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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Date Of Birth : 18 August 1943
Position : Attacking Midfielder
Nation : Italy
Height : 175 m
Major Club : AC Milan
Caps : 60 Games (14 Goals)
World Cup Participation : 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974 (9 Games)
Club Honours : 3 Italian Series A
4 Times Copa Italia
2 Times European Cup (1969, 1969)
2 Times European Cup Winners’ Cup (1968, 1973)
1969 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours : 1968 European Championship Winners
1970 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : 1963 Silver Ball European Footballer of The Year
1969 European Footballer of The year
1973 Italian Series A Top Scorer
1999 IFFHS Italy Player of The Century

“The Golden Boy of Italy” Gianni Rivera is considered as one of the greatest Italian footballer ever. He was an advance creative midfielder with offensive ideas, often at odds with the proponents of the classic Italian defensive schemes. Rivera had a classy elegant and aesthetic style, impeccable in the dribbling and distribution. He played with Italy in the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Valcareggi, believed that Rivera and his teammate Mazzola could not play together on the same field. Although Rivera was the more famous of the two, Valcareggi elected to start Mazzola. However, by 2nd round, the Italian offense failed to sparkle. Valcareggi devised a solution he called "staffetta" (relay) to play both players. Mazzola would start in the first half while Rivera would come in at halftime. With this strategy, Rivera helped to beat the host Mexico in the quarterfinal and West Germany in the semifinal, in which Rivera played a major role in one of the best matches in World Cup history. However, in the final against Brazil, Valcareggi did not use Rivera until there were only six minutes left in the game, despite Rivera being the hero of the past two matches.

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