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Gianni Rivera

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameGiovanni "Gianni"•Rivera
Used nameGianni•Rivera
Nick/petnamesGolden Boy
Born18 August 1943 in Alessandria, Alessandria (ITA)
Measurements175 cm / 67 kg
AffiliationsAC Milan, Milano (ITA)
NOC Italy

Biography

The one-time “Golden Boy” of Italian football, Gianni Rivera started his career with his home-town club A. C. Alessandria in 1959, before joining A. C. Milan the following year. He went on to score 122 goals in 501 Serie A appearances for the Milano giants, and won three League titles and two European Cups, amongst others. He was also the club captain for 12 seasons.

At international level, Rivera scored 14 goals in 60 full internationals for Italy, between making his début in a 3-1 win away to Belgium in 1962, and his last appearance against Argentina at the 1974 World Cup. Rivera took part in four World Cups (1962, 1966, 1970, 1974) and scored three goals in nine appearances, including the winning goal in the exciting 4-3 extra-time win over West Germany in the 1970 semi-final, which saw five goals scored in the extra 30 minutes. Unfortunately, Italy lost the final 4-1 to one of the best Brazilian sides ever. Rivera had been a member of the Italian Olympic squad in 1960 that finished fourth and, in 1968, was a member of the first Italian squad to win the European Championship.

Rivera’s collection of honours with Milan included the Serie A title in 1962, 1968 and 1979, the Italian Cup in 1967, 1972-73 and 1977, the European Cup in 1963 and 1969, the European Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1968 and 1973, and the Intercontinental Cup in 1969. He was the League’s joint top-scorer in 1973, and was the leading scorer in the Italian Cup twice, In 1967 and 1971. He won the coveted France Football Ballon d’Or in 1969, having been runner-up to the top Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin in 1963. In 1999, Rivera was named the A. C. Milan Player of the 20th Century.

After finishing his playing career, Rivera became a vice-president of A. C. Milan, before resigning seven years later, after Silvio Berlusconi bought the club in 1986. After that, Rivera embarked on a new career in politics and became a Christian Democrat member of the Italian Parliament in 1987 and, between then and 1996, was re-elected three times and served as a defence under-secretary.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Summer Olympics Football (Football) ITA Gianni Rivera
Football, Men (Olympic) Italy 4