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Christian Vieri (born July 12, 1973) is an Italianmarker football striker.

Early life

Born in Bolognamarker, Italymarker, his family moved to Australia for a period, in the suburb of Wetherill Parkmarker in South-Western Sydney and he attended Prairiewood High School. His father Roberto Vieri played for Sydney-based club Marconi Stallions. His brother, Massimiliano Vieri, is also a professional footballer and was an Australian international in 2004. Vieri played for Marconi Juniors when he was a child but his family soon moved back to Italy.

Club career

Vieri started his playing career at Marconi Stallions. While there, he was spotted by Torino and played his first Serie A game the next year for the Turin team. Vieri made six appearances in the league as well as in the Coppa Italia. In November 1992, he was sold to Serie C club, Pisa Calcio, scoring fifty goals. Another season went by, he then moved to Ravenna in Serie D, scoring 12 goals. He was subsequently sold to Venezia A.C. in Serie F, scoring 11 goals. Another move followed for the youngster, this time to Atalanta where he scored seven goals. A change of luck came when he was spotted by Juventus F.C. in the 1996-1997 season. He made 23 appearances and scored eight goals in Serie A, and six goals in ten matches in Europe, making him joint topscorer for Juventus that season along with Alen Boksic.

Vieri was on the move once again, this time it was to Spainmarker and Atlético Madrid. Amazingly, he scored a total of 24 goals in 24 league appearances for Atlético (and an additional five goals from seven appearances in Europe), which led him to the win the Pichichi Trophy, as the league's top scorer. After the 1998 World Cup, he moved to S.S. Lazio, where he was outstanding in his first season, scoring 12 goals in Serie A and one in Europe, winning the Cup Winners' Cup, in the final of which came his sole European goal that season. But it all changed when Vieri was spotted by F.C. Internazionale Milano and its chairman Massimo Moratti. Vieri's move to Inter Milan was for a (then) world record transfer fee of 32 million pounds. The Inter coach at the time, Marcello Lippi had requested the player after their successful season together at Juventus.

At Inter, Vieri formed a potentially dangerous partnership with Ronaldo up front, but because of injuries to both players, they were not able to play together often. He was impressive in his first couple of seasons, but constant mangerial changes meant that Inter could not challenge for the Scudetto. It was under disciplined Argentinian coach, Hector Cuper, that Vieri and Inter really began to flourish and challenge for honours. Vieri was made the focal point of the attack and scored 22 goals in 25 games in the 2001-02 season as Inter narrowly missed out on the Scudetto after their infamous last day defeat to Lazio. The following season he was Serie A Capocannoniere after scoring an impressive 24 goals in just 23 appearances. In addition, he scored 3 goals in Inter's UEFA Champions League campaign and formed a potent partnership with Hernan Crespo. He scored both of Inter's goals in the quarter final victory over Valencia CF. Sadly, Vieri was injured during the 2nd leg of this game and therefore played no part in the semi final defeat to city rivals AC Milan.

The following year, Cuper was sacked only a few games into the season and was replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni. Vieri did not get along with his new manager and also had many of the Inter fans turn on him after his dip in form. In addition, he had shown his discontent at the sale of strike partner Hernan Crespo to Chelsea FC. When Roberto Mancini replaced Zaccheroni in the summer of 2004, Vieri played the majority games upfront with Adriano. It was clear to many though that the injury he had sustained against Valencia had taken its toll on Vieri and he was no longer as sharp in front of goal, despite his respectable goal output.

In July 2005, Vieri and Inter Milan came to a mutual agreement to terminate his contract with the club. He was then signed by cross-town rivals A.C. Milan, but left the rossoneri - where he was not a regular starter - after just six months, joining French side AS Monaco FC in order to play regularly and gain a place on Italy's roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, he suffered a serious knee injury while playing for Monaco in 2006, which required extensive surgery and ruled out the possibility of playing in his third consecutive FIFA World Cup.

On July 6, 2006, Vieri agreed a one year deal with UC Sampdoria of Serie A. On August 29, Vieri returned to Atalanta and signed a one-year minimum wage contract worth 1500€ per month. Although he received a paltry salary, Vieri was to earn another €100,000 for every goal he scores, leaving chairman Ivan Ruggeri to comment, "If things go well, Vieri will cost me two million euro." Vieri scored 2 goals in 7 substitute appearances, including one long-range goal.

On June 2007, Atalanta announced they chose not to offer a contract extension to Vieri. His contract therefore ended on June 30 and was signed on a one-year deal with ACF Fiorentina. He was officially presented to the press on July 21, 2007. On June 30, 2008 he signed for Atalanta on a one-year-contract. On 1 April 2009, both Atalanta and Vieri mutually agreed that his contract will be rescinded, after only making nine appearances. He announced his retirement on 20 October 2009.

However, one week after announcing retirement, Vieri was announced in talks with Botafogo-SP to play the Campeonato Paulista in 2010. The move was successively denied by Vieri himself. On November 2009 he was confirmed to be in Brazil in order to hold talks for a six-month contract with third division outfit Boavista Sport Club.

International career

Vieri has scored 23 goals in 49 matches for Italy and played for his country at the 1998 World Cup, scoring five times, and the 2002 World Cup, scoring four times, though he endured a less successful tournament at Euro 2004, whilst he missed Euro 2000 and World Cup 2006 through injury. Vieri is generally considered to be Italy's greatest pure striker of recent times despite strong competition, and is one of Italy's most prolific World Cup goal scorers. He was named by Pelé as one of the 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

Vieri received his first international cap during the 96/97 season after some impressive displays for Juventus. He scored a key goal for Italy in the play off against Russia during qualification for the 1998 World Cup. At the finals of the tournament in Francemarker he formed a strong partnership with Roberto Baggio. Vieri opened the scoring against Chile after a delightful assist from his strike partner. He went on to score 3 more goals during the group stages. Vieri scored Italy's only goal in the round of 16 match against Norway. He scored Italy's fourth penalty in the quarterfinal shooutout against France but Luigi Di Biagio missed the fifth and Italy were eliminated.

