A moved crowd at the funeral of Gigi Riva, the last farewell from Italy to its champion.

The President of FIGC, Gabriele Gravina, the coach Luciano Spalletti, and the Azzurri delegation leader Gigi Buffon also wanted to pay homage to the 'Roar of Thunder'.'

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

A moved crowd at the funeral of Gigi Riva, the last farewell from Italy to its champion.

A nation united in love, paying the deserved tribute to their champion, a touching outpouring of affection for one of the greatest footballers of all time. Thousands of people who wanted to bid their final farewell attended the wake set up yesterday at the Domus Arena, the current stadium of Cagliari, an entire island came to a standstill in the afternoon for Gigi Riva's funeral. Friends, former teammates, and fans who grew up witnessing the legend filled the Basilica di Bonaria, where, two days after his passing, the solemn funeral of ‘The Roar of Thunder’ took place that afternoon. Archbishop of Cagliari officiated, and the Secretary-General of Cei, Giuseppe Baturi, recalled Riva's celebration after the goal in the 'Match of the Century' against Germany, "Run dear Gigi, and reach for the sky with your long arms again!"

The leaders of Italian institutions and sports were present: the Minister of Sport Andrea Abodi, the President of CONI Giovanni Malagò, and the President of FIGC Gabriele Gravina attended the funeral ceremony after attending the wake in the morning. And then the National Team of today and yesterday, from Coach Luciano Spalletti to the delegation leader Gigi Buffon, from Giancarlo De Sisti, Marco Tardelli, and Gianfranco Zola to the World Champions of Germany 2006 Fabio Cannavaro, Simone Perrotta, Angelo Peruzzi, and Marco Amelia. A triumphant ride, in Germany, where Riva as the team manager proved to be very valuable off the field as well, giving advice and becoming a kind of second father to the players. "Your World Champions of 2006" is the dedication that accompanied the floral wreath placed at the foot of the coffin, covered with the number 11 jerseys from the National Team and Cagliari. The Cagliari presence was in full force, for which Gigi Riva has been the flagbearer and leader, and to which he gave the only Serie A title in the history of Cagliari Football in the 1969/70 season.

Over 30,000 people followed the funeral on the two big screens set up in front of the Basilica di Bonaria and in Piazza dei Centomila, a moved and composed crowd that bid farewell to the coffin's exit from the church with scarves, banners, and red-blue flags. In the background, the notes of 'When Gigi Riva Returns,' the song by Piero Marras dedicated to ‘The Roar of Thunder.' A tribute of love for the man and the champion who brought the name of Sardinia to the world.