Farewell to Gigi Simoni, gentleman of Italian football

Addio a Gigi Simoni, gentiluomo del calcio italiano

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Our football mourns a highly respected technician and a respectable person. He was 81 years old, had been ill for some time. He spent 62 years on the field, first as a player, then as a coach ( 17 teams trained), finally as manager. His best adventure with Ronaldo's Inter

A gentleman of football leaves, one of the last exponents of a world that placed honesty, seriousness and respect for human relationships in the first place on the scale of values. Gigi Simoni died at the age of 81 years, 62 of which he spent them on a football pitch, first as a player, then as a coach, finally as an executive. He had been ill for some time. In June he had been hospitalized in the Lucca hospital for the consequences of a stroke that had caught him in his home, in San Piero a Grado, in the province of Pisa.

Di Gigi Simoni is remembered above all his experience on the Inter bench . In season 1997-98 won a UEFA cup, in the all-Italian final in Paris against Lazio. It was May 6 1998: 3-0 for the team that had its star in Ronaldo il Fenomeno. Legendary the phrase with which Simoni – who had an eye for Ronaldo – explained the tactics to his players: «Give the ball to Ronie, then let him think about it: you worry about going to meet him to embrace him and celebrate the goal» . That friendship is remembered in these hours by the club: “The Simoni-Ronaldo combination will always remain in the hearts of everyone, not just the Inter players”.

A few days before – the 26 April – Simoni lived a day that still continues to arouse controversy: it was a sort of playoff-scudetto and Juventus won 1-0 a game of poisons and episodes never cleared up, the most famous was the “shoulder” of Iuliano to Ronaldo, with the lack of rigor for Inter. Simoni went on a rampage, for a championship that had got out of hand in an age in which – he went for 60 years – trains no longer run twice.

But Simoni's career has been long and full of satisfactions. As a player – 368 matches as a professional – he was a left wing of good talent, in the years 60 he also played in Juventus, but with Turin, Brescia and Genoa he lived his best seasons so much that he also deserved a couple of calls (but without making his debut ) with the Italian national team.

His career as manager and manager covers 39 years of football, a very long time that has no equal in our football. First bench at Genoa, the team to which he was always tied, in 1975; last stop in Cremona, in 2014. In the middle of Simoni he toured Italy, always distinguishing himself for his style and ease in establishing relationships with his footballers, the same ones who today remember him with boundless affection. 17 teams trained, seven promotions from B to A , one from C1 to B, 2 from C2 to C1 and the pearl of the Anglo-Italian Trophy, won with the Cremonese in 1992-93.

He weaned dozens of coaches (Simeone and Mazzarri the most famous), made dozens of players make his debut including three World Champions (Bruno Conti in 1982, Gilardino and Pirlo in 2006); above all he has always been faithful – Gigi Simoni – to his respectable style of person. Today the whole world of football pays him homage and all the teams he worked for remember him on his social profiles.

Among the many declarations, one seems to us to photograph well the trace left by Gigi Simoni in this world. These are the words of Davide Nicola, one of his “boys”. «One day you told me – Nicola wrote -: the elegance in football is the only thing that matters . Thank you Mister “.


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