|Date of birth||17 March 1960|
|Place of birth||Pisa, Italy|
|Date of death||6 November 2002(aged 42)|
|Place of death||Pisa, Italy|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back, libero|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Gianluca Signorini (17 March 1960 – 6 November 2002) was an Italian footballer, who played as a defender; he is mostly known for his time spent at Genoa C.F.C., where he became an important figure for the club.
Born in Pisa, Signorini started his career playing for his home team, Pisa S.C. of Serie C1, and successively for Pietrasanta, Prato, Livorno, Ternana and Cavese before joining A.C. Parma, with Arrigo Sacchi as coach. He quickly became a key player for Parma, helping the club to Serie B promotion in 1986, winning the Serie C1 title. He was successively signed by Nils Liedholm's A.S. Roma, and then to Genoa in 1988, after personal requests by coach Francesco Scoglio; during his first season with the club, he immediately helped the team to Serie A promotion by winning the 1988–89 Serie B title. In total, he played seven seasons for Genoa, all seven years as team captain; a hard defender and a fan favourite, he is remembered as one of the last (and best) Italian sweepers. In his later years at the club, he was a vital member of the Genoese "dream team" which managed to reach the semi-finals of the 1991–92 UEFA Cup, and became the first Italian team to beat Liverpool F.C. on their Anfield Road home turf; he also helped the team to a fourth-place finish during the 1990–91 Serie A season, the club's best league finish since the end of the Second World War.
Retirement and illness
After having ended his playing career, Signorini started a managing career working for Pisa, and serving as joint caretaker manager during their 1997–98 Serie C2 campaign, However, he soon discovered he was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, an illness that slowly forced immobility, paralyzing all his muscles. He died on November 6, 2002, in his Pisa home. In his honour, the #6 Genoa CFC jersey, worn by Signorini during his time for the rossoblu club, has been retired.
Style of play
A large, tough, elegant, and physically strong player, Signorini is regarded as one of Italy's best and last true sweepers; his talent, technical ability, and tactical intelligence as a central defender had a strong influence on Franco Baresi's playing style.
Signorini was married to Antonella; together they had four children. On May 17, 2009 one of Signorini's sons, Andrea, a footballer himself, made his Serie A debut with Genoa, thus continuing the legacy of his father and former rossoblu captain.
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- LORENZO MANGINI (30 January 2008). "Stessa maglia, stesso ruolo Il mito di Signorini continua" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Il Pisa Calcio dal 1994 ad oggi" (in Italian). Pisa Calcio. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
- Filippo Grimaldi (6 November 2007). "Genoa e Signorini Una serata speciale" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- MARCO TRAVAGLIO (11 January 2001). "Il dramma di Signorini da mesi semiparalizzato" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Franco Baresi (II)" (in Italian). magliarossonera.it. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Gasperini: "Resto al Genoa"" (in Italian). Pianeta Genoa. 2009-05-17. Retrieved 2009-05-17.