Giacinto Facchetti

Eyridiki Sellou | Aug 14, 2022

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Giacinto Facchetti (Treviglio, July 18, 1942 - Milan, September 4, 2006) was an Italian footballer and sports manager, playing as a defender.

He linked his name with that of Inter, of which he was a player from 1960 to 1978 - 634 games and 75 goals - and president from January 2004 to September 2006. With the Nerazzurri jersey he won nine trophies, winning both domestically with four championships and one Coppa Italia and internationally with two Champions Cups and two Intercontinental Cups. Under his presidency, Inter won a championship, two Italian Cups and two Italian Super Cups.

Captain of the Italian national team from 1966 to 1977, he participated in the victorious 1968 European Championship, Italy's first success in the competition. He played in three World Cups (between 1971 he was the recordman for games played in an Azzurri jersey, before being surpassed by Dino Zoff.

Considered an innovator of the role for his constant participation in attacking play, he is considered one of the best players in the history of Italian soccer. He occupies the 90th position in the special ranking of the best soccer players of the 20th century published by World Soccer magazine. In 2004 he was included in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living players compiled by Pelé and FIFA on the occasion of the centenary since its founding, while in 2006 he was awarded the same federation's posthumous Presidential Award for his contribution to the world of soccer both as a player and as a manager. In 2018, France Football magazine included him in its list of the 100 most important players in World Cup history, recalling his performance in the 1970 edition.

Born in Treviglio (BG) to a railwayman father and a housewife mother, he had chosen to live in Cassano d'Adda (MI). He was close to Giovanna, by whom he had four children: Barbara (who became head of delegation of the Italian women's national team at the 2019 World Cup), Vera, Gianfelice, and Luca. At the beginning of his militancy with Inter, he was renamed Cipe, a nickname that accompanied him throughout his life: the most widespread opinion is that this nickname came about as a result of a mistake by Helenio Herrera, who mispronounced Facchetti's surname as Cipelletti; however, there are those who believe that its origin should be attributed to goalkeeper Lorenzo Buffon, and not to the Argentine coach.

He passed away on September 4, 2006 after a long illness. Buried in Treviglio cemetery, his name is inscribed in the Famedio of Milan's Monumental Cemetery. The funeral, celebrated in the basilica of Sant'Ambrogio in Milan by Bishop Giuseppe Merisi of Lodi, Facchetti's countryman, was attended by many sports and political authorities as well as ordinary people.

A left fullback with marked offensive propensities, Facchetti displayed these talents from his youth at Inter, coached by Giuseppe Meazza, managing to confirm them once he landed in Serie A: in the top Italian league he scored 59 goals (moreover, all on action), according to journalist Gianni Mura, among the reasons for his prolificacy was his tendency to converge towards the center to look for the goal, a characteristic unusual even for full-backs.

His confidence with the offensive action was such that Helenio Herrera deployed him on a few occasions as a center forward, only to realize later that the player was at his best as a fluidizer: this was also due to his ability in the defensive phase, which at the end of his career, together with his skill in the aerial game, allowed him to adapt to the roles of stopper and libero. Facchetti was also gifted with remarkable technical, physical and athletic qualities: in 1958 he won the 100-meter student championships in Bergamo with a time of 11".

Journalist Gianni Brera nicknamed him Giacinto Magno, underscoring his high stature and authority gained on the field.


After taking his first steps in his hometown soccer team, Zanconti, he entered the youth sector of Trevigliese in 1957, playing in the role of striker. He was discovered by Helenio Herrera, who brought him to Inter for the final part of the 1960-1961 season, turning him into an attacking full-back, the first of his kind along with Vittorio Calvani. (It is to Calvani that his fate is linked: on June 14, 1961, Inter played a friendly against Fluminense, and Facchetti, who impressed well, was deployed in Calvani's place as the latter was struggling with a troublesome callus.

