Giacinto Facchetti (18 July 1942 – 4 September 2006) was an Italian football player. From January 2004 until his death, he was President of Internazionale, the club for which he played for his whole career during the 1960s and 1970s, playing 634 official games and scoring 75 goals. He played for the Internazionale team remembered as “La Grande Inter”. Facchetti is remembered as one of the first truly great attacking-full backs. He would make marauding runs upfield using his wonderful dribbling and crossing. He could also play at centre-back where his tackling was used to great effect. He also possessed wonderful stamina and scored important goals.
Facchetti made his debut for Italy on March 23, 1963. He was capped 94 times (a record at the time, since overtaken only by Dino Zoff, Paolo Maldini and Fabio Cannavaro), wearing the captain's armband 70 times and scoring three goals. He played for his country at the 1966, 1970 (where his team was runner-up to Brazil losing the final by 4-1), and 1974 FIFA World Cups, and was part of the winning Italian squad at Euro 68. In March 2004, Pelé named him one of the top 125 greatest living footballers.
Giacinto, however, was not just a great football player and executive. He will always be remembered as a gentleman on the pitch – he was sent off only once (that too for sarcastically applauding the referee) – for his personality, fair play and the leadership skills that made him a natural-born captain both for Inter and the national team.
Over the years Facchetti held various managerial positions at Inter, including technical director, board member, worldwide ambassador and vice president. Facchetti was elected president of Inter on January 19 2004. After a long illness, he died of pancreatic cancer in Milan on September 4 2006. He is survived by his wife, Giovanna, and four children.
On Monday 22 September 2008, a square in the town of Cesano Maderno, Milan was renamed in honor of Giacinto Facchetti.
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