goals the little Belgian was moved on to Bordeaux. It was a disappointment that Scifo did not forget in a hurry and he left the peninsula feeling like he had a point to prove.
He returned to Italy for the 1990 World Cup and produced some breath taking displays including scoring one of the goals of the tournament in Verona against Uruguay. He was now seen as one of Europe’s elite players and his displays saw many of the major clubs look at him in a very different light.
His success prompted a return to the peninsula this time plying his trade with a very successful Torino side. ‘Enzo’ certainly proved a point in Italy despite his good showing at the World Cup. He spent no time showing that he had the ability to make the grade in what was then the best league in the world by some distance.
From 1991-93 he scored 16 goals in 62 appearances and won the Coppa Italia as well as finishing runner up in the 1992 UEFA Cup Final. It was at Torino that he is perhaps best remembered although it is still questionable whether he really ever reproduced the form he showed in Italia 90.
This does not mean that whilst at the ‘Granta’ his blistering shot and quick feet were now evident once again for the world to see. His range of passing was and his ability to pick out the front men, insured that his comeback was a positive experience. He will look back and be happy with the time he spent in Serie A but always question whether he could have done more.
When Calcio ruled the world Enzo Scifo was proving a point.
By Richard Hall