Giuseppe Bergomi

Giuseppe Bergomi
Bergomi in 2008
Personal information
Full name Giuseppe Bergomi
Date of birth (1963-12-22) 22 December 1963
Place of birth Milan, Italy
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1999 Internazionale 519 (23)
National team
1981–1982 Italy U21 3 (0)
1982–1998 Italy 81 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Giuseppe "Beppe" Bergomi (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈzɛppe ˈbɛrɡomi]; born 22 December 1963) is an Italian retired footballer who spent his entire career at Internazionale.

A one-club man, Bergomi held the record of most appearances for the club for several years, while also being the side's longtime captain. He was affectionately referred to as "Lo zio" ("the uncle")[1] because of his bushy eyebrows and the impressive moustache he wore even as a youngster.[2][3]

He is regarded as one of the greatest Italian defenders of all time,[4][5][6] and as one of the best of his generation,[7] being elected by Pelé to be part of the FIFA 100 in 2004.[8]

Bergomi currently works as a pundit at Sky Sports Italia and frequently co-commentates on Serie A matches alongside Fabio Caressa.[9]

Club career

Born in Milan, Bergomi began training with F.C. Internazionale Milano's first team at the age of only 16, and made his professional debut in the 1980–81 season. After winning the Coppa Italia the following year,[10] also reaching the semifinals of the European Cup whilst putting on consistent performances, he soon was part of Italy's senior squad choices.[11]

Bergomi would go on to spend his entire career with Inter, later becoming team captain. The 20 Serie A campaigns in which he competed were often in the shadow of A.C. Milan, as he only won the Scudetto once, during a record-breaking campaign in 1988–89 (he did, however, conquer the UEFA Cup on three occasions,[10] also reaching the final for a fourth time in 1997[12]).[11] For a moment, he held the records for both the most appearances in European competition by an Italian player and the most Milan derbies played, both later broken by Paolo Maldini.[13][14]

Bergomi retired in 1999 at the age of almost 36, holding the record of most appearances for Inter until late September 2011 when he was overtaken by Javier Zanetti.[15] With 96 appearances, he currently holds the record for most appearances in the UEFA Cup,[16] and in March 2004 he was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers.[8]

International career

With Italy Bergomi won the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and also played in the 1986 and 1990 campaigns (acting as captain in the latter), as well as UEFA Euro 1988, where the nation reached the semi-finals and he was elected part of the team of the tournament.[17] Alongside the likes of Inter's Giuseppe Baresi, his younger brother Franco of A.C. Milan and Juventus F.C. trio of Antonio Cabrini, Claudio Gentile and Gaetano Scirea, he formed the backbone of the national team's defence for much of the 1980s, making his debut on 14 April 1982 in a 0–1 friendly loss in East Germany, aged only 18 years and 3 months, making him the youngest player to feature in a match for Italy post-World War II;[18][19] in the victorious World Cup run in Spain he appeared in three games, including the full 180 minutes in the last two matches, keeping a clean sheet in the semi-final after coming on for injured Collovati. In the final, he also participated in Marco Tardelli's iconic goal, along with Scirea.[20]

In the 1986 edition Italy were eliminated in the round-of-16, and Bergomi captained his country in the 1990 tournament – held on home soil – to a third-place finish, playing in all seven matches which included five consecutive wins and as many clean sheets, for a total of 518 minutes without conceding a goal and the best defensive record overall.[21]

After being sent off in a match against Norway for the Euro 1992 qualifiers, Bergomi spent years without being called up to the Azzurri, but was surprisingly selected for the 1998 World Cup at age 34,[22] after playing 28 times in the league and leading the Nerazzurri to the UEFA Cup – his third and last. In France he started off as a reserve, but was substituted in during the last group stage match against Austria when Alessandro Nesta suffered a tournament-ending injury. He partnered for the rest of the tournament with Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Costacurta and Maldini, playing three games and leading Italy to a quarter-final finish, where they would be eliminated by hosts and eventual champions France, on penalties; this would be his 81st and final international appearance, to which he added six goals.[23]

Despite playing in four World Cups, Bergomi failed to make one single appearance in the qualifying stages.[24]

Style of play

Bergomi was an extremely versatile defender, who was capable of playing anywhere along the backline and adapting to any formation:[4][10][25] although he was primarily a right-back,[7][26] he was equally capable of playing on the left,[27][28] as a central defender,[29] or even as a sweeper,[30] positions in which he was often deployed both at club and international level. A quick, athletic, and hard-working player, as a full-back he was known for his strength, stamina and his ability to make attacking runs up the flank, and was also capable of contributing to his team's offensive plays with goals,[7][11][27][29][31][32] courtesty of his good right foot and powerful shot from outside the area.[33] Above all, however, Bergomi was known for his excellent man-marking skills as a "stopper",[7][30][34] although he was later also able to excel in a zonal marking system;[27][30] he was also highly regarded for his timing and anticipation.[33]

