Cristiano Lucarelli is an Italian football manager and a former player who played as a striker from 1992 until 2012. Lucarelli was born in Livorno, Italy. A journeyman striker, he had stints with eight different teams (including a brief run in Spain with Valencia) before signing with hometown A.S. Livorno Calcio in 2003. While playing for Torino F.C. the previous season, he attended a match that saw Livorno emerge victorious and earn promotion to Serie B, and he was among a throng of fans who rushed the pitch afterwards in celebration. A rarity in the football world in terms of club loyalty, he rejected several better-paying offers from other Italian and European clubs (among them a €3 million offer from FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in July 2006) to remain with Livorno. He was once quoted as saying, “Some football players pay a billion for a Ferrari or a yacht; with that money I bought myself Livorno’s shirt. That’s all.”
Lecce vs Reggina
Match Worn Shirt
Did you Know?
This shirt was worn by Cristiano Lucarelli during the Serie A game between Lecce and Reggina which took place in Lecce, “Ettore Giardiniero – Via del Mare” Stadium, on February 25th 2001. Lecce defeated Reggina 2-1 and Lucarelli scored the winning goal. Lucarelli swapped his shirt with a Reggina’s player who we got it from. Lucarelli joined U.S. Lecce in the summer of 1999. With the team he played 59 games scoring 27 goals.
Did you Know?
Lucarelli scored his 100th Serie A goal as part of a hat-trick in a 4–1 defeat of Catania on 1 April 2007. He was capped six times for the Italy senior squad between 2005 and 2007, scoring 3 goals; he was also a member of the team that took part in the 1996 Summer Olympics. His aforementioned debut was during a 2005 friendly tournament in the United States and Canada, where he scored his first international goal in a 1–1 draw against Serbia and Montenegro at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on 8 June. He was left off the Italy roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but was recalled by new coach Roberto Donadoni – who had briefly coached Lucarelli at Livorno earlier in the year – for a friendly against Croatia on 16 August 2006. Due to a rash of injuries among the Azzurri, Lucarelli was summoned for a pair of June Euro 2008 qualifiers against Lithuania and the Faroe Islands. He came on as a substitute for Filippo Inzaghi in the 58th minute of Italy’s narrow 2–1 victory over the Faroe Islands on 2 June 2007, but did not play in a 2–0 defeat of Lithuania on 6 June. Lucarelli also substituted for Inzaghi in the 65th minute of a Euro 2008 qualifying match against France on 8 September 2007. He scored his first brace in Italy’s 2–0 friendly win over South Africa on 17 October. Lucarelli’s passion for his home club often resulted in many questionable incidents. The May 2005 issue of Calcio Italia magazine reported that he had paid for a bus that brought a cadre of traveling Livorno fans back to the city after they had been arrested for rioting. He has the A.S. Livorno logo tattooed on his left forearm, and his jersey number, 99, was an homage to left-wing ultras group Brigate Autonome Livornesi, which was founded in 1999. He was also of an increasingly rare breed of Italian footballer who openly brought his politics onto the pitch; his goal celebration consisted of a dual clenched-fist salute, a gesture made famous by the Communist party. He has openly stated that he is a supporter of communism. One of his cell phone ringtones was Bandiera Rossa, and he once declared, “We Livorno get no favors from the referees because we are Communists!” but later retracted this statement. He is a staunch admirer of Che Guevara, whose face is frequently displayed on Livorno fans’ banners and T-shirts during matches. This first came to the fore in 1997, when, after scoring for Italy’s Under-21 side, he celebrated by pulling his jersey over his face to reveal a shirt bearing Che Guevara’s image. Despite his insisting that it was not a political gesture, he was consequently blackballed from the national team for several years until Marcello Lippi called him up as a starter for a friendly in 2005. Lucarelli met Guevara’s daughter, Aleida Guevara, after the 2004–05 Serie A season; one subject of discussion was the possibility of Livorno travelling to Cuba to play a charity match, but it never came to fruition. Cristiano’s younger brother, Alessandro, is also a former footballer, who played as a defender in the Serie A league (also sharing a few seasons together with Cristiano while at Livorno), and most notably captaining Parma.