Salvatore or Totò Schillaci (born December 1, 1964 in Palermo) was never heard of before or after the 1990 FIFA World Cup, but he was the saviour of a flaccid Italy side in their functional run to the semi-finals.
Schillaci had the rolling eyes and intense expression of a serial killer and, as a Sicilian, the background of a serial killer. He became an instant star, his goals seeing the Italians through a very soft group which included the USA, who kept trying to pick up the ball and swinging at it with bats.
Totò then finished the Republic Of Ireland's miserable run in the last 16 before being sent out alone to take on Argentina in the semi-finals with the rest of the Italy squad coming on as subs when he began to tire.
He scored yet again, but Argentina levelled and won on penalties, plunging the host nation into despair. The headline on La Gazzetta dello Sport, OH NO, ITALY, YOU HAVE SQUANDERED A MARVELLOUS CHANCE TO BE CHAMPIONS AND NOW THOSE ARSEHOLES ARGENTINA WILL CONTEST THE FINAL, summed up the mood.
Italy and England were 1-1 in the Third Place Match until the final moments, when everyone realised Schillaci had not yet got his customary goal. A penalty was hastily awarded; the mad-eyed marksman converted it and the hosts won the bronze medal. In common with all other Third Place matches, nobody gave a flying fuck what happened.
After The World Cup
Nobody knows what Schillaci did after the 1990 World Cup. He couldn't have done much.
An Australian thoroughbred racehorse was named after Schillaci. It enjoyed a brief period of success in 1992.