At the 16th FIFA World Player Gala at the Zurich Opera House on 18 December 2006, world football’s governing body honoured Italian football legend Giacinto Facchetti, who died this year, with the FIFA Presidential Award 2006. The FIFA Fair Play Award 2006 went to the fans of the FIFA World Cup™.
Facchetti played 634 times for Inter Milan between 1961 and 1978, winning four Italian championships and two European Cups. The former Italian international, whose 94 caps included winning the 1968 European Championship and an appearance in the 1970 FIFA World Cup™ final, became president of Inter Milan in 2004. He was a FIFA instructor for almost ten years and had been a member of the FIFA Football Committee since 1998. On 4 September 2006, Facchetti passed away at the age of just 64 following a short, serious illness. ”We were all devastated to learn of his death,” said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in his eulogy at the FIFA World Player Gala. “We will always remember him as an extraordinary player and a competent official, but above all as a wonderful person. We have lost a true friend, whom we will never forget.”
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany ™ went down as the most spectacular World Cup ever and it was the fans from all over the world that made possible this exciting, attractive event characterised by fair play and mutual respect. The special atmosphere inside and outside the stadiums in Germany set a highly impressive example of unity and understanding between different peoples. The fans of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ were therefore honoured for this model behaviour.