Claudio was born in Macherio on 8 September 1947. He began his career with Monza (three seasons from 1965 to 1968) before joining Napoli in 1968/69. He then signed for Torino where he played from 1969 to 1980. He ended his career in 1982 after two seasons with Genoa. He, like Eraldo Pecci, was one of the stars of the last Granata side to win the Scudetto. He won 18 caps for Italy from 1971 to 1978. He then coached Torino in Serie A from December 1988 to May 1989 before taking charge at Catanzaro in Serie C1 in 1990/91. Sala then focused on a broadcasting career as a commentator for Rai and other platforms, most recently Torino Channel.