|Date of birth||4 March 1969|
|Place of birth||Monza, Italy|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2002–2003||Monza (youth team)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Pierluigi "Gigi" Casiraghi (Italian pronunciation: [pierluˈidʒi ˈdʒidʒi kaziˈraɡi]; born 4 March 1969) is an Italian former footballer who played as a striker. Since retirement he has become a football manager. Casiraghi was a forward who was capable of playing anywhere in the front line. Throughout his career, he became renowned for his ability in the air, and for having a penchant for scoring acrobatic goals. He was a strong, hardworking player who could score goals, although he was also capable of holding up the ball to create space for team mates and provide them with assists, due to his strength.
Biography and career
Casiraghi was born in Monza, Lombardy, and began his career with his home-town side, A.C. Monza, in 1985. The side were relegated to Serie C in his first season, but he helped them achieve promotion back to Serie B in 1988. He moved to Serie A giants Juventus in 1989, having scored 28 goals in 94 games for Monza.
His goalscoring record in Turin was modest, achieving a best tally of 8 goals in 24 appearances in the 1990–1 season and a total of 20 in 98 games for the club. While at Juventus, he helped the side win two UEFA Cups (in 1990 and 1993) and one Italian Cup, also in 1990. He scored in the first leg of the 1990 UEFA Cup Final to help them beat Fiorentina. He earned his first international cap for Italy during his spell with Juventus.
He signed for Lazio in 1993 and scored 41 goals in a five-year spell. His most successful season was in 1996-7, when he scored 14 goals in 28 Serie A games. With Lazio, he won another Italian Cup, in 1998. He found his opportunities limited in his final season, with manager Sven-Göran Eriksson preferring Alen Bokšić and Roberto Mancini in attack and sought a move away.
Casiraghi joined English side Chelsea in May 1998 for £5.4million. His time in west London proved luckless, and ultimately only scored one competitive goal for the club, which came against Liverpool in a 1–1 draw at Anfield. His Chelsea career was cut short by a cruciate ligament injury sustained during a collision with West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop in November 1998. Despite going through ten operations, he was unable to make a comeback and his contract with the club was terminated in March 2002.
As an Italian international, Casiraghi won 44 caps and scored 13 goals, making his debut in February 1991 against Belgium. He was a member of the Italy squad that reached the final of USA 94, playing in the group games against Norway and Mexico and the semi-final against Bulgaria. He was also a member of the Italy side at Euro 96, scoring both goals in a 2–1 win against Russia, but was guilty of missing a late chance against the Czech Republic that could have proved vital to the group standings, and as such the side was knocked out in the first round. Despite sealing Italy's qualification for France 98 with the only goal in a play-off against Russia in November 1997, he failed to make the squad.
He became manager of Italian Serie C2 side A.C. Legnano in May 2003. On 24 July 2006, he was appointed joint coach of the Italian Under-21 national team alongside former Chelsea team mate Gianfranco Zola, succeeding Claudio Gentile.
In his coaching tenure, Casiraghi led the azzurrini into the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, ending in fifth place after having eliminated Spain U-21 in the qualifying phase. He was successively confirmed for the 2008 Olympic Games campaign, which ended in the quarter-finals with a 3–2 loss to Belgium. He guided the Italian under-21 team to the semi-finals of the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Sweden. He also helped the Italian youth side to win the 2008 Toulon tournament.
- UEFA Cup: 1989-90, 1992-93
- Coppa Italia: 1989-90
- Supercoppa Italiana: 1990 (Runner-up)
- Serie A: 1991-92 (Runner-up)
- Coppa Italia Serie C: 1987-88
- "Gli eroi in bianconero: Pierluigi CASIRAGHI". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- "Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea". 4TheGame. 4 October 1998. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- Martin Lipton (2002-03-06). "Chelsea in Casiraghi settlement". Soccernet. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
- "Casiraghi and Zola take on Italy Under-21 roles". Soccernet. 2006-07-24. Retrieved 2007-04-17.