- Category : Football Player
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (5,10,14,20,29)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 3
Filippo "Pippo" Inzaghi, Ufficiale OMRI (born 9 August 1973) is an Italian retired professional footballer, who currently serves as the head coach for Milan's Allievi Nazionali (under-17) team. During his career, Inzaghi won one World Cup and two UEFA Champions League titles. Inzaghi is one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time, fifth in Italy, with 313 goals scored in official matches.
Filippo Inzaghi is currently the second all time most prolific goal scorer in European club competitions with 70 goals, only beaten by Raúl's 77 goals. He is also Milan's top international goal scorer in the club's history with 43 goals. He also holds the record for most hat-tricks in Serie A (10), and the Champions League (three, tied with Michael Owen, Lionel Messi, and Mario Gómez). Inzaghi's favourite footballers as a child were Paolo Rossi and Marco Van Basten.
The brother of fellow footballer Simone Inzaghi, Inzaghi got his start playing for hometown club Piacenza as a teenager in 1991, but made only two league appearances before being loaned to Serie C1 side Leffe, with whom he scored an impressive 13 goals in 21 matches. In 1993, Inzaghi moved to Serie B club Verona and scored 13 goals in 36 league appearances. Upon his return to Piacenza, he scored 15 times in 37 games helping his team win Serie B and proving himself to be an exciting young prospect.
Inzaghi made his Serie A debut when he transferred to Parma in 1995, but scored only twice in 15 league matches. One of these two goals came against Piacenza, literally "making him cry." He added another two goals in European competition that season. The following season, he moved on to Atalanta, finishing as the Capocannoniere (Serie A's top scorer) with 24 goals, and scored against every team in the league. He was awarded Serie A Young Footballer of the Year and served as team captain in the last game of the season.
Inzaghi, however, was soon on the move once again to his sixth team in seven seasons, this time to Juventus for a reported 23 billion Italian lire. He formed a formidable attacking partnership along with Alessandro Del Piero and Zinedine Zidane, a tandem which would last for four seasons, marking Inzaghi's longest stint with one team at the time. During his time with the Bianconeri, he scored two Champions League hat-tricks — against Dynamo Kyiv and Hamburger SV — becoming the first player to do so. Juventus won the Scudetto in the 1997–98 season in which Inzaghi scored a decisive, Scudetto-winning hat-trick against Bologna, but lost 1–0 in the Champions League final to Real Madrid.
Despite a very good tally of 89 goals in 165 games for the Bianconeri, Inzaghi was soon benched in favour of David Trezeguet and later signed for Milan for a reported 70 billion Italian Lire, or 45 million lire cash plus Cristian Zenoni. (Sky Sports reported a smaller total figure, £17 million) for the 2001–02 campaign by coach Fatih Terim. Juventus announced that the sale of Inzaghi produced a net profit of €31 million to the club. Inzaghi, however, suffered a knee injury and missed the first half of the season. Upon his return, he was able to forge a strong goalscoring partnership with Andriy Shevchenko, and he soon racked up an impressive trophy count with the Rossoneri, among them the 2002–03 Champions League (in which Milan defeated his previous team, Juventus, in the final on penalties), along with the 2003 Coppa Italia and the 2003–04 Scudetto. In the 2002–03 Champions League campaign, he scored his record third Champions League hat-trick against Deportivo de La Coruña in the Group Stage and decisive goal in quarter-finals against AFC Ajax, totalling 12 European goals in that season. In November 2004, he signed a contract extension with the club.
Inzaghi was able to fully recover from persistent knee injuries that had dogged him for two years to the extent that he regained his predatory goalscoring form by scoring 12 goals in 22 Serie A matches in 2005–06, along with four goals in five Champions' League appearances; two against Olympique Lyonnais in the quarter-finals and another two against Bayern Munich in the first knockout stage. He scored the decisive goal against the Bavarians in the 2007 quarter-finals. On 23 May 2007, in the 2007 Champions League final in Athens, he scored both of Milan's goals in their 2–1 victory over Liverpool in a rematch of the 2005 final. He declared after the match:
“It's a dream since I was a child to score twice in the final, and the ones I scored yesterday evening were the most important in my life. It was an unforgettable game. It's something that will stay with me all my life and two goals in the final speaks for itself.”
At the start of the 2007–08 season, he picked up where he left off in Athens, scoring the equalizer in the Super Cup in Milan's 3–1 victory over Sevilla FC. Inzaghi capped off the year by scoring two goals in the final of the 2007 Club World Cup, helping Milan win 4–2 against Boca Juniors to take revenge for the defeat on penalties in 2003.
On 24 February 2008, Inzaghi scored the match winning goal in Milan's 2–1 win over Palermo with a diving header after coming into the game from the bench; it marked his first Serie A goal in over a year. This was followed by ten more goals in the league, the last against Udinese. This strike against Udinese was his 100th goal for the club in official games. But despite incredible form, Italian national team manager Roberto Donadoni declined to call him for Euro 2008. In November 2008, Inzaghi agreed to a contract extension with Milan until June 2010.
