Home » A crowd of love for Gigi Riva, ‘now run to heaven like after a goal’ – News

A crowd of love for Gigi Riva, ‘now run to heaven like after a goal’ – News

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A crowd of love for Gigi Riva, ‘now run to heaven like after a goal’ – News

Cagliari and the whole of Sardinia stopped to say their last goodbyes to their most famous ‘compatriot’, Gigi Riva, who was not Sardinian by birth but has become one, perhaps more than anyone else, living on the island for 60 years and forming an indissoluble bond with the Sardinian people since that day when he refused the transfer to Juventus. Last flag of a football that no longer exists.

30 thousand in front of the Basilica of Bonaria for the funeral, many in front of the TV or for the live streaming from all over Italy. Meanwhile, Sardinia came to a halt on the day of regional mourning. Flags of the Four Moors at half-mast in public buildings, many shutters lowered as a sign of mourning in Cagliari and beyond. To echo them, the Italian flag is at half-mast in Zurich, in the FIFA headquarters, and in Rome, in that of the Football Federation.

Video Riva, the exit of the coffin from Bonaria: the images from above

The queue for a seat near the Basilica had started early in the morning. In the end, around 30 thousand people will be counted in the square in front, in front of two giant screens, coming from every corner of Sardinia, and also from the peninsula. And his whole world was there for the mass celebrated by Archbishop Giuseppe Baturi.

The companion of a lifetime Gianna, her sons Nicola and Mauro, her beloved grandchildren. The local authorities in the front row, from the mayor Truzzu to the governor Solinas, then the president of the Football Federation Gabriele Gravina, the coach Luciano Spalletti, the team manager Gigi Buffon, the president of Coni Giovanni Malagò, the minister of Sport Andrea Abodi. With them also Cannavaro, captain of the Italian champion in 2006 with Riva team manager, Peruzzi, Perrotta, Albertini, Zola, Selvaggi, De Sisti and of course the teammates of that historic championship: Tomasini, Brugnera, Greatti, Reginato and many other rossoblùs who they played with him until that cursed February 1, 1976, the day of his final, fatal injury. On the coffin, two number 11 shirts, Cagliari and national team, which Riva wears sewn to your heart.

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“Heroes like Riva will never stop being close to us – he said Spalletti shortly before the funeral home – he had this great quality of being humble and respectable. He had the characteristic of being a protagonist without wanting to attract the spotlight to himself. For him, his loved ones, his friends, were important.”

For Minister Abodi “Riva it has deep roots in the past, in the present and which we want to project into the future. I believe that football cannot afford to abandon the spirit that Gigi Riva embodied and which I believe is appreciated by all football fans of any shirt and by all athletes.”
“I struggle to find anyone who, in the world of sport, was more upright than him from all points of view. Then someone says ‘those were different times’, but I think that today, but also in a thousand years, he would have been anyway,” said Malagò.

Monsignor Baturi, in his homily, he recalled aspects of Riva’s human and professional history. “After the reverse in Vicenza or the accident in Mexico City, that spontaneous celebration, like all of us as children, with arms raised, looking at the sky and running towards the embrace of our companions. Run again, dear Gigi, and tend still those long arms of yours in the sky, run and look up.”

Video Riva, Spalletti: ‘A hero who didn’t want the spotlight’

Even the crowd outside the basilica listened in religious silence, until the final thunderous applause Nicola, the eldest son, wanted to thank everyone, underlining that at the funeral home “When people cried and offered us condolences, it was I who wanted to offer them to them, because not only our father passed away, but a family member of many Sardinians and many people who loved him.”

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Video Kilometers of queue for the last tribute to Riva, thousands at the funeral home

Upon exiting the coffin, a long round of applause greeted the Legend, to the tune of Piero Marras’ song “When Gigi Riva will return”. Also holding the coffin were Buffon, Cannavaro and Zola, with the entire Cagliari team behind them, captained by Ranieri.

The chant of “Gigi, Gigi” rose from the crowd. Then the moving chorus of the fans began with the ultras’ scarves. “One Gigi Riva, there is only one Gigi Riva” they sang before the coffin was placed on the car headed to the monumental cemetery of Bonaria for burial.

For further information Agenzia ANSA Farewell to Gigi Riva, the greatest striker of the national team – Indices – Ansa.it Rombo di Tuono remains the greatest Italian striker with 35 goals and number 11 in Cagliari’s 1970 championship (ANSA)

breaking latest news © Copyright ANSA

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