Despite having a strong temper and being a hard tackler[35] − he was sent off 12 times in his career[29] − Bergomi also distinguished himself by his fairness, professionalism, and discipline, which made him well-respected among team-mates, opponents, and coaches;[27][36][37] he was also regarded for his 'silent leadership' throughout his career.[38] Because of his physical and tenacious playing style,[27][39] in 2007, The Times placed him at number 9 in their list of the 50 hardest football players in history.[35][40]

A precocious talent in his youth,[29][41] Bergomi later also stood out for his longevity throughout his extensive career;[29] indeed, his experience, tactical intelligence, and positional sense,[42][43][44] as well as his confidence on the ball, balance, technique, and his ability to play the ball out from the back-line enabled him to excel as a sweeper towards the end of his career,[7][27][30][45] and maintain a high level of performance, in spite of his loss of pace as a result of his physical decline.[42][46]

Post-playing career

A licensed football coach, Bergomi became youth coach of Esordienti at Inter in 2008.[47] In July 2009 he was appointed youth coach of Allievi Nazionali (under-17) at A.C. Monza Brianza 1912,[48] being promoted as head of the Berretti under-19 team, in co-operation with Giuseppe Chieppa, one year later.[49]

In July 2011, Bergomi left Monza to accept the same position at Atalanta BC.[50] Additionally, he also worked as a football pundit and commentator for Italian satellite television Sky Italia, often commentating with Fabio Caressa, including in Italy's victorious run at the 2006 World Cup.[51][52]

Personal life

Bergomi is married to Daniela; they have two children: Andrea and Sara.[53]

Career statistics



Club performance League Cup Continental Total
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1979–80Inter MilanSerie A001010
Total Italy 519231205117075628
Career total 519231205117075628











5th Class/Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 1991[59]

