Italian football was mourning one of its most important ever players on Jan 22 after iconic striker Luigi “Gigi” Riva died at the age of 79.
Nicknamed “Roar of Thunder”, Riva is Italy’s all-time top goalscorer and he was famous in the Mediterranean nation for firing Cagliari to their only league title in 1970.
Following the news, Cagliari said “Forever GIGI RIVA” in a short post on X, which was accompanied by a picture of their hero in the prime of his career.
“Italian football is in mourning because a genuine national monument has left us today,” said Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina” StraightTimes reports
Riva’s death is of such significance that a minute’s silence was held before the start of the second half of the Italian Super Cup final between Napoli and Inter Milan, played on Jan 22 in Riyadh and won by Inter 1-0.
“Ciao Gigi” was displayed on the screens at Al-Awwal Park in the Saudi Arabian capital, alongside a picture of the deceased Riva.
“He will always be remembered for his play with ‘his’ Cagliari and the national team,” said Serie A in a short statement.
Matches across Italy from Jan 22 until the end of the coming weekend will hold a pre-match “minute’s reflection” in honour of Riva, added the FIGC.
Riva had been in hospital in Sardinian capital Cagliari, where he stayed after the end of his playing career, reportedly after suffering a heart attack over the weekend.