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Franco Baresi Biography

Mon 03 May 2021 | 18:00

In this article, we are going to review some of the most important moments in Franco Baresi biography, the AC Milan legend!

Franchino (Franco) Baresi is an Italian football youth team coach and a former player who was one of the best defenders in the world. He mostly played as a sweeper or as a central defender, and spent his full 20-year career with Serie A club

AC Milan

, captaining the team for 15 seasons.

He was ranked 19th in World Soccer magazine's list of the 100 best football players of the 20th century. He won three UEFA Champions League titles, six Serie A titles, four Supercoppa Italiana titles, two European Super Cups and two Intercontinental Cups with Milan.

Franco Baresi was a member of the Italy national team that won the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Moreover, he played in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where he was named in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team and finished third in the tournament.

At the 1994 World Cup, he captained Italy and was part of the team that reached the final match and he missed a penalty in the penalty shoot-outs as

Brazil

won the World Cup. Baresi also played for Italy at two UEFA European Championships, in 1980 and 1988, and at the 1984 Olympics, reaching the semi-finals on all of the tournaments.

Everything you need to know about Franco Baresi Biography

Now, let’s start with

Franco Baresi Biography

, one of the best football players of all time who devoted his playing career only to AC Milan. His career may be considered as one of the most striking samples of commitment to football.

Franco Baresi information

Franco Baresi Bio

  • Name in home country:

    Franchino Baresi

Personal information

  • Franco Baresi date of birth:

    8 May, 1960

  • Place of birth:

    Travagliato

  • Franco Baresi Nationality:

     Italy

  • Age:

    60

Physical Stats

  • Height:

    1,76 m

  • Foot:

    Right

Football information

  • Current club:

    Retired

  • Position:

     Defender - Sweeper

  • Retired since:

    1 July, 1997

  • Former International:

     Italy

  • Current Job:

    AC Milan Vice-President

Franco Baresi early life

Franco Baresi was born on May 8, 1960 in a suburb of

Brescia

called Travagliato. The childhood of the future legend did not differ from the childhood of millions of Italian boys. In the morning he was at school and in the evening he played football.. The lifestyle of the young Baresi did not change even after the family moved to a much richer and more promising Milan.

Franco Baresi childhood

was difficult. In Milan, two tragedies immediately affected the Baresi family. In 1971, Franco's mother died and a few years later, his father crashed in a terrible car accident. Franco and his older brother Giuseppe remained alone.

Young Franco Baresi's favourite team was not Milan at all. The boy was a passionate fan of the main antagonist of the red-blacks, "Inter". Franco and his brother Giuseppe tried to join the academy of this club in 1974.

Giuseppe immediately liked the coaches, not only was he good at controlling the ball, but he was also in excellent physical shape. Unsurprisingly, the boy immediately received an invitation to join the team. But Franco was unfortunate: the coaches did not consider anything in him. Franco seemed slow and too thin to play football well.

Franco Baresi biography

may not have been like this, but he was lucky. When a 14-year-old boy, struggling to hold back tears, walked into the locker room, he was intercepted by a man, who was on the sidelines for the entire training session. He was Italo Galbyati, who formally should not have been here. The day before he had left the Inter academy and would soon be going to work in Milan. So,

Franco Baresi life story

suddenly changed.

However, Galbyati decided to say goodbye to his former colleagues and attended that training anyway. Out of time, the sensitive Baresi fascinated him and the coach decided to take him to the Rossoneri academy.

The two brothers, Giuseppe and Franco ended up captaining their respective teams after a short time. Their image while exchanging emblems became the symbol of Milan's derby della Madonnina throughout the 80s.

Franco Baresi profile

Franco Baresi was a Milan youth product and he spent his 20-year professional career with Milan. He made his Serie A debut at age 17 during the 1977–78 season on 23 April 1978.

The next season, he became a member of the starting 11, playing as a sweeper or as a centreback, winning the 1978–79 Serie A title, which was the tenth Milan's championship in Italy overall, playing alongside Fabio Capello and Gianni Rivera.

