Gianni Brera


Gianni Brera

Giovanni Luigi Brera, known as Gianni Brera, (September 8, 1919 - December 19, 1992) was an Italian sports journalist and novelist.

Biography

Brera was born in San Zenone al Po, near Pavia. He obtained his degree in Political Sciences at Pavia University in 1943, while on leave from his post as Lieutenant of the paratrooper division "Folgore". In late spring 1944 he joined the Italian Resistance movement and fought in the Ossola Valley. He took pride in having lived through World War II without ever shooting another human.

When he was demobilized in 1945, he entered "La Gazzetta dello Sport" (Italy's first and foremost sports daily) to become its Editor-in-Chief in 1949, the youngest-ever Editor-in-Chief of a national newspaper in Italy.

He is credited with innovating the Italian language, notably by creating a whole new vocabulary for football (soccer), some of which has spilt over into languages other than Italian. The word "libero" for a player's particular role was created by Gianni Brera: famous nicknames of Italian players created by him included "Abatino" ("Little Abbot") for Gianni Rivera and "Rombo di tuono" ("Thunder Rumble") for Gigi Riva. Apart from the lexicon, Brera was noteworthy for his rich style and very free usage of foreign or regional phrases.

Gianni Brera wrote in "La Gazzetta dello Sport", "Il Guerin Sportivo", "Il Giorno", "Il Giornale", "La Repubblica" and several other publications. His articles were translated into several European languages. He often referred to himself as "Gioannbrerafucarlo" (a reference to Italy's long-foregone system of including the father's and mother's name in a citizen's complete name).

He also wrote a number of books (handbooks, essays and fictional works), a theatre play, and a couple of radio plays.

Gianni Brera always took the point of view of a Northern Italian from Lombardy. Some people state that he disliked people coming from Southern Italy. He always denied the charge, citing his friendship with Leonardo Sciascia and other prominent Southern Italians.

He is considered to have been the most influential Italian sports journalist of the 20th century. In 2003, the monumental Arena Civica (stadium), built in Milan by Napoleon I of France in the early 19th century, was renamed Arena Gianni Brera [http://www.delteatro.it/articoli/2007-03/in_bici_sul_palco.php] .

Brera died at Codogno, near Lodi, in 1992, because of a car accident (he was not the driver of the car).

Books

Atletica leggera. Scienza e poesia dell'orgoglio fisico, Milan, Sperling & Kupfer, 1949.

Il sesso degli Ercoli, Milan, Rognoni, 1959.

Io, Coppi, Milan, Vitagliano, 1960.

Addio bicilcletta, Milan, Longanesi, 1964. Other editions: Milan, Rizzoli, 1980; Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1997.

Atletica leggera. Culto dell'uomo (with G. Calvesi), Milan, Longanesi, 1964.

I campioni vi insegnano il calcio, Milan, Longanesi, 1965.

Coppa del mondo 1966. I protagonisti e la loro storia, Milan, Mondadori, 1966.

Il corpo della ragassa, Milan, Longanesi, 1969. Also: Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1996; Treviso, Editing, 2006.

Il mestiere del calciatore, Milan, Mondadori, 1972.

La pacciada. Mangiarebere in pianura padana (with G. Veronelli), Milan, Mondadori, 1973.

Po, Milano, Dalmine, 1973.

Il calcio azzurro ai mondiali, Milan, Campironi, 1974.

Incontri e invettive, Milan, Longanesi, 1974.

Introduzione alla vita saggia, Milano, Sigurtà Farmaceutici, 1974.

Storia critica del calcio italiano, Milan, Bompiani, 1975.

L'Arcimatto, Milan, Longanesi, 1977.

Naso bugiardo, Milan, Rizzoli, 1977. Published again with the original title La ballata del pugile suonato, Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1998.

Forza azzurri, Milan, Mondadori, 1978.

63 partite da salvare, Milan, Mondadori, 1978.

Suggerimenti di buon vivere dettati da Francesco Sforza pel figliolo Galeazzo Maria, A Publication of the Municipality of Milan, 1979. Una provincia a forma di grappolo d'uva (with Paolo Brera), Milan, Istituto Editoriale Regioni Italiane, 1979.

Coppi e il diavolo, Milan, Rizzoli, 1981. Also: Milan, Baldini&Castoldi (ISBN 88-808-9071-9), 1996

Gente di risaia, Aosta, Musumeci, 1981. Lombardia, amore mio, Lodi, Lodigraf, 1982.

L'arciBrera, Como, Edizioni "Libri" della rivista "Como", 1990.

La leggenda dei mondiali, Milan, Pindaro, 1990.

Il mio vescovo e le animalesse, Milano, Bompiani, 1984. Also: Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1993. La strada dei vini in Lombardia (with G. Pifferi and E. Tettamanzi), Como, Pifferi, 1986.

Genoa, amore mio. Milan, Ponte alle Grazie, 1992.

Storie dei Lombardi, Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1993.

L'Arcimatto 1960–1966, Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1993.

La bocca del leone (l'Arcimatto II 1967-1973), Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1995.

La leggenda dei mondiali e il mestiere del calciatore, Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1994.

Il principe della zolla (a cura di Gianni Mura), Milan, Il Saggiatore, 1994.

L'Anticavallo. Sulle strade del Tour e del Giro, Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 1997.

Caro vecchio balordo. La storia del Genoa dal 1893 a oggi (Fabrizio Calzia, editor), Genoa, De Ferrari, 2005.

Un lombardo nel pallone, Milan, Excogita 2007


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