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Giovanni Galli
Giovanni galli.JPG
Galli in 2011
Personal information
Date of birth (1958-04-29) 29 April 1958 (age 65)
Place of birth Pisa, Italy
Height 1.87 m
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1986 Fiorentina 259 (0)
1986–1990 Milan 98 (0)
1990–1993 Napoli 98 (0)
1993–1994 Torino 31 (0)
1994–1995 Parma 10 (0)
1995–1996 Lucchese 26 (0)
Total 522 (0)
National team
1976–1982 Italy U21 22 (0)
1983–1986 Italy 19 (0)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Giovanni Galli (Italian pronunciation: [dʒoˈvanni ˈɡalli]; born 29 April 1958) is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and currently a politician.

In a professional career which spanned nearly two decades, he played in 496 Serie A games, mainly with Fiorentina (nine seasons) and Milan (four), winning six major titles with the latter club.

An international in the 1980s, Galli appeared with Italy in two World Cups, and the 1980 UEFA European Football Championship; he was an unused member of the squad that won the 1982 FIFA World Cup and served as Italy's starting goalkeeper at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Club career

Born in Pisa, Galli started his career with his home town's youth side as a midfielder before switching to the role of goalkeeper. He began his professional career with ACF Fiorentina in 1977, where he played for nine Serie A seasons. In 1986–87, he joined fellow league side A.C. Milan, being first-choice for three of his four years, and establishing himself as one of Italy's best goalkeepers, winning the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana during his first season. He also started in both of the club's back-to-back European Cup conquests, in 1989 and 1990, also winning consecutive European Supercups in 1989 and 1990, and the Intercontinental Cup in 1989. He also reached the final of the 1989–90 Coppa Italia with Milan. In his final season with the club, he was often alternated and faced competition for a starting spot from back-up Andrea Pazzagli, whom manager Arrigo Sacchi often fielded during league games, while Galli played in European matches.

In the 1990 summer, following Milan's signing of Sebastiano Rossi, 32-year-old Galli left, going on to represent S.S.C. Napoli and appearing in an average of 33 league games during his three-year spell, starting by winning the Italian Supercup, 5–1 against Juventus. In 1993, he played as the starting keeper for Torino Calcio for a single season, reaching the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, and the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup, despite a disappointing mid-table finish. He finished his stint in the top division at the end of the 1994–95 season, after being named backup goalkeeper behind Luca Bucci at AC Parma, who won the UEFA Cup that season, and reached the Coppa Italia final, also placing third in Serie A.

Galli retired in 1996 at the age of 38 after a brief stint with A.S. Lucchese-Libertas of Serie B.

International career

Galli took part in Italy's victorious 1982 FIFA World Cup expedition, without playing a single match however, as he served as backup to Dino Zoff, alongside Bordon. The same had already happened in the UEFA Euro 1980 tournament, where Italy finished in fourth place on home soil, after reaching the semi-final. Galli was given his national team debut in a friendly match against Greece on 5 October 1983, which ended in a 3–0 win to Italy.

As a starter, Galli played in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico under manager Enzo Bearzot, as Italy were ousted in the round of 16 by eventual semi-finalists France, led by Michel Platini. During the tournament, in Italy's 1–1 draw against eventual champions Argentina in their second group match on 5 June, Galli drew criticism in the media for his goalkeeping on Maradona's equaliser. Following the competition, he was no longer called up to Italy. In total, Galli obtained 19 caps for Italy.

Style of play

Considered one of the best goalkeepers in Italy and the world during his prime, Galli was an extremely consistent, composed, reflective, and reliable goalkeeper, with a good physique, despite his tall and slender frame, and who possessed an excellent fundamental goalkeeping technique; indeed, he stood out for his elegance in both his playing style and movements, and as such, he rarely made saves with his feet. He was known in particular for his strong positional sense, handling, and his efficient rather than spectacular playing style, as well as his calm personality and serious demeanour, both on and off the pitch; however, he was also an athletic shot-stopper, with a good spring, who was capable of producing decisive diving saves when necessary. In spite of his reserved character, he was also highly regarded for his charismatic leadership, as well as his mentality, and his ability to communicate with his defenders and organise his back-line, which often inspired a sense of confidence in his teammates. He excelled in Milan's zonal marking system under Sacchi, due to his speed when rushing off his line to claim crosses or anticipate opponents who had beaten the offside trap, which enabled the team to maintain a high defensive line; when his team were attacking, he was often tasked with remaining outside his box to function as a sweeper keeper. He also possessed good distribution, vision, and solid ball skills, which enabled him to play the ball out from the back.

After retirement

In December 2007, Galli joined Hellas Verona F.C. as its director of football, leaving his position after only two months in charge. He also later worked as a football pundit.

Personal life

Galli is the father of late Niccolò Galli, a promising young footballer who died in a road accident on 9 February 2001, aged only 17. He is married to Anna, and also has two daughters, Camilla and Carolina.







  • A.C. Milan Hall of Fame
  • Fiorentina Hall of Fame

See also

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