This achievement was followed by a obscure period in the club's history, when Milan was relegated to Serie B twice during the early 1980s. Milan were relegated  for the first time in 1980 for being involved in the match fixing scandal of 1980, and once again after finishing third-last in the 1981–82 season.

Despite of the fact that he was a member of the Euro 1980 Italy national team that had finished fourth, and the 1982 World Cup-winning team, Baresi prefered to stay with and committed to Milan, winning the Serie B league for the second time during the 1982–83 season and bringing Milan back to Serie A.

Franco Baresi was appointed Milan's captain at age 22 after Aldo Maldera and Fulvio Collovati left the team in 1982. He held this position for the rest of his time at the club, legend and a leader for the club.

During this miserable period for Milan, Franco Baresi could win a Mitropa Cup in 1982 and reach the Coppa Italia final during 1984–85 season, though the blub failed to dominate in Serie A.

During the end of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, Franco Baresi was at the heart of a remarkable all-Italian defense alongside Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassotti and later Christian Panucci, under coaches Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello. This defense is often regarded by many as one of the greatest of all-time. 

When brilliant Dutch trio of Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard joined  AC Milan in the late 1980s, the team started a period of national and international achievements.

They were the best years of Milan full of success as the Milan squad had many Italian and international stars, such as Roberto Donadoni, Carlo Ancelotti, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and later Demetrio Albertini, Dejan Savićević, Zvonimir Boban, Marcel Desailly, George Weah, Jean-Pierre Papin, Brian Laudrup and Roberto Baggio.

Under Arrigo Sacchi, Milan won the Serie A title in 1987–88, with Baresi who helped the team to concede only 14 goals. This triumph was instantly followed by a Supercoppa Italiana in 1988 the next season, and consecutive European Cups in 1988–89 and 1989–90. In the 1990 European Cup Final, Franco Baresi showed an excellent performance as the team's captain, helping Milan to defend the European Cup trophy and keep a clean sheet in a 1–0 win against Benfica. 

Franco Baresi was also named Serie A Footballer of the Year in 1989–90 season. Milan also reached the Coppa Italia final during the 1989–90 season.

Franco Baresi continued to win four more Italian league titles with Milan under Fabio Capello, including three successive cups in 1991–92, 1992–93 and the 1993–94 seasons.

Franco Baresi helped Milan win the 1991–92 season unbeaten and helped the team to go undefeated for an Italian record of 58 games. Milan also scored 74 goals that season which was a record in

Italy

.

In the 1993–94 season, Franco Baresi helped Milan concede only 15 goals in Serie A. So, AC Milan finished the season with the best defense. Franco Baresi also lifted three successive Supercoppa Italiana under Fabio Capello, in 1992, 1993 and 1994. AC Milan also played at three successive UEFA Champions League finals during the 1992–93, 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons. They lost to Marseille in 1992–93 and 

Ajax

 in 1994–95.

However, Franco Baresi won the third European Cup/UEFA Champions League of his professional career in 1993–94. AC Milan beat Johan Cruyff's Barcelona "Dream Team" 4–0 in the final match.

Furthermore, Franco Baresi won the 1994 European Super Cup, nevertheless Milan lost in the 1994 Intercontinental Cup, the 1993 European Super Cup and the 1993 Intercontinental Cup. AC Milan and Baresi won another Serie A championship during 1995–96 season, which was Baresi's sixth title.

Finally, Franco Baresi retired at the end of the 1996–97 Serie A season, at age 37. In his 20 seasons with Milan, he won six Serie A titles, three European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles, two Intercontinental Cups, four European Supercups, four Supercoppa Italiana, two Serie B titles and a Mitropa Cup. 

Although he was a defender, he scored 31 goals for Milan, 21 of which were on penalties, and, he was the best scorer of the Coppa Italia during the 1989–90 season. It was the only tournament which he failed to win with Milan, reaching the final match twice during his career at the club.

Franco Baresi’s scored his final goal in a 2–1 victory over Padova on 27 August 1995. In his honour, Milan retired his number 6 shirt, which he had worn throughout his career. The captain's armband, which he had worn for 15 seasons, was handed over to Paolo Maldini. Milan organised a celebration football match in his honour, which was played on 28 October 1997 at the San Siro, played by many great football players. So,

Franco Baresi biography

ended as a player at Milan.

