Gianni Rivera is considered one of the greatest Italian footballers of all time. He was a playmaking midfielder who was renowned for his elegance, vision, ball control and passing range.
Rivera spent the majority of his club career with A.C. Milan, making 658 appearances and scoring 164 goals between 1960-1979. He won three Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias, two European Cups, two Cup Winners’ Cups and two Intercontinental Cups with Milan.
Rivera also represented Italy 60 times between 1962-1974, scoring 14 goals. He helped Italy win Euro 1968 on home soil and was runner-up at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
Rivera won the Ballon d’Or in 1969 as the best footballer in Europe. He is regarded as one of the best classic number 10s and greatest Italian players ever.
What is Gianni Rivera’s Net Worth?
Gianni Rivera’s net worth is estimated to be around $100 million as of 2024. The majority of his wealth has come from his successful 20-year playing career.
As one of the standout stars in Serie A and for the Italian national team in the 1960s and 70s, Rivera earned a high salary and numerous bonuses. He was the recipient of the 1969 Ballon d’Or which helped increase his prestige and earnings potential.
Rivera was able to parlay his fame as a footballer into lucrative endorsement deals and business ventures after retirement. He served as an Italian member of parliament which provided supplementary income. Prudent investments and asset accumulation over the decades have resulted in his sizable fortune.
How old is Gianni Rivera?
Gianni Rivera was born on August 18, 1943 in Alessandria, Italy. As of 2024, Rivera is 80 years old.
He was born during World War II and grew up in the postwar period. Rivera first signed for Alessandria as a youngster in 1959 at the age of 15. He made his debut with the club a year later before joining A.C. Milan in 1960 at the age of 17.
Rivera went on to spend 19 highly successful seasons with Milan where he became a club icon. After retiring as a player in 1979 at the age of 35, Rivera transitioned into business, politics and administrative roles in Italian football.
Even in his 80s, Rivera remains actively involved as an iconic figurehead for Milan and in various charitable endeavors. He maintains a high profile as one of Italy’s living legends of football.
What was Gianni Rivera’s football career and records?
- Born in Alessandria, joined local club at age 11 in 1954
- Made professional debut for Alessandria at 15 years old in 1959
- Transferred to A.C. Milan in 1960 at the age of 17
- Quickly established himself as a starter for Milan in midfield
- Helped Milan win the scudetto and Intercontinental Cup in 1963
Prime Years at Milan
- Central playmaker for Milan throughout the 1960s and 70s
- Elegant style, visionary passing and graceful technique on the ball
- Led Milan to 3 Serie A titles, 4 Coppa Italias, 2 European Cups, 2 Cup Winners Cups
- Ballon d’Or winner in 1969 as Europe’s best player
- Played over 650 matches for Milan, scoring more than 160 goals
- Remained with Milan until retiring in 1979 at the age of 35
- Brief comeback with Swiss side Lugano in 1982-83 at the age of 39
- Total of 658 appearances and 164 goals for Milan
- Considered one of A.C. Milan’s greatest ever players
Records and Honors
- Serie A: 1961–62, 1967–68, 1978–79
- Coppa Italia: 1966–67, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1976–77
- European Cup: 1962–63, 1968–69
- Cup Winners’ Cup: 1967–68, 1972–73
- Intercontinental Cup: 1969, 1969
- Ballon d’Or: 1969
- 60 caps, 14 goals for Italy from 1962-1974
What is Gianni Rivera’s family background?
Gianni Rivera comes from a working class family background. He was born in 1943 in the midst of World War II in the town of Alessandria in the Piedmont region of Italy.
Rivera’s father Mario worked as a railway worker. His mother Ester was a housekeeper. Gianni was the youngest of four children – he had two older sisters, Santina and Maria, and an older brother, Francesco.
The Riveras were a close-knit family who lived through the turmoil of war and its aftermath. As Gianni rose to fame as a footballer, he always remained devoted to his family roots.
Rivera married Laura Marconi, a local girl from his hometown, in 1968. They have two children together – Chantal and Gianni, born in 1975 and 1978 respectively.
Family has remained paramount for Rivera throughout his life and career. He protected his family’s privacy amidst his celebrity and remained loyal to his hometown community. Rivera has often spoken fondly of his warm family life as a key factor in his success and contentment.
