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|Full name||Arrigo Sacchi|
|Date of birth||1 April 1946|
|Place of birth||Fusignano, Italy|
|2004–2005||Real Madrid (Director of Football)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Arrigo Sacchi (Italian pronunciation: [arˈriɡo ˈsakki]; born 1 April 1946 in Fusignano) is an Italian football coach. He is best known for his success coaching Italian teams, particularly with Milan where he won back to back European Cups as coach in the late eighties where he was head coach of the Italy national football team (1991–1996). He was twice manager of A.C. Milan (1987–1991, 1996–1997).
Sacchi never played football professionally, and before becoming a coach he was a shoe salesman. This led to his famous quote to the ones that questioned his qualifications: "I never realised that in order to become a jockey you have to have been a horse first".
Early coaching career
Sacchi had grown up watching attacking sides, such as Honved, Real Madrid, Brazil and Holland. He started his career managing his local club, Baracca Lugo, because he wasn't good enough to play for them. Of the challenge he faced, Sacchi said "I was twenty-six, my goalkeeper was thirty-nine and my centre-forward was thirty-two. I had to win them over". He next coached at Bellaria before joining A.C. Cesena, who were in the Serie B as a youth team coach. He then took over at Rimini who were playing in the Serie C1, and almost led them to a title. He got his breakthrough when he moved to Fiorentina as a youth coach. His achievements with the youth team earned interest from Parma F.C. who were in Serie C1. He got Parma promoted in his first season, and in the following season took them to within 3 points of promotion to Serie A. However, of greater importance to his time at Parma was the team's performance in the Coppa Italia; they beat A.C. Milan 1–0 in the group stages, and beat them again 1–0 on aggregate in the first knockout round. This was enough to attract interest from Milan's ownder Silvio Berlusconi. who promptly appointed Arrigo Sacchi as manager.
At Milan, Arrigo Sacchi again faced problems of credibility. The press argued that such an inadequate player could never go on to be a successful coach, and that even Berlusconi—who had played football at amateur level—was probably a better player. However, Sacchi coined a witty term in response: "A jockey doesn't have to have been born a horse".
Sacchi's success at Milan gained him two back-to-back European cups—an incredible achievement. The success he gained was largely attributed to the Dutch trio he had purchased—Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard. However, other great players such as Franco Baresi, Roberto Donadoni and Paolo Maldini were also a key to his success.
The first European final in 1989 was against Steaua Bucharest, who were beaten resoundingly 4-0. Gullit and Van Basten scored two goals each and Milan lifted the European Cup for the first time in over twenty years. On the way, however, Milan had dispatched Real Madrid 6-1 on aggregate in the semi-final, a result which almost represented the passing of the mantle for best European club. The quarter final against Werder Bremen was a tight affair, however: Milan only went through 1-0 on aggregate thanks to a Van Basten penalty. The second round was shrouded in controversy. Donadoni had his life saved only through the quick-thinking of the Red Star Belgrade physio, who broke his jaw to make a passage for oxygen to reach his lungs after he had suffered a bad foul and lay unconscious. The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw and the second leg got called off in 64th minute and rescheduled to be replayed the next day due to the thick fog (Milan was losing 0-1 at the moment). Milan eventually progressed following a penalty shoot-out.
Although the team was not as strong as they had been in the previous season, they were victorious again in 1990. After victories against HJK Helsinki, Real Madrid and KV Mechelen, Milan defeated German giants Bayern Munich in the semi-final, thanks to an away goal. The Dutch magic worked again in the final, as Frank Rijkaard scored the only goal of the game through a Van Basten assist, to conquer Sven-Göran Eriksson's Benfica Lisbon. By winning the final, Milan became the first team which retained the title since 1980 European Cup Final, and the last team to do so to date. The following season saw them defeated by eventual runners-up Olympique de Marseille in the quarter-final. This was Arrigo Saachi's last season with Rossoneri.
Italian national team
In 1991, Sacchi was appointed as Italy national football team manager, replacing Azeglio Vicini. Sacchi based his Italian selection predominantly on AC Milan players, especially in the defensive line which featured Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi; the attacking line was lead by talismanic 1993 Ballon d'or winner Roberto Baggio of Juventus. Despite not being among the favorites and losing their first match 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland, Italy reached the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final (their first since 1982), where they were defeated by Brazil only in a penalty shoot-out—a world cup final first. Under Sacchi, Italy qualified for Euro 1996, but were eliminated from a group which included the eventual finalists, Germany and Czech Republic.
Later coaching career
Sacchi had brief spells in the Primera Liga, taking charge of Atlético Madrid in 1998 after his second spell with the Rossoneri. He could only guide los Colchoneros to a disappointing 13th place in the league in his only season at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, although they did qualify for Europe having finished as runners-up in the Copa del Rey. He later returned to Madrid, this time at the Bernabeu as director of football at Real Madrid for the 2004/05 season. Recently after Milan finished their opening match in their Champions League campaign in which Zlatan Ibrahimović scored two goals, Sacchi made a comment directed towards Ibrahimovic stating, "If it wasn't for his big feet he wouldn't have scored." Ibrahimovic took offense to the remark, and the two engaged in a heated exchange.
- Serie C1 (1): 1986
- Serie A (1): 1987-88
- Supercoppa Italiana (1): 1988
- European Cup (2): 1988–89, 1989–90
- European Supercup (2): 1989, 1990
- Intercontinental Cup (2): 1989, 1990
|UEFA Champions League Winning Coach
1988-89 & 1989-90
|Italy national football team manager