“Gigi Riva's right leg is for nothing more than getting on the tram”. The phrase is none other than Manlio Scopigno's, Cagliari coach and connoisseur of the man who has scored the most goals with the Italian team. And it is indeed, Luigi “Tooth” Riva, he had the goal in his blood, the goal in the gaze. An area predator that was able to score 35 goals in 42 matches with the shirt “azzurri” and bring her to the glory of being European champion.
A tremendous footballer, who spent his entire career - except for one year in the Legnano Series C- in Cagliari (1962-1978), club with which he managed to conquer a Scudetto, and team that allowed him to achieve up to three times the Serie A top scorer trophy. Special player, that for sure, having been in an important team in Europe, would be a world football legend today, even more than it already is.
Gigi Riva was a talent that woke up soon. With 20 years, was already in Serie A. With 21, was already international. No one could pass up their innate ability to score goals, to launch missiles with the power of a left leg that more than a limb of a human being, it looked like a military logistics weapon.
123 goals in 176 encounters are enough argument to check the type we're talking about, though perhaps, his performances with the national team, what truly exalted him. He played two World, Mexico 70 and Germany 74, especially highlighting in the first, where his work was key in the arrival of the transalpine team to the final. His were three goals, two in quarters, and one in an unforgettable semifinal against Germany that without
However, it could not be endorsed with a title that Brazil took from Skin.
Only a blur in a career that was marked by his countless injuries, those that forced him to retire in 1978 after two years in the dry dock. His great Achilles heel. Strong, of constant struggle and claw, his dedication earned him to win the hearts of his followers and to honor him with the removal of his legendary bib 11 in the year 2005. A nice gesture for one of the best Italian soccer players in history.