Rufo Emiliano Verga (Rufo is an uncommon Italian name meaning "red", from the Latin cognomen "Rufus") was a smart central defender with an excellent physique and a technique which permitted him to play also as playmaker. Educated at the AC Milan academy, he made his debut on 1 November 1987 at only 17 years of age replacing Paolo Maldini, and was soon acclaimed as "the next Franco Baresi." AC Milan won the Italian championship and Verga played two other games, showing very good skills and confirming the predictions about his brilliant future. He spent the next season on loan to Parma AC (Serie B) where he played 17 games, scoring the only two goals of his entire national and international career, and at the end of the season AC Milan called him back to be Baresi's replacement.
Incredibly, his football career may be considered finished after his second pro year, since he played another six seasons averaging a knee surgery every two years. He retired at only 25 years of age, after the fourth operation. Except for his three seasons with AC Milan, he played for Serie A sides FC Bologna, SS Lazio, AC Fiorentina and US Lecce, playing only 53 matches.
From 1990 to 1992 Verga was part of the Italian U-21 European Championship winning side: he played all the 16 matches without ever losing. Cesare Maldini, trainer of that unbeatable team, publicly congratulated him for his great performances and took Verga with him to Barcelona for the Olympic Games where he played all the matches up to the quarter-finals, in which Italy lost to Spain.
After his retirement, Verga became a trader running a pizzeria in Milan.
|1992 Summer||22||Barcelona||Football||Men's Football||Italy||ITA||7|
|1992 Summer||22||Barcelona||Football||Italy||ITA||Final Standings||7||1992-07-24||0||1||0||1||2|
|1992 Summer||22||Barcelona||Football||Italy||ITA||Quarter-Finals||Match #1||2||1992-08-01||ESP 1, ITA 0||0||0||0||0||0|
|1992 Summer||22||Barcelona||Football||Italy||ITA||Group A||Match #1||1||1992-07-24||ITA 2, USA 1||0||1||0||0||1|
|1992 Summer||22||Barcelona||Football||Italy||ITA||Group A||Match #4||2||1992-07-27||POL 3, ITA 0||0||0||0||1||1|
|1992 Summer||22||Barcelona||Football||Italy||ITA||Group A||Match #6||1||1992-07-29||ITA 1, KUW 0||0||0||0||0||0|