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Milan Legends Corner: The Spanish “Devil’s Advocate” & the first Rossoneri hat-trick

The following was written and can be found at - great site with wonderful daily historical Rossoneri contributions.

The Spanish Devil’s Advocate

After a century of AC Milan’s founding, the first Spanish-speaking player of Milan, was Jose Mari. However, in the twenties, a Spaniard named Umberto Soldati, also a supporter of Madrid, would come to play. Soldati’s father was from the Italian town of Rovigo who emigrated to Spain to find work. He returned to Italy with his family, at the time with the young Umberto playing in Libertas, and whose youth sector was entrusted to the care of Kilpin.

In 1921 he moved to Milan remaining there for three years, during which he played fifty games. Soldati (English translation of his name would be “Soldiers”) combined business with pleasure: while playing on the field he also got the idea of graduating from law school. From this came the birth his nickname “Devil’s Advocate” (Avvocato del Diavolo). He played the part well during his games as he preferred not to hit the ball with his head to avoid messing up his hair before presenting himself in court.

The First Rossoneri Hat-Trick

Milan’s First Hat-Trick was in a single round championship thanks to Roberto Sternisa, also known as Sternizza. The footballer who originally played for CS Fiume was sold to AC Milan in 1928, and attaining the hat-trick on the 15th of December 1929. At the time the Rossoneri were coached by Koenig, and were presented with an unusual team, with the use of Hungarian player Zilizy, as a substitute of the unfortunate Abdon Sgarbi who disappeared an earlier time. The match in question ended in a 5-2 win for Milan over Cremona. In addition to Sternisa’s hat-trick were those registered by Zanesi and Tonsini. The center forward of Milan removed any worries of loss in the first half at the 18, 27, and 36 minute marks. He spearheaded three goals past the gray-red clade goaltender at exactly nine-minute intervals. In his three seasons at Milan, Sternisa scored 16 goals in 49 appearances.