There are two gold medals that go 16 years apart , but the same scenario: France. And the same opponent in the final: Spain.

There is Italian basketball on the roof of Europe in 1983 in Nantes and in 1999 in Paris . Last century, past millennium.

Nantes 1983
In Group B, for example, the USSR and West Germany clashed on the parquet, but the sparks went beyond the arena. And then there was Group A with Italy, Spain, France, Yugoslavia, Greece and Sweden. Only the first two passed.
Yet the feat of 34 years ago (because we are talking about a company) confirms the strength of a group that had won silver at the Olympics in Moscow the year before. A stunted Olympics for the US boycott. The 1983 European Championship was an authentic act of strength and subversion: five out of five games won in the group, then down with the Netherlands in the semifinals and then Spain in the final. It was June 4, 1983 and the victory for 105 to 96 closed the magic circle opened against the Spaniards, in the first race in Limoges.
There the first sign of a path that would become fantastic: Pierluigi Marzorati’s basket on the “iron and inside” and victory at the end of the measure . And then Charlie Caglieris’ kiss to the ball at the sound of the siren in the final against Spain. In the middle a black fist fight against Yugoslavia, complete with a pair of scissors brandished Goran Grbovic.
That victory of Italian basketball led by coach Sandro Gamba and the masterful Dino Meneghin is one of the most beautiful pages in our sporting history. These are the golden men of Nantes, as well as SuperDino: Marco Bonamico, Roberto Brunamonti, Carlo Caglieris, Ario Costa, Enrico Gilardi, Pierluigi Marzorati, Antonello Riva, Romeo Sacchetti, Renzo Vecchiato, Renato Villalta and Alberto Tonut.

A call-up, that of Tonut, which today makes you smile: left out of the squad list, I spend a day at sea with friends and with the boys. He was only 21 years old. Back home, his mother said he had received the call for the national team and he obviously took it as a joke. No, it was all true .

PARIS 1999
Those who grew up on bread and myths like Meneghin and Caglieris were the golden generation of 1999, the one made up of big names, but also with solid shoulders who knew how to play as a team , despite their outstanding individualities. If in 1983 there was no Italian in the typical quintet of that European, in the end of the century edition there were Gregor Fucka (also MVP of the tournament), Carlton Myers and Andrea Meneghin .
Under the basket Roberto Chiacig and Denis Marconato conveyed safety, behind them was the imagination and the winning spirit of Alessandro Abbio, Gianluca Basile and Davide Bonora. Jack Galanda could be decisive even at a very high level. Sandro De Pol, Michele Mian and Marcelo Damiao were there ready to give their soul.
And the coach

Bogdan Tanjevic , infinite knowledge of basketball and how to manage a group, one who left Gianmarco Pozzecco at home. Italy passed the group as second behind Turkey, then a long ride towards the final made of deja vu: beat Russia in the quarterfinals, here is Yugoslavia again, overcome this time without a fight. And then Spain still barring the way in the final. The result smiles again to the blues: 64 to 56 with 18 points put in by Myers .
From one Meneghin to another. True friends: here is the recipe to be on the throne of Europe and still today in the hearts of the fans who are no longer young.

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