One of Italian football's greatest names, Gianni Rivera, is to receive the UEFA President's Award for 2011 at a special ceremony to be held on Monday 12 March in Milan, Italy.
Rivera, whose playmaking brilliance thrilled the crowds and brought success to AC Milan and Italy during a superb career in the 1960s and early 1970s, will be presented with the award by UEFA President Michel Platini during a ceremony at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza next Monday at 12.00CET.
Speaking about the award, Michel Platini said: "Gianni Rivera is surely one of the great ambassadors for football at both club and country level, having worn the AC Milan jersey over 500 times and represented his country at four FIFA World Cups. He was also one of the greatest passers of all time who was known for his impeccable dribbling and distribution. In addition, Gianni Rivera was a true gentleman, both on and off the field of play, and he has remained so to this day. It gives me great pleasure to honour him with the UEFA President's Award for 2011."
Rivera joined Milan from US Alessandria Calcio 1912 in 1960, meeting immediate success. He won Serie A in 1962 and went on to lift the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1963. He then repeated this winning streak – with another league title in 1968 the prelude to him lifting the Rossoneri's second European Cup in 1969 as captain.
This triumph earned him individual plaudits and he was awarded the France Football Ballon d'Or in 1969.
Rivera played a total of 501 Serie A matches for Milan, scoring 160 goals. Internationally, he represented Italy 60 times, scoring 14 goals. He participated in four World Cups – 1962, 1966, 1970 and 1974 – and was part of the Squadra Azzurra that won the UEFA European Football Championship in 1968.
Gianni Rivera, now aged 68, is the latest in a distinguished group of football greats to collect the UEFA President's Award – a tribute to outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities. Recent recipients include Raymond Kopa (2010), Eusébio (2009), Sir Bobby Charlton (2008) and Alfredo di Stéfano (2007).
Media wishing to attend the award ceremony are kindly requested to contact the Milan press office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com no later than Friday 9 March. The ceremony will be followed by a photo opportunity on stage and a press conference attended by Gianni Rivera, Michel Platini and Milan vice-president and CEO, Adriano Galliani.