His Serie A debut came on May 21, 1961, in a Roma-Inter match that ended in a 2-0 victory for the Nerazzurri. Facchetti represented Inter until 1978, winning the Champions Cup in 1964 and 1965 and the Italian championship in 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1971. With the Nerazzurri team he also won two Intercontinental Cups and one Coppa Italia. With Inter in 634 games he scored 75 goals: he was in 1965-1966 the first defender to score 10 goals in the Italian league.

He played his last match on May 7, 1978, at the age of 36, in Inter-Foggia (2-1): the visitors' goal resulted, among other things, from an own goal by him. On June 8, although he did not take the field in the final against Napoli (Facchetti was in Argentina to accompany the Italian expedition to the World Cup), he won the last trophy of his career, the Coppa Italia.

He proved to be very fair on the field, being sent off only once for clapping at match director Vannucchi in Inter-Fiorentina (1-0) on April 13, 1975.

Facchetti was called up for the national team for the first time by head coach Edmondo Fabbri, and made his debut on March 27, 1963, at the age of 20, in the match valid for qualifying for the 1964 European Championship played in Istanbul against Turkey in which Italy won 1-0.

He immediately became a starter, and scored his first goal in the national team on November 4, 1964, in the Italy-Finland (6-1) match played in Genoa. He participated in the 1966 World Cup in England, where Italy was eliminated in the first round. After the world championship, he inherited the captain's armband from Sandro Salvadore when he was only 24 years old.

With selector Ferruccio Valcareggi he won the 1968 European championship as captain, raising the Henri Delaunay Cup on June 10, 1968 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome after a repeat of the final won 2-0 against Yugoslavia.

It then participated in the 1970 World Cup where, after a historic 4-3 semifinal win over West Germany, Italy surrendered only to Pelé's Brazil in the final played at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Facchetti also took part as a starter in the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, where the vice-champion Azzurri were eliminated in the first round. Subsequently, despite the large generational turnover that occurred under the management of Fulvio Bernardini and Enzo Bearzot, Facchetti kept his place and participated in both the 1976 European Championship qualifiers and the 1978 World Cup qualifiers.

However, in May 1978, just before the final phase of the mundial in Argentina, he informed the then citì Bearzot of his intention not to participate in the rainbow review, since he was not feeling at his best physically having come back from an injury; with great team spirit Facchetti nevertheless participated in the Azzurri expedition as non-player captain. He closed with 94 appearances and 3 goals in the national team, setting the record for appearances at the time, and his last game in the national team remained the one played on November 16, 1977 at Wembley against England.

With Tarcisio Burgnich, Facchetti formed the longest-lived defensive duo in the history of the national team: eleven years, from 1963 to 1974; together they played 58 matches. He was also the longest-serving captain of the national team (eleven years, from 1966 to 1977) and the first Azzurri player to play two consecutive World Cups as captain (Mexico 1970 and West Germany 1974).


Immediately after his farewell to soccer, he took part as accompanying manager in the Italian national team's expedition to the 1978 World Cup, given the esteem and closeness with the head coach and players who had been his teammates until a few weeks earlier.

After becoming foreign representative for Inter, he became vice-president of Atalanta in 1980, then returned to the meneghini from 1995, coinciding with the beginning of Massimo Moratti's presidency, with the role of general manager first and then sports director.

Appointed vice president of the Beneamata in November 2001, shortly before the death of Giuseppe Prisco, he assumed the presidential post in January 2004 after Moratti's resignation. He was the only former Nerazzurri player to hold that managerial position,

During his time as president, he won a Scudetto (awarded to the Inters due to the Calciopoli verdicts), two Italian Cups and as many Italian Super Cups.