Regarding Franco Baresi’s international career, he experienced a career was full of dramatic moments at Italy national team.  At age 20, whereas he still was playing in the Italy under-21 team, Franco Baresi was named in Italy's 22-man squad for the 1980 European Championship. His older brother Giuseppe was also included in the team by manager Enzo Bearzot.

The competition was held on Italy soil and the national team finished fourth. Nevertheless, unlike his brother, Franco Baresi did not play any match in the tournament. Euro 1980 was the only time the two brothers were on the Italy team together at a major tournament.

At age 22, Baresi was chosen for Italy's squad for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. The Azzurri won their third World Cup after 44 years, defeating West Germany in the final match, but young Baresi, once again, did not play any match during the World Cup. 

Franco Baresi was also a player of the Italy team that participated in the 1984 Olympics. Italy finished in fourth place after they lost the semi-final match to Brazil, and also lost the bronze medal match to Yugoslavia. Franco Baresi netted a goal for Italy against the United States during the group stage.

The Italian brilliant defender played his first senior international match in a 1984 UEFA Championship qualifying match against Romania in Florence, on 14 December 1982, a 0–0 draw. Italy, nevertheless, eventually failed to qualify for the final competition.

Franco Baresi was not in Italy's national team for the 1986 World Cup by coach Enzo Bearzot, who believed he was more of a midfielder than a defender. Baresi was named in the team in 1988 European Championship, playing as a sweeper, where Italy reached the semi-finals under coach Azeglio Vicini.

He became a first team player and played in all of the matches. He made his first appearance in a World Cup tournament in the 1990, which was organised on home soil, and he played in every match as one of the centre-backs. Italy finished in third-place, after being defeated by Argentina in a penalty shootout in the semi-finals. 

Baresi played a crucial role in the Italian defense to keep five consecutive clean sheets, only conceding two goals, and reaching a World Cup record of clean sheet of 518 minutes, until they were beaten by Argentina in the semi-final. His performances earned him a spot on the 1990 World Cup Team of the tournament.

Giuseppe Bergomi was replaced by Franco Baresi as captain for the 1994 FIFA World Cup under his former manager at Milan, Arrigo Sacchi. Baresi suffered from an injury to his meniscus in Italy's second group match against Norway, and missed most of the games of the World Cup. 

He played 25 days later, at the the final match, with a dominant defensive performance. He helped Italy to keep a clean sheet against Brazil, despite the nonappearances of his Milan teammates Alessandro Costacurta and Mauro Tassotti.

After a 0–0 draw following extra time, the game went to a penalty shootout, and Franco Baresi consequently missed his penalty, suffering from severe spasms and exhaustion.

After Daniele Massaro and Roberto Baggio missed their penalties, Italy were defeated by Brazil in the penalty shootout.

Following the World Cup lost, Franco Baresi made only one appearance for Italy, in an away UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying game against Slovenia on 7 September 1994, which ended in a 1–1 draw.

Then Franco Baresi retired from the national team at age 34 and passing the captain's armband to Paolo Maldini. Baresi played in 81 matches for Italy, scoring one goal in a friendly victory over the Soviet Union, and he is one of seven players to have achieved the winning Gold, Silver and Bronze FIFA World Cup medals during his international career.

Style of play

Although Franco Baresi was talented enough to play anywhere along the backline, he mainly excelled as a centreback and as sweeper, where he combined his defensive qualities, and his skill to read the game, with his outstanding vision, performance, distribution and ball skills.

Franco Baresi's passing range, technical capacity and ball control let him advance forward into the midfield to start attacking plays from the back and enabled him to function as a secondary playmaker.

In spite of the fact that he was a defender, he was also a perfect penalty kick taker. Franco Baresi was known for being a resilient and perfect tackler, who was very noble at winning back control, and at anticipating and interrupting plays, due to his acute tactical cleverness, quickness of thought, marking skill and positional wisdom.

It is satirical to know that Franco Baresi also shares the record of most own goals scored in Serie A history along with Riccardo Ferri. He has scored 8 own goals.

