Italian Football Legend, Gigi Riva popularly known as Roar of Thunder has died aged 79.
The death of Riva was disclosed by the Italian Football Federation president, Gabriele Gravina on Monday, January 22, noting that “a genuine national monument has left”.
He said, “Italian football is in mourning because a genuine national monument has left us today.”
Riva is Italy’s all-time top goalscorer and is famous in the Mediterranean nation for firing Cagliari to their only league title in 1970.
According to the report, Riva had been in hospital in the Sardinian capital Cagliari, where he stayed after the end of his playing career, reportedly after suffering a heart attack over the weekend.
Riva scored 35 times in just 42 appearances for his country, with whom he won the 1968 European Championship and reached the World Cup final two years later.
Italy was swept aside in that final by Brazil, considered one of the best teams in the history of football, but he scored a key goal in the dramatic 4-3 defeat of West Germany in the last four.
He played almost his entire club career with Cagliari, signing for them in 1963 and retiring in 1976 after scoring more than 200 times for the island club.