|Full Name : Luigi Riva
Date Of Birth: November 7, 1944
Place of Birth: Leggiuno, Italy
National Career: 1965-1974
Caps: 42 (35)
Luigi Riva (born November 7, 1944), best known as Gigi Riva or by his nickname Rombo di Tuono (Thunder), is a former Italian footballer, the all-time leading scorer for the Italian national team. He was on one of the best forwards of his time and had a fantastic scoring record for Cagliari using his shooting and heading abilities to put most chances he got in the back of the net. His goalscoring finesse was helped by his pace, technique and mentality.
Riva was born in Leggiuno, in the province of Varese, Lombardy.
His career started in 1962 when he joined Legnano. He was acquired by Cagliari the next season and was to stay there for the rest of his career, despite the attention of Brentford F.C. He made his league debut for Cagliari on September 13, 1964, when the team lost 12-1 against Roma. He was Serie A top-scorer one time with Cagliari, in 1970. His only Serie A title came in 1970.
He made his international debut on June 27, 1965 in a 8-1 defeat against Hungary. He would go on to become Italy's top-goalscorer of all-time, with 35 goals in just 42 matches and would win the 1968 European Championships. In the 1970 World Cup in Mexico the Italian team finished runners up after losing 4-1 to Brazil in the final, before Mexico 70 he had scored 19 goals in 16 matches.
However he was Italy's topscorer in the competition and he netted the crucial extra-time goal - his 22nd in 21 internationals - against Germany in the semi-final.
He turned down a move to Juventus in 1973 at the age of 29 in order to remain with Cagliari, but, together with many other members of the Italian squad, displayed a series of disappointing performances at the 1974 World Cup, and he was eventually dropped for the last game against Poland.
In 1976, he was badly injured and, although he tried to play on, he never got back to playing again and eventually retired in 1978. After retiring he became an executive with Cagliari. He is currently a team managing staff member for the Italian national football team, and was also a member of the Italian national team who won the 2006 World Cup under his supervision. For his performances at Cagliari his No.11 jersey was retired.
Seria A: 1969-70
Italy National Team
European Championship: 1968
FIFA World Cup
Italy's all-time best scorer (35) Serie A, Top Scorer: 1970