Reception

One of the realities in Franco Baresi biography is about his reception. Franco Baresi is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders andfootballers of all-time. He devoted his entire 20-year career to AC Milan, becoming a club legend. 

At Milan, he formed one of the best defensive units of all time, alongside Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassotti, and Filippo Galli.

He was a perfect and reliable defender who combined power with stylishness and was gifted with remarkable physical and mental features, such as pace, power, firmness, concentration and stamina.

Goal celebration

Franco Baresi did not have a special goal celebration when he scored a goal.

Franco Baresi outside football

Franco Baresi has been featured in the EA Sports football video game series FIFA 14's Classic, along with his countrymen Bruno Conti, Gianni Rivera and Giacinto Facchetti. He was also named in the Ultimate Team Legends in FIFA 15.

Franco Baresi personal life

After reviewing professional career of Franco Baresi, now we are going to have a look at his personal life.

Family, children and relationships

Franco Baresi’s wife is  Maura Lari. He also has two sons, Edoardo Baresi and Giannandrea Baresi.

Maura Lari and Franco Baresi married when they were young and had a first child, Edoardo in 1995.

Later they wanted to adopt a Mexican child, Giannandrea. In fact just because he had dark skin, the couple suffered greatly due to some slanderous rumours concerning them and their adopted son.

It is worth mentioning that 

Franco Baresi Religion

is Christianity.

Philanthropy

One of the important parts of Franco Baresi biography is about his charitable works. He has opened a modernised sports centre in the Lebanon city of Tripoli under a UNHCR project in order to help young Syrian refugees overcome trauma and make friends with children of Lebanon.

In this sports centre, boys and girls, including those with disability, can play sports in safety.

Franco Baresi said he was happy to support Sports for Peace. He added after opening the centre, “It was amazing to see the results achieved, such as the rehabilitation of safe play spaces like the Btekhnay Sport Centre and the training of 45 coaches. It was a really touching experience to see the children play, enjoy themselves and smile after so much pain. This is further evidence that sport is a really powerful tool to promote integration and peace.”

Legal issues

It would be a strange issue in Franco Baresi biography that in August 2005 he was sentenced to five months' detention, which converted into a fine of 5,900 euros , as part of a fraud on the sale of paintings.

Franco Baresi career statistics

Franco Baresi Career statistics at club and Italy national team are as follow:

Club

  • Games: 719    Goals: 33

International

Games: 81      Goals: 1

Managerial

On 1 June 2002, Franco Baresi was publicly appointed as director of football at Fulham, but tensions between Baresi and then

Fulham

manager Jean Tigana led to his resignation from the club in August.

He was appointed head coach of Milan's Under-20 team. In 2006, he was moved by the club to coach the Berretti Under-19 team, with his former teammate Filippo Galli replacing him at the management of the Primavera team. Then, he retired from coaching and was replaced by Roberto Bertuzzo. Franco Baresi is now AC Milan Vice-President

Franco Baresi honours

Club:

Milan

  • Serie A in 1978–79, 1987–88, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96

  • Serie B in 1980–81, 1982–83

  • Supercoppa Italiana in 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994

  • European Cup/UEFA Champions League in 1988–89, 1989–90, 1993–94

  • European Super Cup in 1990, 1994

  • Intercontinental Cup in 1989, 1990

International

: Italy

  • FIFA World Cup winner in 1982

  • FIFA World Cup third-place in 1990

  • FIFA World Cup runner-up in 1994

Individual

  • Ballon d'Or: runner-up in 1989

  • Coppa Italia top scorer in 1989–90

  • Guerin d'Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year) in 1989–90

  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 1990

  • Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare "Gaetano Scirea" in 1994

  • World Soccer The Greatest Players of the 20th century: 19th place

  • A.C. Milan Player of the Century in 1999

  • AIC Serie A Player of the Century in 2000

  • FIFA 100 in 2004

  • UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll: 17th place

  • A.C. Milan Hall of Fame

  • FICTS Hall of Fame and Excellence Guirlande d'Honneur

  • Golden Foot in 2012 (under the category of "Football Legend")

  • Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2013

  • Ballon d'Or Dream Team (Silver) in 2020

 

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