Hall of Fame

11th edition of the Hall of Fame at Coverciano

The ceremony, shown live on Rai 2, saw Altobelli, Girelli and Zola all receiving the honour. Also present were First Team Head Coaches Spalletti and Soncin, Head of Delegation Buffon and parts of the Azzurri squad. Awards also given in memory of Erbstein, Mihajlovic and Sconcerti

Monday, November 13, 2023

11th edition of the Hall of Fame at Coverciano

With a look to the future and a nod to the past to remember legends of Italian football and inspire those of the future, the Italian Football Hall of Fame has welcomed a number of new members in the 11th edition of the ceremony that was held at Coverciano on the first day of the Azzurri retreat.

President of the FIGC, Gabriele Gravina, underlined: “We are honoured to be able to recognise those who made outstanding contributions to Italian football history each year. We do so with purpose and conviction because we maintain that this is part of our mission. Those who take care of the world of football, in all its dimensions, must also respect its memories and pass on its values to future generations. These inductions speak to the fans: this is why we wanted to organise this year’s ceremony at Coverciano, the home of the National teams and the Museo del Calcio Italiano, to emphasise how the legend of the Hall of Fame is heritage for everyone. It is also important that the ceremony was held today, we wanted to express our closeness to those in Prato affected by the recent flooding”. 

The aims of the prize and the jury. Founded in 2011 by the Fondazione Museo del Calcio and the FIGC to honour the heritage, history, culture, and values of Italian football, the Hall of Fame grows every year with the additions of new figures decided by a jury. This panel includes the president of the Unione Stampa Sportiva Italiana, Gianfranco Coppola, and the directors of national sporting publications including Federico Ferri (director of Sky Sport), Guido Vaciago (director of Tuttosport), Stefano Barigelli (director of Gazzetta dello Sport), Alberto Brandi, (associate director of Sport NewsMediaset), Ivan Zazzaroni (director of Corriere dello Sport and Guerin Sportivo), Piercarlo Presutti (responsible for Sport ANSA), as well as Matteo Marani, the president of the Fondazione Museo del Calcio.

Awards and inductees. The event was held in the auditorium of Coverciano and was live on RAI 2 hosted by journalist Alberto Rimedio. Also present on stage were Head Coach Luciano Spalletti, Head of the Delegation Gianluigi Buffon, Captain of the Azzurri Gianluigi Donnarumma, as well as Women’s Head Coach Andrea Soncin. Watching on were other members of the Italy squads. 

Buffon spoke: “I believe that being a part of the Hall of Fame is one of the greatest honours one can receive because it means being held in the memories of all the sporting world. I ended my career happy with what I had achieved, but more so for what I had shared with others, the satisfaction of the side comes before individualism every time”.

Amongst those inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame this time round are 1982 World Cup champion, Alessandro Altobelli (for the Italian Veteran category); ex-player and current Lega Pro vice president, Gianfranco Zola (Italian Player); Juventus Women forward, Cristiana Girelli (Italian Female Footballer); ex-president of Inter, Ernesto Pellegrini (Italian Director); ex-player for Juventus and Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Foreign Player), and José Mourinho (Coach). The latter three could not be present at Coverciano to accept the awards.

As is tradition, when the new names are formally inducted into the Hall of Fame, the entrants will be asked to donate a piece of memorabilia from the careers to be kept at the Museo del Calcio. ‘Spillo’ Altobelli donated his Italy number 9 shirt that he wore in the victory over Malta in 1988 which was key for Euro qualification. Pellegrini, who was unable to attend, will donate his gold medal from the Inter Scudetto win to the museum. Cristiana Grielli brought along her shirt from the World Cup round of 16 game against France in 2019 to be donated. Gianfranco Zola brought his number 25 shirt from Chelsea as a symbol of his time in England when he got the nickname ‘Magic Box’.

Awards in Memorium. Siniša Mihajlović, Erno Egri Erbstein and Mario Sconcerti received awards for their respective contributions to the history of Italian football.

“I want to express my thanks to the FIGC for wanting to honour my father's memory in the Hall of Fame” said Susanna, the daughter of Erno Egri Erbstein, after the president of the Fondazione del Museo del Calcio, Matteo Marani, spoke on her father’s life.

“Sinisa’s passing has left a huge hole in Italian football. He was an exceptional man and will not be forgotten. He loved his work and showed this over his career, especially in the last months of his life”. These were the words of Arianna Mihajlovic, Sinisa’s wife, who brought two pieces of memorabilia to be donated to the Museo del Calcio: a Bologna training kit and a shirt signed by the Rossoblu squad donated by the Club to the Coach’s family. 

Martina, the daughter of Mario Sconcerti, spoke on the award dedicated to her father with a smile: “I believe that many people in this room had at least one argument with my dad. He was a student of life in all its facets and a great lover of football”.

The Davide Astori Fair Play Award was given to Luca Martelli, the young referee from Tuscany who stopped a game in the Seconda Categoria (8th tier) in order to give medical attention to his own father, who suffered a medical emergency in the stands, saving his life with a defibrillator.

“Unfortunately, situations arise that we wouldn't choose to be in. And I want to thank the Federation for their closeness and allowing me to be here” said Luca Martinelli, who then presented his shirt from the day of the incident to be donated to the museum.


Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame, a Coverciano (e in diretta tv su Rai 2) l'undicesima edizione