Initially, Atalanta had tried to lure him away from the Inter youth ranks, but ultimately failed to do so. Despite the geographical benefits, the giant from Treviglio had given his word to the Nerazzurri and in over half a century, he went on to become captain, director, president and a leading example for all to follow.
He began his career as a striker for Trevigliese, however, Helenio Herrera succesfully transformed him into a full-back. Technically he was brilliant, as he went on to develop the modern element of overlapping. In an era where full-backs rarely ventured into the opposition half, he instead pushed forward and scored 65 goals, a tally much similar to that of an attacker. With an imposing physique and a great all-round attitude, he also had skills of the highest order. Honed in his hometown of Treviglio, these things gave him the edge over others when out on the pitch. He could get to the ball quicker and then also knew what to do with it; if necessary, he would fire it straight into the opposition goal. He grew up alongside Inter, eventually becoming an integral and essential part of the club. A true legend.
His goal against Liverpool in May 1965 - controlled and then smashed home right-footed from the edge of the area - probably sums up Herrera’s Inter side in the best possible fashion. Capable of cutting counter-attacks with talented players up front, also capable of scoring and creating spaces, which were then swiftly occupied by Facchetti and others. He was No. 3 out of 11 in the most famous nursery rhyme in Italian football, one which started with Sarti and finished with Corso.
Gianni Brera nicknamed him Giacinto Magno, a footballer who was in love with the Nerazzurri No.3 shirt, one that will never be worn again. As for Herrera, he affectionately called him Cipelletti, with them both going on to help Inter conquer Italy, Europe and then the World. However, it is not just his goals, appearances, trophies or professionalism that make him such a sporting legend.
It is also down to the fact that Giacinto Facchetti has a little something in all of us and it is always the best part.