Parma, 5 October 2018 – The focus of our Old Flame ahead of the upcoming lunchtime encounter against Genoa is Gianluca Signorini.
Born in 1960, former defender Signorini started his career at local club Pisa. He made his debut in professional football there before joining Pietrasanta, Prato and Livorno. He spent two seasons with the latter and went on to play in the following two seasons for Ternana and Cavese.
In 1985, Arrigo Sacchi decided to sign Signorini for his Parma side. Like the defender, the coach from Romagna had just signed for the Gialloblu, but there was a great feeling between the two from the very beginning. The Crociati immediatley achieved promotion to Serie B and even went close to getting a second promotion in a row as they finished sixth, just two points shy of a place that would have secured promotion to Serie A. Those were crucial years for Signorini; he gained important experience and made 70 appearances and scoring 6 goals, improving his performances in the libero role. Sacchi, who in the meantime had joined AC Milan, even suggested Franco Baresi to draw inspiration from Signorini’s movements on the pitch.
Signorini signed for Roma in the 1987/88 season. He made 29 appearances for them before joining Genoa. The club, which was then coached by Franco Scoglio, was in Serie B at the time, but they earned promotion to the Italian top-flight. It was the start of Signorini’s peak. He went on to play seven seasons for Genoa, becoming one of the most important players in the history of the club. He became their captain and was part of the team that made history in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup. Genoa became the first Italian team to beat Liverpool at Anfield in the quarter-finals. After winning 2-0 their home match, Genoa got the historic away win thanks to a brace from Pato Aguilera (1-2).
Signorini ended his career as footballer back at Pisa, where he then worked as director and sporting director. He then was appointed by Livorno as supervisor of the Livorno academy. Signorini’s last public appearance was on 24 May 2001. On that night, a fundraising event was organised in Genoa to raise money for research against ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an illness Signorini himself was suffering from. “The Captain” as he widely was known among the Genoa fans, passed away on 6 November 2002.