Scirea was a graceful defender of great skill and tactical ability. In contrast to the ruthless tactics often employed by other defenders, most notably his paired partner, Claudio Gentile, Scirea was renowned for his class, fair play and sportsmanship. He was never sent off or suspended during his entire career, which is probably a football record for a defender of international level, and this says a lot about his temperament and the level of his skill.
He played the sweeper, or libero, role for most of his career, and contributed to the development of this position initiated by Franz Beckenbauer in the 1970s. Thus, Scirea would detach himself from the defensive line and contribute to the attacking potential of his team, frequently being involved in the build-up of goals, and sometimes even scoring himself. In the latter part of his career, Scirea played a more defensive central-defender role, which he excelled at just the same.
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