Giovanni Galli is an Italian retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and currently a politician. In a professional career which spanned nearly two decades, he played in 496 Serie A games, mainly with Fiorentina (nine seasons) and Milan (four), winning six major titles with the latter club. An international in the 80’s, Galli appeared with Italy in two World Cups, and the 1980 UEFA European Football Championship; he was an unused member of the squad that won the 1982 FIFA World Cup and served as Italy’s starting goalkeeper at the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Galli took part in Italy’s victorious 1982 FIFA World Cup expedition, without playing a single match however, as he served as backup to Dino Zoff, alongside Bordon. The same had already happened in the UEFA Euro 1980 tournament, where Italy finished in fourth place on home soil, after reaching the semi-final. Galli was given his national team debut in an friendly match against Greece on 5 October 1983, which ended in a 3–0 win to Italy. As a starter, Galli played in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, as Italy were ousted in the round of 16 by eventual semi-finalists France, led by Michel Platini. In total, Galli obtained 19 caps for Italy.
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In the season 1993-1994 Giovanni Galli played as the starting keeper for Torino Calcio for a single season, reaching the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, and the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup, despite a disappointing mid-table finish. In a professional career which spanned nearly two decades, he played in 496 Serie A games, mainly with Fiorentina (nine seasons) and Milan (four), winning six major titles with the latter club.
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Born in Pisa, Galli started his career with his home town’s youth side as a midfielder before switching to the role of goalkeeper. He began his professional career with ACF Fiorentina in 1977, where he played for nine Serie A seasons. In 1986–87, he joined fellow league side A.C. Milan, being first-choice for three of his four years, and establishing himself as one of Italy’s best goalkeepers, winning the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana during his first season. He also started in both of the club’s back-to-back European Cup conquests, in 1989 and 1990, also winning consecutive European Supercups in 1989 and 1990, and the Intercontinental Cups in 1989. He also reached the final of the 1989–90 Coppa Italia with Milan. In the 1990 summer, following Milan’s signing of Sebastiano Rossi, 32-year-old Galli left, going on to represent S.S.C. Napoli and appearing in an average of 33 league games during his three-year spell, starting by winning the Italian Supercup, 5–1 against Juventus. In the summer of 1993 he signed for Torino A.C. and in the following season he finished his stint in the top division, at the end of the 1994–95 season, after being named backup goalkeeper behind Luca Bucci at AC Parma, who won the UEFA Cup that season, and reached the Coppa Italia final, also placing third in Serie A. Galli retired in 1996 at the age of 38 after a brief stint with A.S. Lucchese-Libertas of Serie B.
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Following his retirement, Galli pursued a career in politics. On 1 March 2009, Galli was announced as the centre-right mayoral candidate in the 2009 local elections in Florence. His candidacy was supported by People of Freedom, Lega Nord and a number of minor local movements. In the first round of the elections, held on 6 and 7 June, he ended in second place, with 32% of votes; he was successively defeated fourteen days later in the second round of the election by centre-left candidate Matteo Renzi, taking only 40% of local votes. Galli was the father of Niccolò Galli, a promising young footballer who died in a road accident on 9 February 2001, aged only 17. He is married to Anna, and also has two daughters, Camilla and Carolina.