Giacinto Facchetti

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Giacinto Facchetti
1966-67 Inter Milan - Giacinto Facchetti.jpg
Facchetti with Inter Milan in the 1966–67 season
Personal information
Full nameGiacinto Facchetti
Date of birth(1942-07-18)18 July 1942
Place of birth Treviglio, Italy
Date of death 4 September 2006(2006-09-04) (aged 64)
Place of death Milan, Italy
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Left-back
Youth career
1956–1960 Trevigliese
Senior career*
1960–1978 Internazionale 476 (59)
National team
1963–1977 Italy 94 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Giacinto Facchetti (Italian pronunciation:  [dʒaˈtʃinto fakˈketti] ; 18 July 1942 – 4 September 2006) was an Italian footballer who played as a defender. From January 2004 until his death, he was chairman of Internazionale, for which he played for his entire career during the 1960s and 1970s. He played 634 official games for the club, scoring 75 goals, and was a member of the Inter team which is often referred to as "Grande Inter", under manager Helenio Herrera, with which he won four Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia, two European Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups.

Association football Team field sport played between two teams of eleven players with spherical ball

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals.

Inter Milan association football club based in Milan, Italy

Football Club Internazionale Milano, commonly referred to as Internazionale or simply Inter and colloquially known as Inter Milan outside Italy, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy. Inter is the only Italian club to have never been relegated from the top flight.


At international level, Facchetti represented the Italy national football team on 94 occasions, and took part at three FIFA World Cups, winning a runners-up medal in the 1970 edition of the tournament, in which he was also elected to the All-star Team. He was also captain of the national side that won Italy's first ever UEFA European Football Championship on home soil in 1968, where he was also elected to the team of the tournament.

Italy national football team Mens national association football team representing Italy

The Italy national football team has officially represented Italy in international football since their first match in 1910. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—the latter of which was co-founded by the Italian team's supervising body, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). Italy's home matches are played at various stadiums throughout Italy, and their primary training ground, Centro Tecnico Federale di Coverciano, is located at the FIGC technical headquarters in Coverciano, Florence.

FIFA World Cup Association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

1970 FIFA World Cup 1970 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1970 FIFA World Cup was the ninth FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football championship for men's national teams. Held from 31 May to 21 June in Mexico, it was the first World Cup tournament staged in North America, and the first held outside Europe and South America. Teams representing 75 nations from all six populated continents entered the competition, and its qualification rounds began in May 1968. Fourteen teams qualified from this process to join host nation Mexico and defending champions England in the 16-team final tournament. El Salvador, Israel and Morocco made their first appearances at the final stage.

Facchetti is remembered as one of the first truly great attacking full-backs, and placed second in the Ballon d'Or in 1965. He is regarded as one of the best players of all time in his position, due to his pace, technique, intelligence, physique, and stamina, and formed a formidable defensive partnership with fellow full-back Tarcisio Burgnich in Inter's defensive catenaccio system at club level, as well as with the Italian national side. In addition to his playing ability, Facchetti also stood out for his discipline and leadership throughout his career, and served both as Inter's and Italy's captain for several years. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Ballon dOr annual association football award

The Ballon d'Or is an annual football award presented by France Football. It has been awarded since 1956, although between 2010 and 2015, an agreement was made with FIFA and the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, and known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or. However, the partnership ended in 2016 and the award reverted to the Ballon d'Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award.

1965 Ballon dOr

The 1965 Ballon d'Or, given to the best football player in Europe as judged by a panel of sports journalists from UEFA member countries, was awarded to Eusébio on 28 December 1965.

Tarcisio Burgnich Italian footballer

Tarcisio Burgnich is an Italian former football manager and player, who played as a defender.

In March 2004, Pelé named him one of the Top 125 greatest living footballers as part of FIFA's 100th anniversary celebrations. [6] Following Facchetti's death in 2006, he was named one of the year's Golden Foot "Football Legends", and was also the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award. In 2015, he was posthumously inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame.

Pelé Brazilian retired footballer

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 League matches, and in total 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and is a Guinness World Record. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world.

FIFA 100

The FIFA 100 is a list of the world-renowned Brazilian striker Pelé's choice of the "greatest living footballers". Unveiled on 4 March 2004 at a gala ceremony in London, England, the FIFA 100 marked part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of football.

Golden Foot Football award based on athletic achievement and personality

The Golden Foot award is an international football award, given to players who stand out for their athletic achievements and for their personality. The award is only given to active players of at least 28 years of age, and can only be won once.

