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Filippo Galli
Position: Central defender
From: Brescia, Italy - free transfer - July 2001
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: The man who just won't stop


At the age of 38, most players decide to quit football and start spending their time on some sunny Mediterranean beach. Others opt to move on to a coaching career. But then there are those who, like Filippo Galli, decide to start afresh and join Vialli's cause.

Galli formed part of the Milan side which included the likes of Rijkaard, Baresi, Gullit and Van Basten and, under the guidance of Sacchi and Capello ruled Italy and Europe. In his fourteen seasons at Milan, he managed to win everything: five Italian Championships, three Champions cups, three European Super cups, and three Italian Super cups.

Few have the touches of Van Basten, but every team needs players who work hard. Harder than others and this enables them to reach heights which most don't even dream of. It is a victory of determination and a song to sacrifice.

Many are of the opinion that footballing longevity depends on lack of injuries. Filippo proves them wrong. He has been in the operation theatre on seven occasions. Has had four knee and three heel operations. He thought of quitting on various occasions but his passion for the game drove him back to the playing fields. One of his most amazing comebacks was when he returned after a knee operation for the Champions cup final against Barcelona. That final went down in the history books as the final of the genius Savicevic but it could have easily been named after Romario. The Brazilian striker, then at the zenith of his career, was literally marked out of the game by Galli.

His stay at Milan ended in November 1996. Then two difficult seasons at Reggiana, which would have discouraged anyone. But not him. At the age of 35, he joined Brescia just in time for a hard fought promotion campaign to Serie A. Then the incredible Intertoto placing of last season engineered by coach Mazzone, Roberto Baggio and of course Filippo Galli.

Not bad for someone who has never been considered to be a star player.

Marco Borg
Last updated: August 2001