A man beyond time

Giacinto Facchetti SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.73 / 110

No other Nerazzurri player would ever wear the number three again after 2006, when his number was officially retired. When you think of Inter, you’re inevitably bound to think of Facchetti as well since he represents the best in every Interista.

There are days when it’s easy to be an Interista, days when it’s a duty and days when it’s an honour.

The Cipe scored 75 goals over his career, the most beautiful of which came against Liverpool in the 1965 European Cup semi-final. That goal was huge, since it completed Inter’s comeback as they overcame a 3-1 deficit from the first leg. Giacinto Facchetti scored the goal to make it 3-0 with a right-footed effort from the edge of the box like a true great. The greatest Italian sport journalist of all-time, Gianni Brera, gave him the nickname ‘Giacinto Magno’. Brera admired Facchetti’s integrity and physicality. After a legendary career as player, Facchetti remained an Inter icon off the pitch, first as a director and then as Chairman.

From whatever angle you look at it, Giacinto Facchetti’s story is an exemplary one. He was a brilliant example of integrity, honesty and moral values. An extremely innovative full-back for his time, he basically invented the attacking role for that position. He essentially acted as an additional forward in the opposing half of the pitch, where his attacking threat was unleashed thanks to his pace that was worthy of a 400 metre runner. Helenio Herrera, who was a huge fan of his, once badly mispronounced his surname, calling him “Cipelletti”. It ended up becoming his nickname for life.

Giacinto Facchetti

Giacinto Facchetti was born in Treviglio on 18th July 1942. He played his first match for Inter on 21st May 1961, while the last one came on 7 May 1979. In between, he made 634 appearances in competitive games and scored 75 goals. His honours include four Scudetti, two European Cups, two Intercontinental Cups, a Coppa Italia and a European Championship with the Italian national team. He finished second in the running for the 1965 Ballon D’Or, only behind Eusebio from Portugal. Facchetti returned to the club as director in 1995, and remained at Inter until the day of his passing, 4th September 2006, when he was in the role of Chairman. His name was inscribed on the wall at the memorial chapel of Milan’s Cimitero Monumentale alongside the city’s most illustrious and worthy citizens.