Giacinto Facchetti, extra-ordinary player; exemplary human being
No country venerates its defenders as much as the Azzurris do. This year FIFA awarded the President’s award posthumously to Giacinto Facchetti, the founding father of the catenaccio, thereby acknowledging a seminal part of the Azzurri success as a footballing nation. We can criticize the Azzurris for their lock and chain defense as being unattractive to watch but no one can dispute that it has been most effective. Perhaps, in other parts of the world we have not developed an appreciation for watching skillful defense, the type that a Cannavaro or a Maldini brings to the game.
Facchetti was not just one of the most gifted defenders, he was also an exemplary human being having played for only Inter and in 654 appearances he only got sent off once. He became the Nerazzuri president in 2004.
FIFA’s best player went to Cannavarro, the Lev Yashin award for the best goalkeeper to Gigi Buffon and the president’s award to Gaicinto Facchetti. This year’s award celebrated catenaccio and its most noted practitioners.