On 8 March 2009, Inzaghi scored his first hat-trick of the season for Milan against Atalanta, leading his team to a 3–0 victory at the San Siro. His 300th career goal came in the 5–1 thrashing of Siena away from home. He then went on to score three goals against Torino, his second professional hat-trick in that season. Scoring this hat-trick enabled "Super Pippo" — his nickname in the media — to set a record for the player with the most hat-tricks in Serie A over the last 25 years. With 10 hat-tricks in Serie A, Inzaghi is ahead of Giuseppe Signori (9), Hernán Crespo (8), Roberto Baggio, Marco van Basten, Gabriel Batistuta, Abel Balbo, Vincenzo Montella (7), Antonio Di Natale, and David Trezeguet (6). Inzaghi has scored one hat-trick for Atalanta, four for Juventus, and five for Milan.
In the 2009–10 season, under manager Leonardo, Inzaghi was relegated to the role of backup player with his contract set to expire in June 2010. On 21 May 2010, he was offered a new one-year contract which lasts until 30 June 2011.
On 3 November 2010, in the UEFA Champions League 2010–11 Group Stage campaign, with Milan trailing by 1–0 to Real Madrid, Inzaghi came off the bench in the second half and scored a brace to give Milan a 2–1 lead. Pedro León, however, equalized in the 94th minute, with the final score ending 2–2. On that occasion, he became the new all-time top scorer of all European club competitions with 70 goals. He also became the second-oldest player to score in the Champions League, aged 37 years and 85 days, behind only Manchester United's Ryan Giggs. With these two goals, Inzaghi went ahead of his idol Marco van Basten on the club list of the all-time top goal scorers with 125 goals.
On 10 November 2010, Inzaghi suffered a serious injury while playing for Milan against Palermo. A statement on the official Milan club website confirmed that Inzaghi had suffered a lesion of the anterior cruciate ligament and associated lesion to the external meniscus of the left knee. It was thought he would be out for the rest of the season. Due to his age, this injury could have ended his career; nonetheless, Inzaghi was very optimistic. On 7 May 2011, with Inzaghi still out recovering from his injury, Milan won the Serie A. He came out from bench for the first time since his injury on 14 May, with Milan defeating Cagliari 4–1. He extended his contract till June 2012 during the 2011–12 pre-season.
Milan decided not to renew the contracts of several of their veteran players and Inzaghi was one of those, along with Gianluca Zambrotta, Mark van Bommel, Alessandro Nesta, and Gennaro Gattuso. He played his final game for Milan against Novara on 13 May 2012 and marked his performance by scoring the winning goal, much to the joy of the fans. On 24 July 2012, Inzaghi announced his retirement from professional football to start a coaching career.
European competition records
With 70 goals, Inzaghi is the second-highest scorer in European club competitions, behind only Raúl. He became the first player to score two Champions League hat-tricks — both with Juventus — when he netted a treble during a 4–4 group stage draw with Hamburger SV on 13 September 2000; his first was in a 4–1 victory over Dynamo Kyiv during the 1997–98 quarte–finals. Inzaghi scored a record third Champions League hat-trick in a 4–0 win against Deportivo de La Coruña in the 2002–03 season, while playing for Milan. This record would later be tied by Michael Owen, who has scored two hat-tricks for Liverpool and a third for Manchester United.
Inzaghi earned his first cap for Italy against Brazil on 8 June 1997, and provided an assist to goalscorer Alessandro Del Piero. Italy went on to draw 3–3. He has since scored 25 goals in 57 appearances. He was called up for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup, and the 2006 World Cup. Inzaghi was Italy's top goalscorer during the qualifying rounds of the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, but missed the latter due to injury.
His persistent knee and ankle injuries put a halt to his international play for almost two years before his resurgence at the club level, which resulted in his being called up by Italy coach Marcello Lippi for the 2006 World Cup final tournament. Due to the abundance of other top strikers such as Alessandro Del Piero, Francesco Totti, and Luca Toni, Inzaghi made his only appearance — subbing on for Alberto Gilardino — in a group stage match against the Czech Republic on 22 June 2006, scoring his only goal in the tournament, rounding Petr ?ech in a one-on-one encounter to net in Italy's second goal, which made him the oldest player to have scored for Italy in a World Cup.
He is currently the sixth-highest goalscorer in team history with 25 goals, which ties him with Adolfo Baloncieri and Alessandro Altobelli.
Inzaghi is noted for his ability to play off the shoulders of the last defender, leading long-time Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to quip, "That lad must have been born offside."
Inzaghi started his coaching career at the beginning of the 2012–13 season, signing a two-year deal as the head coach of Milan's Allievi Nazionali (under-17) team.