Salvatore Schillaci

Salvatore Schillaci
Personal information
Full name Salvatore Schillaci
Date of birth (1964-12-01) 1 December 1964
Place of birth Palermo, Italy
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1981 AMAT Palermo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1989 Messina 219 (61)
1989–1992 Juventus 90 (26)
1992–1994 Internazionale 30 (11)
1994–1997 Júbilo Iwata 78 (56)
Total 417 (154)
National team
1989 Italy U21 1 (0)
1990–1991 Italy 16 (7)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Salvatore Schillaci (Italian pronunciation: [salvaˈtoːre skilˈlaːtʃi]; born 1 December 1964), commonly referred to by his nickname Totò,[1] is a former Italian football player, who played as a striker. During his club career, he played for Messina (1982–1989), Juventus (1989–1992), Internazionale (1992–1994) and Júbilo Iwata (1994–1997).[2]

At international level he was the surprise star of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, as he helped Italy to a third-place finish on home soil. Coming on as substitute in Italy's first game, Schillaci went on to score six goals throughout the World Cup, claiming the Golden Boot as the leading goalscorer, and received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament ahead of established stars Lothar Matthäus and Diego Maradona who came second and third.[3] A champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse (see Schillaci) was named after him following his performances at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.[4] That year he would also place second in the 1990 Ballon d'Or, behind Matthäus.[2]

Club career

Salvatore Schillaci with Juventus during the 1989–90 season.

Born in Palermo, Italy, from a poor family, Schillaci started to play for an amateur team of his native city, Amat Palermo.[5] He then signed in 1982 for the Sicilian club Messina, where he played until 1989 and showed his goal-scoring abilities, most notably winning the Serie B top-scorer Award during the 1988–89 Serie B season, with 23 goals. He then joined Turin club Juventus, and made his debut in Serie A on 27 August 1989. Juventus, the "Old Lady" of Italian football, was at the time suffering from the breakup of the wonder team which dominated Italian football in the 1980s, under manager Giovanni Trapattoni; Schillaci's arrival coincided with a return to form under the direction of former legendary Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff. He featured prominently for the Turinese club that season, scoring 15 league goals and 21 in all competitions in a very positive year, which ended with Juventus winning both the 1989–90 Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup titles. Due to his clever, inventive, and aggressive attacking style, he was then selected by head coach of Italy, Azeglio Vicini, to play in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Italy itself, despite being a novice in the arena of national team competitions.[1][2][5]

After the end of the 1990 World Cup, Schillaci played one more year for Juventus, alongside his Italy attacking team-mate Roberto Baggio, before joining Internazionale.[6] Schillaci did not leave a great record for the Inter fans, as well as for the Juventus ones, mainly because of the physical troubles which he suffered after the 1990 campaign. In 1994 he joined Japanese club Jubilo Iwata, becoming the first Italian player to play in the J. League, and he won the J. League Division 1 title with the club in 1997.[1][7]

Schillaci retired in 1999. Today he lives back in his native Palermo, where he owns a youth academy of football.[5]

International career

After making one over-age appearance for the Italy Under-21 side, under Cesare Maldini, Schillaci made his senior international debut for Italy under manager Azeglio Vicini, on 31 March 1990, in a 1–0 friendly away win over Switzerland, in Basel. He was subsequently called up for Italy's squad for the 1990 World Cup, to be played on home soil.[8]

At the 1990 World Cup, Schillaci replaced Andrea Carnevale during Italy's first match against Austria. He scored the decisive goal as the match ended with a 1–0 win for Italy. Against the USA, Schillaci again made an appearance as a substitute, but he started the next match, against Czechoslovakia, alongside Roberto Baggio. Italy won 2–0, with Baggio and Schillaci both scoring. Schillaci started alongside Baggio in Italy's next two matches of the knock-out stages, also opening the scoring in the second round and quarter-finals, against Uruguay and the Republic of Ireland respectively, and setting up Aldo Serena's goal against Uruguay.[9]

For the semi-final match against defending champions Argentina, Gianluca Vialli replaced Baggio in the starting line-up, whereas Schillaci kept his place in the team. The match ended 1–1, with Schillaci scoring his fifth goal of the tournament, but Italy were eliminated after a penalty shoot-out, in which he controversially refused to take a penalty.[5]

After setting up Baggio's opening goal, Schillaci scored the winning goal in Italy's 2–1 win in the third-place match against England from a penalty,[10] and won the Golden Boot, with six goals, as well as the Golden Ball Award for the best player of the tournament. Overall, he scored seven goals in sixteen caps for Italy between 1990 and 1991, scoring his only other goal for Italy in a 2–1 away against Norway, in 1991, in an UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying match.[8]

