Gigi Riva’s first three blue flashes in the national team were in Cosenza: it was November 1st 1967, the “San Vito” was inaugurated

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By John

There is something special that links Gigi Riva to the rossoblù. From Cagliari, in the first instance, because he was the flag and hero of the Sardinians. But there is a hint of rossoblù… Cosenza. Which more than anything else links “Rombo di Thunder” at the Cosenza stadium. Yes, because on November 1st 1967, when in the city of the Bruzi there was great excitement for the inauguration of the “San Vito” stadium and for the arrival of the national team led by Valcareggi (and engaged against Cyprus), the young Riva wore the Italy shirt in search of the first goals. A baptism… in baptism. He was good for everyone: for the cashier of the Bruzio stadium who filled his pockets with the spectators’ money, but above all for Riva himself, author of a splendid hat-trick.

A one-sided match, valid for the Nations Cup, which allowed the Azzurri to move quickly towards the success phase of the Nations Cup. Playing on the pitch were Albertosi, Burgnich, Facchetti, Fogli, Bercellino, Picchi, Domenghini, Juliano (who also passed away in recent days), Mazzola, De Sisti and, of course, Gigi Riva.