Giuliano Sarti

Giuliano Sarti (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈljaːno ˈsarti]; 2 October 1933 – 5 June 2017) was an Italian professional football player, who played in the position of goalkeeper. Throughout his successful career, he played for several Italian clubs, although he is mostly remembered for his success with Fiorentina, and as the goalkeeper of the "Grande Inter" side of the 1960s that conquered both Italy and Europe.

Giuliano Sarti
Sarti with Inter Milan in the 1960s
Personal information
Date of birth (1933-10-02)2 October 1933
Place of birth Castello d'Argile, Italy
Date of death 5 June 2017(2017-06-05) (aged 83)
Place of death Florence, Italy
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1952–1953 Centese
1953–1954 Bondenese
1954–1963 Fiorentina 220 (0)
1963–1968 Internazionale 147 (0)
1968–1969 Juventus 10 (0)
1969–1973 Unione Valdinievole
National team
1959–1967 Italy 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club career

Sarti is mostly remembered for his successful stints at Fiorentina and Internazionale, clubs with which he won several domestic and international trophies. After starting his career in the lower divisions with season long stints at Centese (1952–53) and Bondenese (1953–54), he moved to Fiorentina in 1954, where he soon managed to obtain a place in the team's starting line-up despite competition from Leonardo Costagliola initially, and later Enrico Albertosi. During his time with the club (1954–63), he won the Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the European Cup Winners' Cup titles.[1][2][3]

Sarti (crouched, second from right) with Fiorentina scudettata in the 1955–56 season

Sarti is particularly regarded for his role as the starting keeper in the highly successful "Grande Inter" side of the 1960s under manager Helenio Herrera. He joined the club in 1963, and during his time with the team, he formed a legendary partnership with fullbacks Burgnich and Facchetti, as well as sweeper Armando Picchi, in Inter's tenacious "catenaccio" defence that helped the team to conquer Italian, European, and World football. During his five seasons with the club, he won two Serie A titles, two European Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups. After leaving Inter in 1968, he later spent the 1968–69 season with Juventus as a back-up to Roberto Anzolin. He subsequently joined Unione Valdinievole the following season, where he remained until his retirement in 1973.[1][2][3]

International career

Sarti also represented Italy eight times throughout his career between 1959–1967, although he was never called up for a major tournament with Italy due to competition from several other notable Italian goalkeepers at the time.[4] He made his international debut on 29 November 1959, in a 1–1 home draw against Hungary.[5]

Style of play

Sarti is regarded by pundits as one of the greatest and most successful Italian goalkeepers both of his generation,[4] and of all time.[6] A consistent and reliable keeper known for his shot-stopping abilities,[4] he was also highly regarded for his composure, personality and strong mentality, as well as his positional sense in goal, which enabled him to make efficient rather than spectacular saves which relied more on athleticism.[7][8]

Sarti (left) with Juventus in the 1968–69 season, in a break workout with his teammate Roberto Anzolin.

He was also known for revolutionising the role of the goalkeeper in Italy, functioning as a "sweeper keeper", due to his tendency to rush off his line to anticipate opposing strikers, or to be involved in the build-up of plays by coming out of his area to receive or play the ball out to his defenders.[3][9] In one on one situations, however, he usually preferred to remain closer to his line and position himself with his body constantly facing the shooter, in order to increase the distance between himself and his opponent, giving him more time to parry the ball; this playing style, which was later described as "geometric" rather than "reactive" by Sarti, was considered unusual for the time, but very effective.[10]

After retirement

Sarti retired from professional football in 1969, after one season with Juventus. After retiring, he also worked as a manager for Lucchese.[1][2]


Sarti died in Florence on 5 June 2017, at the age of 83, after a sudden illness.[11]






  1. "Vi ricordate Sarti? Noi vi diciamo come vive" (in Italian). Il Corriere dello Sport. 4 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  2. "SARTI, BURGNICH, FACCHETTI..." (in Italian). Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  3. "Giuliano Sarti" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  4. "Il kamikaze Ghezzi e le notti di Cesenatico" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  5. "Nazionale in cifre: Sarti, Giuliano". (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  6. IFFHS' Century Elections Archived 3 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine - - by Karel Stokkermans, RSSSF.
  7. Filippo Nassetti (8 January 2016). "5 portieri scudettati per 50 anni di Inter, visti da Luciano Castellini" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 27 February 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  8. "Giuliano Sarti" (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  9. Stefano Bedeschi (2 October 2015). "Gli eroi in bianconero: Giuliano SARTI" (in Italian). Tutto Juve. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  10. "Intervista a Sarti: "Yashin e Buffon sono i più grandi della storia"" (in Italian). 29 December 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  11. "Il calcio italiano piange Giuliano Sarti, portiere della Fiorentina e della grande Inter". (in Italian). 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  12. "IV Hall of Fame Viola: Toldo, Chiarugi e non solo entrano nella galleria degli onori" (in Italian). 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2016.