International goals

Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 9 June 1990 Stadio Olimpico, Rome  Austria 1–0 1–0 1990 World Cup
2. 19 June 1990 Stadio Olimpico, Rome  Czechoslovakia 1–0 2–0 1990 World Cup
3. 25 June 1990 Stadio Olimpico, Rome  Uruguay 1–0 2–0 1990 World Cup
4. 30 June 1990 Stadio Olimpico, Rome  Republic of Ireland 1–0 1–0 1990 World Cup
5. 3 July 1990 Stadio San Paolo, Naples  Argentina 1–0 1–1
(3–4 p)
1990 World Cup
6. 7 July 1990 Stadio San Nicola, Bari  England 2–1 2–1 1990 World Cup
7. 5 June 1991 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Norway 1–2 1–2 Euro 1992 qualifier

Style of play

Schillaci was a small, quick, agile, and mobile striker, with an eye for goal, and reliable technique. A prolific, and opportunistic goalscorer, Schillaci was known in particular for his anticipation, reactions, and his excellent positional sense, which, along with his acceleration, enabled him to make attacking runs to beat opponents to the ball in the area, giving him the reputation for frequently being "in the right place at the right time".[11] He was capable of finishing well both inside and outside the area, as well as from volleys, with powerful strikes, and was capable of scoring with his head as well as with his feet, despite not being particularly imposing in the air; he was also accurate on set pieces and effective on penalties. Although he was primarily known for his selfish and instinctive style of play, he was also capable of playing off team-mates, despite not being a particularly notable passer. Due to his goalscoring exploits, his former Messina manager Francesco Scoglio described him by saying he had "never seen a player who wanted to score as much as him."[1][2][12][13][14][15]


He appeared as a guest on Craig Doyle Live during UEFA Euro 2012.[16]

Former Everton FC South African midfielder Steven Pienaar is nicknamed Schillo after Schillaci.[17][18]

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Total
1982–83MessinaSerie C2263
1983–84Serie C1264
1986–87Serie B333
1989–90JuventusSerie A3015
1992–93InternazionaleSerie A2160021237
Japan League Emperor's Cup J. League Cup Total
1994Júbilo IwataJ1 League18910452314
Country Italy 33998
Japan 7856101499365
Total 417154

National team

Italy national team



Júbilo Iwata





5th Class/Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 1991[30]


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  2. 1 2 3 4 "Salvatore Schillaci". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  3. Salvatore Schillaci Statistics FIFA. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  4. "World Cup Stories: When 'Toto' Schillaci's stare was the star". BBC. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Clemente Angelo Lisi (2011). "A History of the World Cup, 1930-2010". p. 220. Scarecrow Press, 2011.
  6. "e' ufficiale: Schillaci all' Inter per 9 miliardi".
  7. "Schillaci, Accoglienza Da Star in Giappone – La Repubblica" (in Italian). 15 April 1994.
  8. 1 2 "FIGC - Nazionale in cifre: Schilacci, Salvatore". (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  9. "Italy Reaches Semifinals". New York Times. 1 July 1990. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  10. "Schillaci: "Vi racconto la mia avventura interista" | PALERMO CALCIO". Mediagol.It. 29 October 2009.
  11. James Horncastle (30 May 2014). "World Cup 2014: Ciro Immobile is primed and ready to be Italy's new Toto Schillaci". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  12. "Salvatore SCHILLACI" (in Italian). Il Pallone Racconta. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  13. Eoin O'Callaghan (19 June 2015). "'Don't wake me up, let me enjoy the dream': The eternal sadness of Toto Schillaci". The 42. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  14. "Totò Schillaci" (in Italian). 12 August 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  15. Chris Hunt (4 June 2014). "Salvatore Schillaci on Italia 90: 'When Italy went out I spent two hours smoking and crying'". Four Four Two. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  16. "Schillaci set to join Craig Doyle tonight". RTÉ. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  17. Landheer, Ernest (11 June 2008). "Pienaar: "South Africa Must Create A Family Unit"". Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  18. Hawkey, Ian (19 April 2009). "Steven Pienaar: mother's pride". The Times. London. Retrieved 7 May 2010.(subscription required)
  19. Salvatore Schillaci at
  20. 1 2 "Totò Schillaci". Eurosport. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  21. "UEFA Cup: All-time finals". Union des Associations Européennes de Football. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
  22. The European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (1958–1971) was a football tournament organized by foreign trade fairs in European seven cities (London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, and others) played by professional and—in its first editions—amateur clubs. Along these lines, that competition is not recognised by the Union of European Football Associations as an UEFA club competition; cf. "UEFA Europa League: History". Union des Associations Européennes de Football. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  23. "World Cup 1990 - Third Place Match". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  24. "World Cup 1990 - Scorers' list". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  25. José Luis Pierrend (12 February 2015). "FIFA Awards: FIFA World Cup Golden Ball Awards". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  26. "FIFA World Cup Awards: All-Star Team". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  27. "Italy - Serie B Top Scorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  28. Rob Moore; Karel Stokkermans (21 January 2011). "European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or")". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  29. José Luis Pierrend (6 March 2012). ""Onze Mondial" Awards: Onze de Onze 1976-2011". RSSSF. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  30. "Onoreficenze". (in Italian). 30 September 1991. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
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