Gigi Riva Celebrates 50-Year Italy Goalscoring Record Anniversary

Little did anyone expect Cagliari icon Gigi Riva to hold on to his record of being Italy’s top goalscorer for 50 years. The Azzurri legend last scored a goal for the nation back on 20 October 1973, taking his tally to 35 goals from 42 caps, when Italy beat Switzerland 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in the 1974 World Cup Qualification stages.

Riva, who helped Cagliari achieve promotion to the Italian top flight for the first time in 1964, spoke to La Nuova Sardegna (via CagliariNews24) regarding his long-lasting record.

“At the time I didn’t think it would last so long, but I certainly cannot deny that I experience this achievement with satisfaction and pride,” before dishing on the quality of goals his scored: “All the goals gave me great satisfaction and I always greeted them in my own way, releasing the tension of the match. Obviously in my career the Scudetto and some matches for the Azzurri remain at the top of my preferences.”

The headed goal against the Swiss took Riva two better than Giuseppe Meazza, who sits in second place with 33 goals from 53 appearances. Silvio Piola, who is third in the all-time goalscorers list with 30 goals in 34 caps, holds the best goalscoring ratio though – 0.88 – compared to Riva’s 0.83.

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