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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Fabrizio Ravanelli

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Fabrizio Ravanelli was born in Perugia, on December 11, 1968.



He started playing for his hometown team's youth sector in 1983 and made his debut for the Grifoni first team in 1986. He played for Perugia until 1989 making 90 appearances and scoring 41 goals (between C2 and C1).


In 1989 he moved to Avellino in Serie B but only played 7 games before being loaned to Casertana (C1) where he scored 12 goals.


In 1990 he signed for Reggiana in Serie B and had two positive seasons playing 66 games with 24 goals.


In 1992 he made the big move to Juventus in Serie A for 3 billion Lire (approx 1.5 million Euros). It was a great step professionally but also the team he supported as a child. He would stay 4 seasons playing 111 league games (41 goals), 16 in Coppa Italia (8 goals) and 32 in Europe (19 goals).


At Juventus he won a scudetto (1994-95), a Coppa Italia (1994-95), a Supercoppa Italiana (1995), a UEFA Cup (1993) and a UEFA Champions League (1996). In the Champions League final in Rome against Ajax Ravanelli scored Juve's goal from an impossible angle ( the game ended 1-1 and Juve won on penalties). At Juventus he formed attacking partnerships with greats such as Alex Del Piero, Roberto Baggio, Gianluca Vialli, Gigi Casiraghi and Andreas Mölller.


In 1996-97 he spent a season at Middlesbrough where from "Penna Bianca" (White Feather) he became "Silver Fox" (due to his premature white hair). He performed well in the North-East making 35 appearances and scoring 17 times.


From England he then moved down to France and Ligue 1. In 1997 he signed for Olympique Marseille. He stayed two years playing 64 games with 28 goals.


In the winter market session of 1999-2000 he came back to Italy and joined Lazio. The Romans were looking for a replacement for Kennet Andersson who had not fitted in and was returning to Bologna. Lazio already had Marcelo Salas, Alen Boksic, Simone Inzaghi and Roberto Mancini but between injuries and the relentless frequency of games there was the need for a proven, reliable and quality forward...enter Mr.Silver Fox.


From January until May Ravanelli played 16 league games (2 goals) and 5 in Coppa Italia (2 goals). He scored his first league goal in the centenary celebration match against Bologna and his second in a 4-2 away win at Torino. He gave a good contribution as a supporting striker to Salas or Inzaghi and played a major role in Lazio's Scudetto triumph.


In his second year in Rome, with the arrival of Hernan Crespo, he would play less regularly with 11 league appearances and 2 goals, 4 in Coppa Italia with 2 goals and 6 in Champions League with another 2 goals. His two league goals came in away victories in Naples (4-2) and at Bari (2-1). In the Champions League he scored the winner away at Sparta Prague (0-1) and in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Elland Road against Leeds United. Lazio challenged for the title but ultimately fell short and consoled themselves with 3rd place and a Champions League qualification.


In total at Lazio he played 42 games with 10 goals. He won a scudetto (2000), a Coppa Italia (2000) and a Supercoppa Italiana (2000).


After Lazio his career took him back to England to Derby County 2001-2003 (50 games and 14 goals), to Scotland to Dundee 2003-2004 (only 5 games) and finally back to Perugia in Italy 2004-2005 (39 games and 9 goals).


At International level Ravanelli earned 22 caps with Italy scoring 8 goals and took part at the UEFA Euro 1996 finals.


At 37 "Silver Fox " called it a day and retired. He has since had coaching experiences with Juventus youth team (2011-2013) followed by two unsuccessful spells as a manager abroad (Ajaccio in France for 5 games in 2013 and Arsenal Kiev in Ukraine again only for a few months in 2018).


Following his retirement Ravanelli also worked as a football pundit for Sky Italia, Fox Sports and Mediaset.


Fabrizio Ravanelli will be remembered as a dynamic, physically strong player. A hard working left footed striker who also gave a good defensive contribution. He was not a naturally talented player but over the years he was able to improve his technique and become a top striker. He possessed a powerful and accurate left foot which combined with his link up play (he often played as second striker), ability in the air and temperament, all made him a complete forward.


He had a very personal and particular way of celebrating his goals as he would pull the front of his shirt over his head (like a backwards hood) while still running. He was obviously not an advocate of the new FIFA regulation impeding players from removing their shirts after scoring.


At Lazio although his spell was short he is remembered positively. He was a true professional and fitted in immediately giving everything he had to the cause. He will forever be part of the Scudetto heroes of 2000 and his crazy celebrations in the changing rooms (especially after taking the title away from his beloved "zebras") will never be forgotten.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Dec 1999-2000

21 (4)

16 (2)

5 (2)

-

2000-01

21 (6)

11 (2)

4 (2)

6 (2)

Total

42 (10)

27 (4)

9 (4)

6 (2)

Source


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