Friday’s Forgotten Footballer: Benito Carbone

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Benito Carbone
Full Name: Benito Carbone
Born: August 14, 1971
Position: Striker
Nationality: Italian (Uncapped)
Clubs: Torino, Reggina, Casertana, Ascoli, Napoli, Inter, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Bradford City, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Como, Parma, Cantanzaro, Vicenza, Sydney FC, Pavia.
Remembered for: Flamboyant runs, spectacular goals.

Nowadays the Premier League is flooded with foreign talent. But in the mid-nineties Sheffield Wednesday boasted two of the most exciting players in the English top flight: Benito Carbone and Paolo Di Canio. Undoubtedly the pair brought an extra dimension to the league with their extrovert characters and flamboyant playing style.

Carbone started his career with Tuscan side Torino in 1988. It would be his first of an incredible seventeen clubs. He swapped clubs annually before eventually moving to Italian giants, Inter Milan. However it wasn’t long until the quirky attacker moved to Sheffield that he finally managed to remain in a fixed location for more than one season.

He moved to Hillsborough for a reported £3 million. In his three seasons with The Owls he made 96 league appearances, scoring on 25 occasions. He soon became a crowd favourite, ensuring that Sheffield Wednesday maintained their top flight status. Unfortunately his career with The Owls was somewhat soured by a contract dispute which eventually saw him move to Aston Villa in 1999.

He played an important role in helping Aston Villa reach Wembley for the FA Cup final. It was the last final to be played at the Old Wembley but unfortunately Carbone was unable to help his team avoid a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea. At the end of the season he made the move to Yorkshire, playing under Paul Jewell at Bradford City.

He helped The Bantams avoid automatic relegation. The departure of Jewell saw the club plummet to the bottom of the league and subsequently by the end of 2001 the club was relegated to Division One.

Carbone gave up part of his wages to help the club avoid administration. He had brief spells with Middlesbrough and Derby County before he returned to his native Italy.

He joined Covo before moving to Parma in 2003. In 2006 he made the move to the A-League in Australia. He played three guest games before picking up a hamstring injury which effectively brought an end to his time in the Southern hemisphere.

He currently plies his trade with Pavia. Recently the 38-year old has hinted that he would like a return to English football.

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