MILAN - Affectionately known as 'Lele', Gabriele Oriali celebrates his 53rd birthday today. Born in Como on 25 November 1952, Lele was applauded by Nerazzurri fans for 17 seasons (4 with the youth academy, 13 with the first team), in which he collected 277 Serie A appearances and scored 33 goals, winning two Scudettos in 1970/71 and 1979/80. In Italy's domestic cup competition the former midfielder played 70 matches, scored 8 goals and lifted the Coppa Italia twice in 1977/78 and 1981/82, while in Europe Oriali played 45 matches and scored 3 goals, and was part of the team that lost to Ajax in the 1971 European Cup final.
Oriali, who made his Serie A debut for Inter in a 0-0 draw with Roma at the Olimpico on 7 February 1971 when Gianni Invernizzi was Nerazzurri coach, was capped 28 times at full international level by Italy and was a member of the World Cup-winning side in 1982. Immortalised by Italian singer Luciano Ligabue in the song 'Una vita da mediano' ('A life as a central midfielder'), Oriali was the hero of the Milan derby played on 25 October 1981, when he scored the winning goal and required thirty stitches for a boot in the face from Mauro Tassotti.
F.C. Internazionale's transfer market consultant Gabriele Oriali today celebrates his 53rd birthday with the club and the team.