Full Name : Christian Vieri
Date Of Birth: July 12, 1973
Place of Birth: Bologna, Italy
National Career: 1997-2005
Caps: 49 (23)
Christian "Bobo" Vieri (born July 12, 1973 in Bologna, Italy) plays for ACF Fiorentina.
Born in Bologna, Italy, his family moved to Australia for a period, in the suburb of Wetherill Park. He attended Prairiewood High School in western Sydney. His father Roberto Vieri played for Sydney-based club Marconi Stallions. His brother, Massimiliano Vieri, is also a professional footballer, and was an Australian international in 2004. Vieri played for Marconi Juniors when he was a child but his family soon moved back to Italy.
Vieri started his playing career at A.C. Prato, a small club in Serie C1 in 1989. While there, he was spotted by Torino and played his first Serie A game the next year for the Turin team. Vieri made six appearances in the league as well as in the Coppa Italia. In November 1992, he was sold to Serie B club, Pisa Calcio, scoring two goals. Another season went by, he then moved to Ravenna in Serie B, scoring 12 goals. He was subsequently sold to Venezia A.C. in Serie B, scoring 11 goals. Another move followed for the youngster, this time to Atalanta where he scored seven goals. A change of luck came when he was spotted by Juventus F.C. in the 1996-97 season. He made 23 appearances and scored eight goals in Serie A, and six goals in ten matches in Europe.
Vieri was on the move once again, this time it was to Spain and Atlético Madrid. This is where the Vieri name became a trademark for Italian football and he formed a successful partnership in the 1998 FIFA World Cup with Roberto Baggio. Amazingly, he scored a total of 24 goals in 24 appearances for Atlético, five goals from seven appearances in Europe which led him to the become the Spanish top scorer.
After the World Cup, he moved to S.S. Lazio, where he was outstanding in his first season, scoring 12 goals in Serie A and one in Europe, winning the Cup Winners' Cup. But it all changed when Vieri was spotted by F.C. Internazionale Milano and its chairman Massimo Moratti. Vieri move to Inter Milan was for a (then) world record transfer fee.
Vieri played for Inter Milan from 1999 to 2005, leading the scoring in Serie A in 2003 with 24 goals. At Inter, Vieri formed a dangerous partnership with Ronaldo up front, but because of injuries Ronaldo was not able to play much.
As of the end of 2004, he has scored 22 goals in 43 matches for Italy and played for his country at the 1998 World Cup, scoring five times, and the 2002 World Cup, scoring four times, though he endured a less successful tournament at Euro 2004. Vieri is generally considered one of Italy's greatest strikers of recent times despite strong competition, and is one of Italy's most prolific World Cup goalscorers. He was named by Pelé as one of the 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. He is also considered on of the greatest finishers of all time.
Italy played Vieri as a lone striker in the 2002 Fifa World Cup, scoring four goals in four games. In the Round of 16 against South Korea he opened the scoring in the 18th minute, scoring a powerful header from a Francesco Totti corner. Italy led the game until the Koreans equalised 3 minutes before the end. In extra time Vieri played a through ball to Damiano Tommasi, thus putting him through on goal. The midfielder scored from this position but the goal was disallowed due to offside, even though camera reviews show Tommasi to be onside. Italy's misfortune continued when Francesco Totti was given a second yellow card for alleged diving and dismissed. Italy was eventually eliminated by South Korea by a Golden Goal.
Italy has had more success without Vieri. In the period 1998 to 2006 Italy were runners-up in Euro 2000 and won the world cup in 2006 without him. This, along with his famous "I'm more a man than all of you" to the press at Euro 2004 and his later spat with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for letting in an unstoppable Swedish goal have led to questions about his ability to destabilise a squad.
In July 2005, Vieri and Inter Milan came to a mutual agreement to terminate his contract with the club. He was then signed by cross-town rivals A.C. Milan, but left the rossoneri - where he was not a regular starter - after just six months, joining French side AS Monaco FC in order to play regularly and gain a place on Italy's roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, he suffered a serious knee injury while playing for Monaco in 2006, which required extensive surgery and ruled out the possibility of playing in his third consecutive FIFA World Cup.
On July 6, 2006, Vieri agreed a one year deal with UC Sampdoria of Serie A. However, on August 10, 2006, an agreement was to terminate his contract with the club (because of laziness). He then offered his services to demoted Italian giants and former club Juventus - they, however, rejected his offer on August 22nd.
On August 29, 2006, Vieri returned to Atalanta and signed a one-year minimum wage contract worth 1500€ per month. Although he received a paltry salary, Vieri was to earn another €100,000 for every goal he scores, leaving chairman Ivan Ruggeri to comment, "If things go well, Vieri will cost me two million euros". Bobo scored 2 goals in 7 substitute appearances, including one from the midfield line.
On June 2007, Atalanta announced they chose not to offer a contract extension to Vieri. His contract therefore ended on June 30. On July 19, 2007, Vieri signed a one-year contract with ACF Fiorentina worth about 2.75 million dollars and was officially presented to the press on July 21, 2007.
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1998-99
La Liga Top Scorer: 1998 (24)
Seria A Top Scorer: 2003
Italy's top scorer in World Cups: 9
FIFA 100 (125 greatest living players, as selected by Pelé): 2004
As a result of living in Australia, Vieri has stated that his greatest sporting hero is cricketer Allan Border. He also once claimed that if he "had to do it all over again", he would be a cricketer this time.
Vieri owns two clothing lines, one is "Sweet Years", and is co-owned with Paolo Maldini, and the other is "Baci & Abbracci", co-owned with AC Milan midfielder Cristian Brocchi and famous model Alena Šeredova. Both brands are very popular in Italy. As well as being left-footed, Vieri is left-handed.
In a rare sporting case, he represented Italy while his brother Max played for Australia. They joked about the possibility of becoming the first set of brothers to ever face off against one another in an international soccer match.
He has had some very high profile relationships, including those with Fernanda Lessa, Elisabetta Canalis and Melissa Satta. He is well known for his grumpy attitude at times, and refusing to celebrate goals whilst playing for Inter.
At a press conference during Euro 2004 - he said "I'm more of a man than all of you put together. I can walk down the street with my head held high. I can look at myself in the mirror, but you [waving a finger at the astonished journalists] cannot."
Vieri has Chinese characters tattooed on his arm, which he admitted he chose 'because they looked cool'. Fortunately, they mean "Strength", "Eternity" and "Thunder".