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Former AC Milan and Italy forward Pierino Prati dies

Pierino Prati, scorer of a hat-trick in the 1969 European Cup final, has died aged 73.

Former AC Milan and Italy forward Pierino Prati dies
Former AC Milan and Italy forward Pierino Prati dies ©Getty Images

Italian football is mourning the death of former AC Milan and Italy forward Pierino Prati at the age of 73.

Prati scored a famous hat-trick for AC Milan in the 1969 European Cup final as the Rossoneri stunned Ajax 4-1 in Madrid. "A giant of our history closed his eyes," Milan wrote on Twitter this evening. "From the Bernabéu stadium to the Bombonera [scene of the 1969 Intercontinental Cup win], Piero Prati was a shining light for us all and shall be dearly missed: rest in peace Piero."

Prati also won the European Cup Winners' Cup twice in six seasons with the Rossoneri, as well as the Scudetto and two Coppa Italia titles. He found the net 72 times in 141 Serie A games for the club, managing a similar ratio for his country with seven goals in 14 games for Italy. Prati scored in both legs of Italy's 1968 UEFA European Championship quarter-final win against Bulgaria and started the final versus Yugoslavia before making way for Luigi Riva in the replay two days later. The Azzurri triumphed.

Prati went on to play for Roma and Fiorentina in Serie A before retiring in 1981 after spells in the United States with Rochester Lancers and in Serie C2 with Savona. 

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