InterLegends: Giacinto Facchetti
When we first thought of creating Nerazzurri World’s new Inter Legends section, we felt it appropriate to start with a player who is not only a legend of Internazionale Milano F.C. but of world football as a whole, Giacinto Facchetti.
Facchetti and his love affair with Inter:
It might be surprising to some, but Facchetti actually started his footballing career playing as a striker. With his hometown club, Trevigliese, Giacinto was deployed as striker and played with them from 1956 until 1960.
Having been discovered and recruited by legendary Inter coach Helenio Herrera, Facchetti was persuaded to change his role into a full-back. A position that he would make his own and give his unique distributive stamp. He was able to use his height and strong body to become one of the most decisive, effective and well-rounded defenders in Italian football. His exemplary attitude on the pitch was demonstrated by the fact that he had only receive one red card throughout his career, and even that was for the minor offer of applauding the referee in an ironic manner!
Upon retiring in 1978, Facchetti had played 476 matches across all competitions and scored 59 goals. He won four Scudetti (1963, 1965, 1966 and 1971); one Coppa Italia (1978); two European Cups (1964 and 1965); and two Intercontinental Cups (1964 and 1965).
Soon after retiring, he became an integral part of the technical and managerial teams of Inter. And on the 19th of January, 2004, he was elected president of the club. A position he kept until his untimely death due to pancreatic cancer on the 4th of September, 2006.
Facchetti and the Azzurri:
On the 23rd of March, 1963, he made his debut with the Italian National team, achieving 94 caps by the end of his career. An appearance record that was only surpassed by three other legendary Italian footballers: Dino Zoff, Fabio Cannavaro and Paolo Maldini. During his time with La Nazionale, he was captain 70 times and scored three goals.
His greatest success with the national team was winning the 1968 Euros in Italy. He nearly cam e close to lifting the 1970 World Cup with Italy but they lost to Brazil, 4-1. He also was part of the 1966 and 1974 World Cup squads.
Forever an Inter legend:
Watching footage of Facchetti on the football pitch, one cannot help but be immensely impressed with this player and the way he bombarded the opposition from the left side. It makes this writer wish that somehow, someway, he can be transported to the glorious days of La Grande Inter so that he can watch Facchetti in the flesh and relive that magical time of the club’s history. Alas, no time machine has been created or successfully functioned yet!
Thankfully, we have great clips on sites like YouTube to keep and cherish and remind us why Inter decided to retire Facchetti’s number 3 jersey.
Giacinto Facchetti, a name that will always be bound by integrity, honor, loyalty, hard work and excellence. A name that will always be bound by Internazionale Milano F. C.
Full name: Giacinto Facchetti
Date of birth: 18 July 1942
Place of birth: Treviglio, Italy
Date of death: 4 September 2006 (aged 64)
Place of death: Milan, Italy
Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position: Left Back
Trophies with Inter:
Italian Serie A champion in 1962–63; 1964–65; 1965–66, 1970–71
Coppa Italia Winner 1977–78
European Cup Winner in 1963–64 and 1964–65
Intercontinental Cup in 1964, 1965
Trophies with Italy:
1970 FIFA World Cup Runners-up Medal
Euro 68 Winner
Follow InterMilanFan1908 on Twitter: @mshams84