Pierino Prati (Italian pronunciation: [pjeˈriːno ˈpraːti]; 13 December 1946 – 22 June 2020) was an Italian footballer who played mainly as a forward. He began his career with Salernitana, and later played for several other Italian clubs, including a successful spell with Milan, with whom he won several titles. He also had a brief spell with Rochester Lancers in the NASL in 1979.
Prati with Milan in 1968
|Date of birth||13 December 1946|
|Place of birth||Cinisello Balsamo, Italy|
|Date of death||22 June 2020(aged 73)|
|Place of death||Como, Italy|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|1966–1967||→ Savona (loan)||29||(15)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 May 2015|
At international level, Prati represented Italy on 14 occasions between 1968 and 1974, scoring seven goals; he was a member of the teams that won UEFA Euro 1968 on home soil, and which reached the 1970 FIFA World Cup Final.
Also known as "Pierino the pest", Prati began his career playing in Serie C1 with Salernitana, winning the title and promotion to Serie B during the 1965–66 season. He is mostly remembered for his highly successful and prolific stint with Italian club A.C. Milan under manager Nereo Rocco in the 60s and 70s, during which he achieved great international and domestic success, winning a Serie A title, a European Cup, two Cup Winners' Cups, an Intercontinental Cup, and two Coppa Italia titles, forming an excellent partnership with Gianni Rivera.
He made his Serie A debut with the club during the end of the 1965–66 season, on 18 September 1966, in a 2–1 win over Venezia, but was briefly loaned to Serie B club Savona during the 1966–67 season. He later helped Milan to win the 1967–68 Serie A title, finishing the season as the top goalscorer in the Italian league, with 15 goals. He was also notably part of their European Cup victory in 1969, scoring a hat-trick in the 4–1 defeat of Ajax in the final, and six goals in total throughout the competition. He is the last man to have scored a hat-trick in the Champions League/European Cup Final. Ferenc Puskás (twice) and Alfredo Di Stefano (both of Real Madrid) are the only other players to have achieved this.
Overall, he played for 12 seasons (233 games, 100 goals) in the Italian Serie A with A.C. Milan, A.S. Roma and ACF Fiorentina. He also played for Savona once again in Serie C2 in his later career, as well as the Rochester Lancers in the NASL.
Prati also played for the Italy national football team. He was most notably a member of the Italian side that won the 1968 UEFA European Football Championship on home soil, during which he made his debut on 6 April, scoring a goal in a 3–2 loss against Bulgaria in the first leg of the quarter-finals, and another in the 2–0 victory in the return leg. He played the first final match alongside Pietro Anastasi, but was replaced by Luigi Riva in the re-match, the striker who would often keep him on the bench for Italy. With his national team, Prati also reached the final of the 1970 FIFA World Cup, losing out to Brazil. In total, he was capped 14 times for the national side between 1968 and 1974, scoring 7 times.
Style of playEdit
A talented and opportunistic player, with an eye for goal, Prati was capable of playing anywhere along the front-line, as a striker, supporting forward, and as a winger. At Milan, he was often deployed on the left wing due to his pace, technique, distribution, and was also known for his powerful and accurate shot from both inside and outside the penalty area, as well as his ability in the air.
Prati's son, Cristiano, is also a footballer, who plays in the lower Italian divisions.
Prati died on 22 June 2020, after being ill for some time.
|Total for Milan||143||72||34||14||30||16||207||102|
|Italy national team|
- Serie A: 1967–68
- Coppa Italia: 1971–72, 1972–73
- European Cup: 1968–69
- European Cup Winners' Cup: 1967–68, 1972–73
- Intercontinental Cup: 1969
- "A.C. Milan Hall of Fame: Pierino Prati". acmilan.com. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "Pierino PRATI (II)" (in Italian). magliarossonera.it. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Pierino Prati – FIFA competition record
- "Nazionale in cifre: Prati, Pierino". www.figc.it (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "Racconti Mondiali: Messico 1970 - Pierino Prati" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- "RIP: Pierino Prati dead at 73". Football Italia. Tiro Media Ltd. 22 June 2020. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "Pierino Prati" (in Italian). Eurosport. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- Roberto Di Maggio; Igor Kramarsic; Alberto Novello (11 June 2015). "Italy - Serie A Top Scorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Pierino Prati at National-Football-Teams.com