See also


  1. "Billy e lo zio Bergomi, derby infinito "Viva i grattacieli". "Più linee del metrò"" [Billy and Uncle Bergomi, never-ending derby "Long live the skyscrapers". More subway lines"] (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 4 May 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  2. Jonathan Wilson (27 May 2014). "100 top World Cup footballers: No100 to No61". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  3. "European football's best nicknames". UEFA. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  4. 1 2 "Bergomi: It's all about teamwork". FIFA. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  5. "Italy's greatest defenders". Sky Sports. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  6. "When Naples had "Diego in our hearts, Italy in our songs"". ESPN FC. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Gianni Piva (28 March 1992). "Cominciò dalla Nazionale: anche Bergomi è in rosso" [It began with the National team: even Bergomi is in red]. la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  8. 1 2 3 "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  9. "Fabio Caressa e Beppe Bergomi" [Fabio Caressa and Beppe Bergomi] (in Italian). RAI. 19 January 2014.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 Fabio Monti (2002). "BERGOMI, Giuseppe" (in Italian). Treccani. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  11. 1 2 3 "Giuseppe Bergomi" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  12. "I ricordi europei di Bergomi" [Bergomi's European memories] (in Italian). 25 November 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  13. Milan ease into last eight; BBC Sport, 25 February 2003
  14. Clockwatch: Inter 1–1 Milan; BBC Sport, 13 May 2003
  15. "Zanetti continues to push boundaries". ESPN Soccernet. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  16. "UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook 2014–15: All-Time Records (1971–2015)" (PDF). Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  17. 1 2 "1988 team of the tournament". 19 September 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  18. "Buon compleanno a Giuseppe Bergomi, che compie 51 anni!" [Happy birthday to Giuseppe Bergomi, who turns 51!] (in Italian). 22 December 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  19. "esordienti: ha battuto Maldini, il piu' giovane rimane Bergomi" [Debutants: he beat Maldini, the youngest remains Bergomi] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 31 October 1997. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  20. Giuseppe BergomiFIFA competition record
  21. "Internazionale: Serie A alternative club guide". The Guardian. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  22. The Italy squad; BBC Sport, 3 May 1998
  23. 1 2 Giuseppe Bergomi – International Appearances; at RSSSF
  24. Which managers have changed their club's colours?; The Guardian, 29 February 2012
  25. "Giuseppe BERGOMI" (in Italian). Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  26. Gianni Brera (21 September 1989). "Illuminati da Baggio" [Illuminated by Baggio] (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  27. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Luca Curino; Andrea Elefante (11 October 1999). "La festa dello Zio" [The Uncle's party]. La Gazzetta dello Sport.
  28. "Ince Instancabile" [Tireless Ince] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 24 March 1997. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  29. 1 2 3 4 5 "Beppe Bergomi". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 30 July 1999. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  30. 1 2 3 4 Enrico Currò (24 May 1998). "Bergomi e il calcio antico. Ma il libero serve sempre" [Bergomi and oldschool football. But a sweeper is always needed]. la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  31. Gianni Brera (25 January 1987). "CINQUE GOL NON FANNO L' ITALIA" [Five goals don't make Italy] (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  32. "MA IL MIO CT E' RAZZA CELTICA" [But my coach is of Celtic origins] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 18 March 1988. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  33. 1 2 "FC Internazionale Hall of Fame - Bergomi" (in Italian). Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  34. Almanacco illustrato del calcio 2005 [Illustrated football album 2005] (in Italian). Panini Group. 2004. p. 547.
  35. 1 2 "Top 50 hardest footballers". Empire. 13 August 2007. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  36. Nicola Cecere (1 July 1998). "Bergomi, uno che va sempre di moda" [Bergomi, someone who never goes out of fashion]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  37. Nicola Cecere (6 July 1998). "Bergomi apre il ciclo interista" [Bergomi starts Inter's cycle]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  38. Massimo Gramellini (29 June 1990). "Zio Bergomi rincorre il magico bis". La Stampa (in Italian). p. 31.
  39. "'GALLI O TANCREDI ANCORA NON SCELGO'" ["Galli or Tancredi I'm still not chosing"] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 28 March 1986. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  40. Claudio Lenzi (9 August 2007). "Il Times contro gli eroi '82" [The Times against the heroes of '82] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  41. Sebastiano Vernazza (12 August 2015). "Romagnoli, ecco i tuoi modelli: 8 difensori precoci da Baresi a Maldini" [Romagnoli, here are your role moderls: 8 precocious defenders from Baresi to Maldini] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  42. 1 2 "DI MATTEO MALE BRAVO PAGLIUCA" [Di Matteo poor Pagliuca good] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 4 March 1996. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  43. "SIGNORI E' CONFUSO DJORKAEFF INESISTENTE" [Signori is confused Djorkaeff nonexistent] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 6 October 1997. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  44. "Da Skoglund a Ibra, i momenti più belli" [From Skoglund to Ibra, the most beautiful moments] (in Italian). 7 March 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  45. Alessio Pignatelli (19 June 2009). "Milan-Inter: al via il derby di MilanoToday E' sfida tra Baresi e Bergomi" [Milan-Inter: let the derby of MilanToday begin It's a faceoff between Baresi and Bergomi] (in Italian). Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  46. Antonello Capone; Luca Curino; Ruggiero Palombo (4 December 1998). "Salas ferma la nuova Inter" [Salas stops the new Inter] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  47. "Lo Zio allenatore comincia con un pari" [Manager Zio starts with draw] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 2 February 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  48. "Cevoli nuovo mister del Monza Berretti a Muraro, Allievi a Bergomi" [Cevoli new Monza manager, Berretti for Muraro, Allievi for Bergomi] (in Italian). Il Cittadino Monza Brianza. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  49. "A.C. Monza Brianza: Bergomi allenatore della Berretti" [A.C. Monza Brianza: Bergomi Berretti coach] (in Italian). Il Giornale dello Sport. 21 July 2010. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  50. "Ufficiale: Bergomi al settore giovanile dell'Atalanta" [Official: Bergomi with Atalanta's youth teams] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  51. "Caressa e Bergomi da Fazio, proteste di Usigrai e Raisport" [Caressa and Bergomi at Fazio, protests in Usigrai and Raisport] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  52. Di Domenico Esposito (15 July 2014). "Il Mondiale in tv: le pagelle dei telecronisti. Flop Caressa, Buffa da 10" [The TV World Cup: the broadcasters' marks. Caressa a flop, Buffa a 10] (in Italian). International Business Times. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  53. "Biografia di Giuseppe Bergomi" [Giuseppe Bergomi Biography] (in Italian). Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  54. "Giuseppe Bergomi". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  55. staff, inter(a t) (17 November 2006). "F.C. Internazionale Milano". Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  56. "Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare Gaetano Scirea: Alba d'Oro" [National Award Exemplary Career Gaetano Scirea: Golden Alba] (in Italian). Comune di Cinisello Balsamo. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  57. Christopher Davies (5 March 2004). "Pele open to ridicule over top hundred". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  58. "Italian football Hall of Fame to induct ten new stars". 25 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  59. "Bergomi Sig. Giuseppe – Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" [Bergomi Sir Giuseppe – Official Order of Merit of the Italian Republic] (in Italian). Quirinale. 30 September 1991. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
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