Facchetti's role within the Calciopoli events has remained a subject of debate. President in the summer of 2006 of the Inter club that was the beneficiary of the decisions of sports justice, however, in July 2011 federal prosecutor Stefano Palazzi presented a report on the Calciopoli bis investigation, which originated from facts that had emerged in the related criminal proceedings in Naples and at the time had been judged irrelevant in the sports trial five years earlier, in which, among others, Facchetti was accused of violating Article 6 of the then Code of Sports Justice, configuring an offence consisting of "a consolidated network of relationships, of a non-regulatory nature, aimed at altering the principles of third party, impartiality and independence of the refereeing sector," actions "certainly aimed at ensuring an advantage in the standings for Inter."

The overriding statute of limitations about any acts committed induced Palazzi himself to declare it impossible to proceed and verify the charges. In the immediate aftermath, the figure of Facchetti, who has since passed away, was defended primarily by Massimo Moratti - "without a trial one can say what one wants but I do not accept it and Inter does not accept it. To consider Facchetti as in the charges of the Federal Prosecutor's Office is offensive, serious and stupid" - as well as by teammates, opponents and exponents of the Italian public debate.

On the substance of the matter, back in 2010 former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi, among those convicted in Calciopoli, had publicly accused Facchetti of similar misconduct: sued for defamation by Gianfelice Facchetti, Giacinto's son, in 2015 the Milan court acquitted Moggi in the first instance, remarking in the grounds that it had found "with certainty a good veracity" in his statements and had also noted the existence of "a sort of lobbying intervention by the then Inter president against the refereeing class significant of a relationship of an amicable type vette not exactly commendable." The ruling was upheld on appeal in 2018 and became final the following year.

Following his death, Inter decided to retire the number three jersey. A few weeks later, Facchetti was awarded the posthumous Presidential Award by the International Football Federation (FIFA) for his contributions to the world of soccer both as a player and as a manager.

To pay tribute to the great ethical and sporting values expressed throughout an entire career, the Lega Nazionale Professionisti decided to name the Primavera Championship after him, while La Gazzetta dello Sport established an international award of the same name in order to promote and reward behavior under the banner of fairness and values.

Among the many streets named after him throughout the country, the first was in the municipality of Monte San Vito, in the province of Ancona, in the presence of his wife Giovanna and son Gianfelice, Bedy Moratti representing the family, Roberto Mancini's parents and the highest local authorities. A square was dedicated to him in Cesano Maderno while in Lettomanoppello the Belvedere Facchetti was named after him. Other streets and numerous sports facilities throughout Italy bear his name; among them, in addition to the Palazzetto dello Sport "PalaFacchetti," in his hometown of Treviglio also in Matera, Cassano d'Adda, Trezzano sul Naviglio, Rosolini, and Solaro.

Facchetti is the inspiration for the character of Giacinto in Azzurro tenebra (1977), a novel by Giovanni Arpino dedicated to the Italian national team's adventure at the 1974 World Cup. Another important literary reference is found in Il prete lungo (1971), a short story by Luciano Bianciardi in which the Nerazzurri player is cited as an example of moral rectitude.

At the 64th Venice International Film Festival in 2007, Il Capitano (The Captain), a documentary made by Alberto D'Onofrio for Rai's television program La Storia siamo noi, was screened.

On August 26, 2011, the group Stadio released the single Gaetano e Giacinto, dedicated to two great figures of Italian soccer, such as Gaetano Scirea and precisely Giacinto Facchetti.


  1. Giacinto Facchetti
  2. Giacinto Facchetti
  3. ^ Schmid.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Inter and Italy's pioneering fullback". FIFA. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Giacinto Facchetti" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  6. Ferrucio Berbenni, « Le gratte-ciel de Trevoglio », Football Magazine, no 170,‎ mars 1974, p. 75
  7. (en) « Fiche de Giacinto Facchetti », sur
  8. a b c d Murillo Moret. «Giacinto Facchetti fez história jogando pela Inter e ainda presidiu o clube». Calciopédia. Consultado em 28 de dezembro de 2021
  9. «Inter aposenta a camisa 3, de Facchetti». Trivela. 8 de setembro de 2006. Consultado em 28 de dezembro de 2021

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