Club career

Facchetti (standing, first from left) with the 1970-71 Inter Milan FC Inter 1970-71 Como.jpg
Facchetti (standing, first from left) with the 1970–71 Inter Milan

Born in Treviglio, in the Province of Bergamo (Lombardy), Facchetti began his career with his hometown club, Trevigliese, as a forward, due to his pace, powerful shot, and technique. He was soon noticed by Helenio Herrera, then manager of Inter, who launched him in Serie A in the late 1960–61 season as an attacking full-back on the left, due to his physique, energy, and tackling ability, in addition to his offensive attributes; he made his club and top-flight debut on 21 May 1961, in a 2–0 away win over Roma. [3] The change of role proved to be an effective choice, and eventually Facchetti developed into one of the most effective defenders in Italian football, forming a notable partnership in defence with fellow Italian full-back Burgnich. Facchetti's innovative playing style as one of the first European overlapping full-backs, combining hard defending with offensive prowess, played a key role in the defensive, yet counter-attacking "catenaccio" system of Herrera's "Grande Inter" side that dominated Italian, European, and World Football in the 60s; whilst conceding few goals defensively, Facchetti was also able to contribute offensively with numerous goals and assists. [2] [4] [5] [7] [8] He held the record for most goals in a single Serie A season by a defender, with 10 goals scored during the 1965–66 season, until it was broken by Marco Materazzi during the 2000–01 season. [9]

Treviglio Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Treviglio is a town and comune in the province of Bergamo, in Lombardy, Northern Italy. It lies 20 kilometres south of the province capital, in the lower territory called "Bassa Bergamasca".

Province of Bergamo Province of Italy

The Province of Bergamo is a province in the Lombardy region of Italy. It has a population of 1,112,187 (2017), an area of 2,754.91 square kilometers (1,063.68 sq mi), and contains 243 comuni. Its capital is the city of Bergamo.

Lombardy Region of Italy

Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres (9,206 sq mi). About 10 million people, forming one-sixth of Italy's population, live in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest regions in Europe. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.

Facchetti spent his entire professional career with Inter, later captaining the side, after Armando Picchi, Mario Corso, and Sandro Mazzola, during his final season with the club, between 1977–78. With his club, Facchetti won four scudetti in 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1971; one Italian Cup in 1978; two European Cups in 1964 and 1965; and two Intercontinental Cups in 1964 and 1965. [2] [7] Due to his performances for Inter, Facchetti also narrowly missed the opportunity to become the first defender to win the Ballon d'Or, placing second in 1965, after narrowly missing out on a treble winning season with Inter that year; Inter won the Serie A and the European Cup, but were defeated in the 1965 Coppa Italia final by Juventus. Facchetti's 59 goals in Serie A make him the most prolific defender in the history of the Italian league. [9]

Armando Picchi Italian footballer and manager

Armando Picchi was an Italian football player and coach. Regularly positioned as a sweeper, he captained the Internazionale side known as "La Grande Inter".

Mario Corso Italian footballer

Mario Corso, nicknamed Mariolino, is an Italian former football player and coach. A famed and dynamic left winger, he is regarded as one of the greatest Italian players in his position, earning the nicknames "Mandrake" and "God's Left Foot", due to his skills, free kick technique and crossing ability.

Sandro Mazzola Italian footballer

Alessandro Mazzola is an Italian former professional footballer, who played as a forward or attacking midfielder for Internazionale and the Italy national team. He currently works as a football analyst and commentator on the Italian national television station RAI.

International career

Italian captain Facchetti lifts the Euro 1968 trophy UEFA Euro 1968 Final - Italian captain Giacinto Facchetti with the trophy.jpg
Italian captain Facchetti lifts the Euro 1968 trophy

Facchetti made his debut for Italy on 23 March 1963, in a 1–0 away win in a European qualifier against Turkey. He was capped 94 times (a record at the time, since overtaken only by Dino Zoff, Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon) wearing the captain's armband 70 times and scoring three goals between 1963 and 1977; he is currently his nation's ninth-highest appearance holder. He played for his country at the 1966, 1970, and 1974 FIFA World Cups, captaining Italy in the latter two editions of the tournament. Facchetti also captained the Italian squad to victory at Euro 1968, wearing the number 10 shirt, after advancing to the finals by calling the coin toss correctly following extra time against the Soviet Union, before winning the final over Yugoslavia 2–0 in the replay match, [10] as well as being named to the Team of the Tournament. He was also named to the Team of the Tournament in the 1970 World Cup, where he helped his team to the final of the tournament, only to be defeated 4–1 by Brazil. [2] [7]