What were some of Gianni Rivera’s biggest achievements and honors?
- Won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award in 1969
- Voted the best footballer in Europe after leading Milan to European Cup title
World Cup 1970
- Key player in Italy’s run to the final of the 1970 World Cup
- Scored in famous 4-3 upset of West Germany in semis
Serie A Titles
- Won 3 Italian league titles with Milan (1962, 1968, 1979)
- Helped break Juventus/Inter dominance in the 1960s
- Won 2 European Cups with Milan in 1963 and 1969
- Man of the Match performance in ’63 final versus Benfica
60 caps for Italy
- Played 60 times for Italy from 1962 to 1974
- 14 goals for the national team over a 12 year period
- All-time Milan appearance leader with 658 matches
- 164 goals makes him Milan’s 9th highest goal scorer
- Considered one of the club’s greatest ever players
What was Gianni Rivera’s relationship and rivalry with Sandro Mazzola?
Gianni Rivera had an intense rivalry with Sandro Mazzola, despite both players being icons for the Italian national team in the 1960s. Rivera played for A.C. Milan while Mazzola starred for their rivals Inter Milan.
On the international stage for Italy, Rivera was the elegant playmaker while Mazzola was the prolific goalscorer. This prompted an ongoing debate over whether Italy should build its attack around Rivera’s artistry or Mazzola’s finishing.
Rivera and Mazzola were very different personalities. Rivera was introspective and a model professional. Mazzola was more outgoing and brash. Their contrasting styles often saw them clash on the pitch when Milan played Inter.
When Italy manager Ferruccio Valcareggi infamously substituted one of them each half to keep both happy, it caused a rift between Rivera and Mazzola. Their rivalry divided Italian fans and became known as the “Years of the Pyramids”.
Despite the rivalry, Rivera and Mazzola together propelled Italy to the 1968 Euro title and 1970 World Cup final. They pushed each other to higher levels for club and country despite hardly being able to co-exist on the field.
Gianni Rivera was one of the most elegant and technically gifted footballers of his generation. His illustrious 20 year career with A.C. Milan made him a club icon and one of the greatest Italian players ever.
Rivera’s genius as an advanced playmaker, visionary passing and big match temperament helped Milan become a European powerhouse in the 1960s and 70s. His Ballon d’Or winning form in 1969 cemented his legacy.
For the Italian national team, Rivera’s rivalry with Sandro Mazzola spurred Italy to the 1968 Euro crown on home soil and runners-up at the 1970 World Cup. He became a living symbol of Italian football.
Off the pitch, Rivera remained loyal to his working class family roots and home city of Alessandria. He made a vast fortune from football to retire as a multimillionaire. But Rivera always kept a sense of perspective about fame and family.
Even into his 80s, the name Gianni Rivera still resonates as a representation of elegance, artistry and success in Italian football history. His achievements and honors as a player granted him enduring icon status.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Gianni Rivera
What position did Gianni Rivera play?
Gianni Rivera was an attacking midfielder, often deployed as a deep-lying playmaker or number 10. He was known for his vision, passing range, technique, and ability to control the tempo of matches.
What was Gianni Rivera’s playing style?
Rivera had an elegant, graceful playing style. He was not the quickest or most powerful, but used his intelligence, creativity, and technical ability to control games. Rivera was a master at finding space and distributing the ball cleverly to teammates.
How many trophies did Rivera win with A.C. Milan?
Rivera won a multitude of trophies during his time with Milan: 3 Serie A titles, 4 Coppa Italias, 2 European Cups, 2 Cup Winners Cups, and 2 Intercontinental Cups. He was a key player in Milan’s rise to become a European powerhouse.
When did Rivera win the Ballon d’Or?
Rivera won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for Europe’s best footballer in 1969. This was after he helped Milan win the European Cup and Serie A title in 1968-69.
Did Rivera play in World Cups for Italy?
Yes, Rivera represented Italy at the 1966, 1970, and 1974 FIFA World Cup tournaments. He helped Italy to a runner-up finish in 1970, losing to Brazil in the final.
Why was Rivera’s rivalry with Sandro Mazzola famous?
Rivera and Mazzola were Italy’s two creative superstars but played for rival clubs Milan and Inter. Their rivalry divided Italian fans and resulted in the famous tactic of substituting one off each half when they played together.