Infidelity, fights and monument madness: 5 things Joe Hart should know about Torino

The Manchester City goalkeeper has gone… for now.

Joe Hart of Manchester City and now Torino.
'Is this the way?' Joe Hart has departed to Italy. Image Photo Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Joe Hart has waved goodbye to the Etihad after moving from Manchester City to Torino on a season-long loan few could have seen coming.

In doing so, the 29-year-old is joining a Serie A club steeped in history with seven Serie A titles and five Coppa Italia crowns to their name.

It has been some time since the Turin club celebrated notable success though with Il Toro forced to live in the shadow of noisy neighbours Juventus.

Things have not always run smoothly at the Stadio Olimpic Grande Torino either – here are five things that make Torino an “interesting” choice for Hart, to say the least.


 

1

The Manager

A tough-as-nails defender and dead ball specialist (take note Joe) who helped a young Zlatan Ibrahimovic perfect his free kicks, Sinisa Mihajlovic was also found guilty of racially abusing Patrick Vieira during his days with Lazio, though he has mellowed somewhat since.

That does not mean Hart will be in for an easy ride – during an ill-fated spell in charge of AC Milan last term, the Serbian dropped ex-Real Madrid stopper Diego Lopez for the untested 16-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma.

2

The Striker

Maxi Lopez only managed six goals for Torino last term but has continued to dominate the headlines, helped by the fact that he’s at the centre of Italy’s very own John Terry/Wayne Bridge saga.

Having split from glamour model wife Wanda Nara, Lopez was disgusted to discover former teammate Mauro Icardi had started a relationship with her and was even looking after his kids day-to-day. The pair have opted against shaking hands in every Serie A encounter since.

3

The Prat

Signed as a youngster alongside Zoran Tosic by Manchester United from Partizan Belgrade, work permit issues saw the deal cancelled with the winger eventually heading off to Italy and Fiorentina.

A talented if egotistical addition to the Viola squad, with Ljajic evidently seeing the club as a stepping stone to bigger things, things took a turn for the tense in May 2012 when Ljajic was attacked by then manager Delio Rossi after sarcastically applauding the decision to sub him off.

The manager was sacked and Ljajic moved on to Roma and Inter before landing at Torino, a little humbler.

4

The memorial

One of the most important chapters in Torino’s history occurred back in May 1949 when a plane carrying the entire team crashed into a retaining wall located at the back of the Basilica of Superga.

The Superga air disaster is commemorated every year though the local government’s attempts at recognising the 65th anniversary of the crash back in 2014 resulted in the world’s least sensitive memorial monument. Subtlety is not their strong suit.

5

The goalkeeper

Though he’s since departed for Mechelen back in his homeland of Belgium, ex-Torino goalkeeper Jean Francois Gillet courted plenty of controversy during his time at the club.

Most notably in June 2012, he found himself implicated in the Bari match-fixing scandal and was initially hit with a suspension of some three years and seven months for his part in rigged games that took place in 2008 and 2008 while he was with Bari.

Though it was later reduced to 13, with five already served, and Gillet did return to the Torino ranks, Hart would be wise to avoid any quiet words in his ear.

 Gillet, meanwhile, recently made headlines after saving three penalties in one game against Anderlecht. Hmm…

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.