The Cagliari soccer legend suffered a heart attack over the weekend before he passed away at a hospital in Sardinia’s capital.
Riva is remembered for leading Italy to the 1968 European Championship and for playing in two World Cup finals two years after. The 5-foot-11 forward collected 35 goals in 42 appearances for the Azzurri.
The man also known as “Roar of Thunder” scored 207 goals for Cagliari. He would later help the Sardinian side win the 1970 Serie A title
Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina paid tribute to Riva, whom he described as an “extraordinary footballer.”
“Italian soccer is grieving because a real and proper national hero has left us,” Gravina said. “Those who, like me, were lucky enough to know him today lost a friend.”
“Thanks to him, we won the 1968 European Championship,” he added.
In a post on X, Cagliari wrote: “Forever GIGI RIVA.”
After Riva retired in 1976, Cagliari retired his No.11 jersey in 2005.
Italian fans will observe a minute of silence across the country before each match this week.