Style of play

Regarded as one of the greatest full-backs of all time, Facchetti's pace, stamina, power, and excellent physical and technical traits allowed him to excel as an offensive full-back or wing-back; a former forward and midfielder, he was known for his ability to make attacking runs down the left flank and get into good offensive positions in the area which allowed him to either score or assist goals, due to his powerful shot and crossing ability, and was known for his tendency to cut into the centre in order to strike on goal, which was very unusual for full-backs at the time. [1] [2] [3] [9] [11] [12] [13] [14] A strong, large, elegant, and hard-working footballer, who was good in the air, he was highly regarded for his ability with either foot, as well as his distribution, and ball skills; he also excelled defensively, playing as a sweeper as he lost some of his pace later in his career, due to his technical skills, distribution, intelligence and ability to read the game or start plays from the back after winning back the ball, as well as his man-marking ability, positioning, anticipation and tackling. [4] [12] [14] [15] A precocious talent in his youth, he also stood out for his longevity in his later career. [12] In addition to his footballing ability, he was also known for his correct behaviour on the pitch, as well as his leadership; [1] [5] [14] he was sent off only once throughout his entire career, for sarcastically applauding the referee. [4]

After retirement

Facchetti in 2002 Giancinto Facchetti.jpg
Facchetti in 2002

Over the years Facchetti held various managerial positions at Internazionale, including technical director, [7] [16] board member, [17] worldwide ambassador[ citation needed ] and vice-chairman. [17] Facchetti was elected chairman of Inter on 19 January 2004, following the resignation of previous president Massimo Moratti. [16] [18] After a long illness, he died of pancreatic cancer in Milan on 4 September 2006. He is survived by his wife, Giovanna, and four children. [4] [7]


In March 2004, Pelé named Facchetti one of the Top 125 greatest living footballers as part of FIFA's 100th anniversary celebrations. [6]

Facchetti in 1969 with his iconic number 3 shirt, posthumously retired by Inter Milan in 2006. Giacinto Facchetti during Roma-Inter (1968-69 Serie A).jpg
Facchetti in 1969 with his iconic number 3 shirt, posthumously retired by Inter Milan in 2006.

Following Facchetti's death in 2006, he was named one of the year's Golden Foot "Football Legends", and was also the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award. Known for his discipline as well as his playing ability throughout his career, the Premio internazionale Giacinto Facchetti was also established in his honour later that year, and is currently awarded annually to a football personality who was stood out for their honesty, correct behaviour, and sportsmanship. [19] Also after his death, the Campionato Nazionale Primavera included Facchetti's name for the official renaming of the championship to Campionato Primavera Tim – Trofeo Giacinto Facchetti.

His former club, Inter, posthumously retired the number 3 shirt in his honour. [7]

On 22 September 2008, a square in the town of Cesano Maderno, Metropolitan City of Milan, was renamed in honour of Giacinto Facchetti. [7] [20]

Facchetti is featured in the football video game FIFA 14's Classic XI – a multi-national all-star team, along with compatriots Bruno Conti, Gianni Rivera, and Franco Baresi. [21]

In 2015, he was posthumously inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame. [22]

Career statistics


Source: [12] [23]

Club performanceLeagueCupContinentalTotal
ItalyLeague Coppa Italia Europe Total
1960–61 Internazionale Serie A 311041
1961–62 15060210
1962–63 31420334
1963–64 33490424
1964–65 3223061413
1965–66 321010523812
1966–67 34420102466
1967–68 28792379
1968–69 30631337
1969–70 2856180426
1970–71 3053020355
1971–72 2748191446
1972–73 29110350444
1973–74 2827020372
1974–75 2308130341
1975–76 283100383
1976–77 2719110372
1977–78 1804010230
Career total47659851068662975


Source: [12] [24] [25] [26] [27]

Italy national team

International goals

1.4 November 1964 Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, ItalyFlag of Finland.svg  Finland 6–1Win 1966 FIFA World Cup Q.
2.7 December 1965 Stadio San Paolo, Naples, ItalyFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 3–0Win 1966 FIFA World Cup Q.
3.22 March 1967 GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus 0–2Win Euro 1968 Q.
Correct as of 13 January 2013 [28]



Internazionale [16]


Italy [29]


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This page details football records in Italy.


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Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ferran Olivella
Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg  Spain
UEFA European Championship
Winning Captain

Succeeded by
Franz Beckenbauer
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany
Preceded by
Sandro Mazzola
Internazionale captain
Succeeded by
Graziano Bini
Preceded by
Sandro Salvadore
Italy captain
Succeeded by
Dino Zoff