Vieri missed out on Euro 2000 after suffering a recurrence of an old thigh injury, during the 4th place playoff with Parma at the end of the 1999-2000 season after a collision with Gianluigi Buffon, who would also miss out on the tournament.

Italy played Vieri as a lone striker in the 2002 Fifa World Cup, scoring four goals in four games. He managed a brace in the opening game against Ecuador and scored Italy's only goal in the 2-1 defeat to Croatia despite having a previous goal controversially ruled out for offside. In the Round of 16 match against South Korea he opened the scoring in the 18th minute, scoring a powerful header from a Francesco Totti corner. Italy led the game until the Koreans equalised 3 minutes before the end. Italy was eventually eliminated by South Korea by a Golden Goal.

Vieri was once again the main striker in Italy's ill fated Euro 2004 campaign. However, this time he did not fare so well, scoring no goals as Italy were eliminated in the first round.

Vieri also missed World Cup 2006 after suffering a knee meniscus injury in a Ligue 1 match against Paris Saint Germain on 26 March 2006. Although Vieri would not necessarily have been a starter for Lippi's side, it was widely accepted that Vieri would have been selected in their squad since Lippi had picked him throughout qualifying and was very fond of the player after their time together at Juventus and Inter.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. March 29, 1997 Triestemarker, Italymarker 1 – 0 3 – 0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. October 29, 1997 Moscowmarker, Russiamarker 1 – 0 1 – 1 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. June 11, 1998 Parc Lescure, Bordeauxmarker, Francemarker 1 – 0 2 – 2 1998 FIFA World Cup
4. June 17, 1998 Stade de la Mossonmarker, Montpelliermarker, Francemarker 1 – 0 3 – 0 1998 FIFA World Cup
5. June 17, 1998 Stade de la Mossonmarker, Montpelliermarker, Francemarker 2 – 0 3 – 0 1998 FIFA World Cup
6. June 23, 1998 Stade de Francemarker, Saint-Denis, Francemarker 1 – 0 2 – 1 1998 FIFA World Cup
7. June 27, 1998 Stade Vélodromemarker, Marseillemarker, Francemarker 1 – 0 1 – 0 1998 FIFA World Cup
8. September 5, 1998 Liverpoolmarker, Englandmarker 2 – 0 2 – 0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
9. June 5, 1999 Bolognamarker, Italymarker 4 – 0 4 – 0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
10. September 8, 1999 Napolimarker, Italymarker 1 – 0 2 – 3 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
11. June 3, 2002 Sapporo Domemarker, Sapporo, Japanmarker 1 – 0 2 – 0 2002 FIFA World Cup
12. June 3, 2002 Sapporo Domemarker, Sapporo, Japanmarker 2 – 0 2 – 0 2002 FIFA World Cup
13. June 8, 2002 Kashima Stadiummarker, Kashima, Japanmarker 1 – 0 1 – 2 2002 FIFA World Cup
14. June 18, 2002 Daejeon World Cup Stadiummarker, Daejeonmarker, South Koreamarker 1 – 0 1 – 2 2002 FIFA World Cup
15. November 11, 2002 Pescaramarker, Italymarker 1 – 0 1 – 1 Friendly
16. March 29, 2003 Palermomarker, Italymarker 1 – 0 2 – 0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
17. March 29, 2003 Palermomarker, Italymarker 2 – 0 2 – 0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
18. August 8, 2003 Stuttgartmarker, Germanymarker 1 – 0 1 – 0 Friendly
19. October 11, 2003 Reggio Calabriamarker, Italymarker 1 – 0 4 – 0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
20. February 2, 2004 Palermomarker, Italymarker 1 2 – 2 Friendly
21. March 31, 2004 Braga, Portugalmarker 1 2 – 1 Friendly
22. April 28, 2004 Genoamarker, Italymarker 1 – 1 1 – 1 Friendly
23. October 12, 2005 Stadio Via del Maremarker, Leccemarker, Italymarker 1 – 0 2 – 1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification


Career statistics



Honours

Torino



Atalanta



Juventus



Lazio



Internazionale



National team



Individual



References

  1. Confirmed, Vieri moves to Atalanta
  2. Report: Christian Vieri To Rescind Atalanta Contract
  3. Christian Vieri beendet Fußball-Karriere
  4. http://globoesporte.globo.com/Esportes/Noticias/Futebol/0,,MUL1357836-9825,00-VIERI+RECUA+NA+APOSENTADORIA+E+VAI+JOGAR+O+PAULISTAO+PELO+BOTAFOGO+DE+RIBEI.html


External links



1991-92 Torino Serie A 6 1 1 1 7 2
1992-93 1 0 1 0 2 0
1992-93 Pisa Serie B 18 2 18 2
1993-94 Ravenna 32 12 32 12
1994-95 Venezia 29 11 29 11
1995-96 Atalanta Serie A 19 7 2 2 21 9
1996-97 Juventus 23 8 5 1

1997-98 Atlético Madrid La Liga 24 24

1998-99 Lazio Serie A 22 12
1999-00 Internazionale 19 13
2000-01 27 18
2001-02 25 22
2002-03 23 24
2003-04 22 13
2004-05 27 13
2005-06 Milan 8 1

2005-06 Monaco Ligue 1 7 3

2006-07 Atalanta Serie A 7 2
2007-08 Fiorentina 26 6
2008-09 Atalanta 9 2
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