Born in Bologna, Italy, his family moved to Australia for a period, in the suburb of Wetherill Park. He attended Prairiewood High School in western Sydney. His father Roberto Vieri played for Sydney-based club Marconi Stallions. His brother, Massimiliano Vieri, is also a professional footballer, and was an Australian international in 2004. Vieri played for Marconi Juniors when he was a child but his family soon moved back to Italy.
Vieri has scored 23 goals in 49 matches for Italy and played for his country at the 1998 World Cup, scoring five times, and the 2002 World Cup, scoring four times, though he endured a less successful tournament at Euro 2004, whilst he missed Euro 2000 and World Cup 2006 through injury. Vieri is generally considered to be Italy's greatest pure striker of recent times despite strong competition, and is one of Italy's most prolific World Cup goal scorers. He was named by Pelé as one of the 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.
Christian Vieri's tattoos are written in kanji on his right arm. According to Vieri he Vieri went to a tattoo parlor, but "they did not tell me the characters' meanings. I picked these because I liked their look." Vieri was pleasantly surprised when he discovered the meanings of the characters which say "strength, eternity, thunder" - www.tao-of-tattoos.com