Gianluca Signorini

Gianluca Signorini (17 March 1960 – 6 November 2002) was an Italian footballer, who played as a defender. He made more than 200 appearances for Genoa C.F.C..[1]

Gianluca Signorini
Personal information
Date of birth (1960-03-17)17 March 1960
Place of birth Pisa, Italy
Date of death 6 November 2002(2002-11-06) (aged 42)
Place of death Pisa, Italy
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Position(s) Centre back, libero
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1979 Pisa 2 (0)
1979–1980 Pietrasanta 29 (1)
1980–1981 Prato 26 (0)
1981–1983 Livorno 65 (3)
1983–1984 Ternana 29 (0)
1984–1985 Cavese 29 (0)
1985–1987 Parma 70 (6)
1987–1988 Roma 29 (0)
1988–1995 Genoa 207 (5)
1995–1997 Pisa ? (?)
Teams managed
1998 Pisa (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[1]

He left Genoa in 1995, aged 35, to join his hometown club Pisa, then in Serie D, and retired two years later.[4] He played 210 Serie A matches with 6 goals.

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,[4] 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 6 November 2002, in his Pisa home. In his honour, the #6 jersey, worn by Signorini during his time for the rossoblu club, was retired.[1][5]

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.[1][6][7]

Personal life

Signorini was married to Antonella; together they had four children.[6] On 17 May 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.[8]




See also


  1. "Calcio, morto Signorini, bandiera del Genoa" [Football, Signorini dead, symbol of Genoa]. Il Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 6 November 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  2. "Stagione 1985/86" (in Italian). Storia del Parma Calcio. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  3. LORENZO MANGINI (30 January 2008). "Stessa maglia, stesso ruolo Il mito di Signorini continua" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  4. "Il Pisa Calcio dal 1994 ad oggi" (in Italian). Pisa Calcio. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  5. Filippo Grimaldi (6 November 2007). "Genoa e Signorini Una serata speciale" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  6. MARCO TRAVAGLIO (11 January 2001). "Il dramma di Signorini da mesi semiparalizzato" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  7. "Franco Baresi (II)" (in Italian). Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  8. "Gasperini: "Resto al Genoa"" (in Italian). Pianeta Genoa. 2009-05-17. Retrieved 2009-05-17.