Interview With Gianluca Cugini 

Today our guest is Gianluca Cugini who’s career takes place mainly in soccer where he worked for DATASPORT of Milan as football statistician and then International Federation Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). He was also lucky enough to travel a lot (more the 110 countries) and grow him other great hobby: statistics on sharks especially blue sharks. We have conducted an interview with him.


What are the key strengths necessary to be a football statistician?

Great passion for football and stats (better if you played football to understand both the statistics and football technical. I did overall Young football tournaments )

What is it like to be a Football Statistician?

Great satisfaction because it combines my two great passions Football and Statistics. I started very early and at age 22 I was already in the World Cup with the “Azzurri” !

What challenges you in your work in your current position?

In my career I did the statistician of football at all levels. Hundreds and hundreds of games: FIFA WORLD CUP, FIFA WORLD CUP clubs, Champions League, CONFEDERATIONS CUP, EURO CHAMPIONSHIP, NATIONAL TEAM, ITALY – Serie A, ITALY CUP, SUPERCUP. But the greatest satisfaction were: FIFA WORLD CUP with “AZZURRI”, FIFA World Cup clubs and the UEFA Champions League.
Then from 2002 I am the main responsible for the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistic) for ITALY.

How did you start with your hobby statistics on sharks?

The passion for sharks became very strong especially after I saw the documentary “Men and sharks” of Bruno Vailati, a work of great impact, especially for those times. When I was a kid I had a friend who had a boat and I always carried with him, and when I saw them (blue sharks) it was love at first sight. Once in the Adriatic Sea were very common.

Then another key moment was the meeting with one of the world greatest sharks experts: Dr. Alessandro de Maddalena that began to publish my work. I believe him to have written at least 20 books on sharks! I think that is really amazing and is still very young! If I think that when I was “child” I could never find a book about sharks in my city! Except for The Shark, Splendid Savage of the Sea of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. This is also a satisfaction.

Why did you choose blue sharks in particular?

For a football statistician who love “AZZURRI” (BLUE) I could not to love the blue sharks ! Seriously since childhood I have a great passion for sharks and my favorite has always been the blue shark.

Is travel an important ‘criteria’ so as to persue this hobby?

Thanks to football I have traveled a lot I think I was in more than 110 countries in all continents. One day I have to do the exact count many persons ask me for this!
And thanks to it I was able to cultivate the beautiful hobby of the study of sharks And for AZZURRA / BLUE and laughs heartily.