After carrying the impressive form from his second World Cup campaign onto the ’90-91 season with Auxerre, where Scifo, under the guidance of mentor Guy Roux, began to fulfil a portion of his precocious potential, ending the year in third place and signalling to clubs he was ready for another chance on the most prestigious of stages.
Although seemingly a lateral move, Scifo returned to the nation of his forefathers in 1991, buying into the ambitious project of president Borsano, who had built the frameworks of a competitive Torino. His investment payed off in the short term, the recently promoted Granata finishing third in Serie A and stunning Europe, in their journey to the UEFA Cup final against Ajax, where only the finest of margins prevented them from lifting the title.
A few months following to the famous defeat, the Turin club where again on the march for silverware, in the second round first leg tie against Dynamo Moscow hosted in the Stadio delle Alpi. On the night Torino’s efforts were not enough to salvage a positive result, they fell to a surprise home loss against the Russian outfit and were knocked out in the away fixture.
In spite of this, Scifo performed superbly, displaying authority in possession, progressing the ball in multiple areas of the field. Moreover his second half header added to his status as one of Granata’s top goalscorers and reiterated an instinct that earned him the nickname ‘Little Pele’ in his youth.
The exit from Europe might have been a blessing in disguise, narrowing the scope of a depleted squad and allowing focus towards another cup competition, on this occasion leading to success and ending the club’s trophy drought against Roma in the Coppa Itallia, pictured here holding the trophy, Enzo’s chapter in Turin closed soon after, moving west to Monaco along with an exodus of teammates who were sold to balance the books of a club in financial turmoil.
In this epoch Scifo reached his footballing zenith, with a sartorial elegance in handling the ball while looking beyond, head raised and interpreting the possible geometrical solutions, letting him consistently outplay opponents and gave him the illusion of floating above the turf, for those who understand football his legacy will remain aloft.
Nevertheless there were still doubts about his quality, when he left in 1993, recently passed Torino coach Mondonico publicly renounced him, saying, ’He has never been decisive, performing when the team plays well, but badly when the opposite happens. Typical of those with little personality‘.
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