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 Giovanni Luigi “Gianni” Brera

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Giovanni Luigi “Gianni” Brera

  • Birth 8 Sep 1919 Lombardia, Italy
  • Death 19 Dec 1992 Lombardia, Italy
  • Burial San Zenone al Po, Provincia di Pavia, Lombardia, Italy
  • Memorial ID 59594634

Journalist and novelist.Brera was born in San Zenone al Po, near Pavia, the son of Carlo, a tailor, and Marietta Ghisoni. Among his ancestors a Hungarian great-grandmother who married a Lombard sergeant of the Imperial-Royal Austrian-Hungarian Army.He obtained his degree in Political Sciences at Pavia University in 1943, while on leave from his post as Lieutenant of the paratrooper division "Folgore". In late spring 1944 he joined the Italian Resistance movement and fought in the Ossola Valley. He took pride in having lived through World War II without ever shooting another human.He is credited with innovating the Italian language, notably by creating a whole new vocabulary for football (soccer), some of which has spilt over into languages other than Italian. The word libero for a player's particular role was created by Gianni Brera: famous nicknames of Italian players created by him included Abatino ("Little Abbot") for Gianni Rivera and Rombo di tuono ("Rolling Thunder") for Gigi Riva. Apart from the lexicon, Brera was noteworthy for his rich style and very free usage of foreign or regional phrases. He spoke fluent French and Spanish, quite a little German and Latin and some English.Gianni Brera wrote in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Il Guerin Sportivo, Il Giorno, Il Giornale, La Repubblica and several other publications. His articles were translated into several European languages. He often referred to himself as "Gioannbrerafucarlo" (a reference to Italy's long-foregone system of including the father's and mother's name in a citizen's complete name).Gianni Brera always took the point of view of a Northern Italian from Lombardy. Some people state that he disliked people coming from Southern Italy. He always denied the charge, citing his friendship with Leonardo Sciascia and other prominent Southern Italians.Since Brera worked in the city of Milan, his claim to be a fan of Genoa (short for Genoa Cricket and Football Club) proved instrumental in preventing him being cast into just one half of Milan's football world, rife as it was with the rivalry between AC Milan and Inter. He could thus write about both teams, and draw his readership from either team's supporters. "Vecchio Balordo" (Cranky Old One), still used today by Genoese tifosi, is a nickname he coined for the Genoa team. After Brera's death the original foundation charter of the Genoa Cricket and Football Club was found among his papers, and his family donated it to a museum in Genoa.Brera is considered to have been the most influential Italian sports journalist of the 20th century. In 2003, the monumental Arena Civica (stadium), built in Milan by Napoleon I of France in the early 19th century, was renamed Arena Gianni Brera.Brera died at Codogno, near Lodi, in 1992, from injuries received in a car accident.


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  • Created by: mask
  • Added: 4 Oct 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 59594634
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Giovanni Luigi “Gianni” Brera (8 Sep 1919–19 Dec 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 59594634, citing Cimitero di San Zenone al Po, San Zenone al Po, Provincia di Pavia, Lombardia, Italy ; Maintained by mask (contributor 47021557) .