Nicola Berti with Inter during the 1991-92 season
|Full name||Nicola Berti|
|Date of birth||14 April 1967|
|Place of birth||Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Nicola Berti (born 14 April 1967, in Salsomaggiore Terme) is an Italian former footballer whose career spanned three decades. Despite his initial lack of notable technical ability (a skill which he developed with time), he was a versatile, tenacious, tactically intelligent, and hard tackling midfielder, who was effective in the air. He was known in particular for his pace, stamina, determination, work-rate, and passing range, which made him capable of playing anywhere in midfield. He was regarded as a linchpin for Internazionale and the Italy national football team during the late 1980s and the early 1990s, notably reaching the final of the 1994 FIFA World Cup with Italy, and finishing in third place in the 1990 edition on home soil.
Berti started his career as a seventeen-year-old with Parma. In his debut season the club won the 1983–84 Serie C1 championship under manager Arrigo Sacchi, and gained promotion to Serie B. After three seasons at Fiorentina he was signed by Internazionale in 1988 for £3.6m.
In his first season at the club, Berti was part of a team which won the 1988–89 record breaking Scudetto by an 11-point margin, losing only twice, and setting a Serie A points record. Berti himself contributed seven league goals in Serie A that season from midfield.
In January 1998, Berti joined Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer. With Spurs in danger of relegation upon his arrival midway through the 1997–98 season, Berti helped the club to a 13th placed finish in the Premier League. After George Graham replaced Christian Gross as manager of Tottenham, Berti was allowed to leave the club and join Deportivo Alavés on a free transfer.
After playing for Italy's under 21 team at both the 1986 and 1988 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championships under manager Cesare Maldini (reaching the final in 1986), Berti made his debut for the senior team against Norway in 1988, under Azeglio Vicini. He scored his first goal, against Scotland on his third appearance for the Azzurri.
He was included in the squad for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where he played four matches, wearing the number 10 shirt, including the third place playoff versus England which Italy won 2-1; in the final minutes of the match, he scored from a Roberto Baggio cross, but the goal was incorrectly ruled offside. In the 1994 World Cup under Arrigo Sacchi, Berti was more established and played in every match on the way to and including the final; he notably started the play which led to Roberto Baggio's last-minute match winning goal in the quarter-finals, against Spain, with a trademark long pass, after winning back possession. He represented Italy on 39 occasions in total, scoring three goals, between 1988-1995.
- Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
|1.||22 December 1988||Stadio Renato Curi, Perugia||Scotland||2–0||Friendly match|
|2.||25 March 1989||Praterstadion, Vienna||Austria||2–0||Friendly match|
|3.||26 April 1989||Stadio Erasmo Iacovone, Taranto||Hungary||4–0||Friendly match|
- 1988–89 Scudetto
- 1989 Italian Super Cup
- 1990–91 UEFA Cup
- 1992–93 Scudetto Runner-up
- 1993–94 UEFA Cup
- 1996–97 UEFA Cup Runner-up
- 1997–98 UEFA Cup
- 1997–98 Scudetto Runner-up
- Nicola Berti at National-Football-Teams.com
- 1990 FIFA World Cup 3rd place play-off
- 1994 FIFA World Cup Final
- World Cup statistics
- Record of Caps
- "Nicola Berti: “Il derby è unico, mi piaceva stuzzicare i milanisti”". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "Berti prenota la Coppa dell' Inter". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "I Grandi Campioni – Nicola Berti". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "Berti: Italy's new Tardelli". inbedwithmaradona. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Nazionale in cifre - Convocazioni e presenze in campo: Berti, Nicola". http://www.figc.it/ (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- "ITALIA-INGHILTERRA 2-1: L'Italia non s'è persa (Gli azzurri centrano a Bari l'obiettivo del terzo posto e concludono il Mondiale senza sconfitte. Due gol per una squadra che aveva ancora voglia di correre. Schillaci segna su rigore ed è capocannoniere)". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "Spagna Adios, l'Italia avanza". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "Convocazioni e presenze in campo: Nicola Berti". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "Onoreficenze". http://www.quirinale.it (in Italian). 30 September 1991. Retrieved 19 March 2015.