He was nicknamed 'The Golden Boy' of Italian football. He
is the product of Alessandria's youth soccer academy. He debuted
in Serie A for Alessandria against Internazionale Milano.
That was on the 2nd of June 1959. He was only 15 years old.
He only played for his first club 26 matches in which he scored
6 goals. After one year, he was bought by AC Milan with a
record transfer fee for that time, 200.000 $. For a player
who was only 16 years old. In 1962 he wins the first Scudetto
with AC Milan and on the 13th of May 1962, at 18 years, he
plays his first match for the Italian national team against
West Germany in Chile, a game that finished with a goalless
Due to the win of the 1962 Scudetto, AC Milan gets into the
chase for the European Cup in 1962, a European Cup which they
have finally won, beating Benfica 2-1 in the final with a
Rivera in great form as he was awarded the second place in
the famous 'France Football Player of the Year' award, won
by the Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin.
In the 1967/1968 season he won with AC Milan both the title
and the Cup Winners Cup. Next season, Rivera takes AC Milan
to win the Champions Cup as he finally gets the 'France Football
Player of the Year' award.
He plays with the 'Squadra Azzura' (Italian national team)
in the 1970 World Cup hosted by Mexico where they reach the
final lost against Brazil with 4-1 and in the 1974 World Cup
when the Italians were knocked-out by the Poland national
team with 2-1. That was the end of Rivera's career at the
national team for which he played in 60 games scoring 14 goals.
Rivera took AC Milan in two Cup Winners Cup finals, one in
1973 and another in 1974; the first one was won and the second
one lost. He also won with the red-and-black team two consecutive
Italian titles, in 1972 and 1973. AC Milan also won several
Italian Cups in the 70's but without Rivera in most of them
who was banned because of his statements against the Italian
Rivera won his last Scudetto of his career as a player in
1979 with AC Milan, this also being the 10th title for 'The
Devils'. In the summer of that year Rivera retires after some
freindlies played against Argentina.
Totally, he played for AC Milan in Serie A 501 matches and
scored 122 goals.
After retirement, Rivera entered the Italian political life,
being one of the members of the Italian Parliament.
::4 x Italian cup
::3 x Italian title
::2 x Cup Winners Cup
::2 x European Cup
::1 x European Player of The Year
::1 x European Player of The Year runner-up
::1 x World Cup runner-up
::1 x Italian League Top Scorer
::1 x Intercontinental Cup
::1 x European tournament