As a teenager, Dorigo wrote to 14 top flight clubs in England and asked for a trial. Aston Villa were the first club to respond and offered Dorigo a four-day trial. He was successful.
He made his league debut for Aston Villa against Ipswich in 1984 as an 18 year old and would go on to win the clubs player of the year award during his time at Villa Park.
He signed for Chelsea from Aston Villa for £475,000 and he won the club's player of the year award in his first season, though they were also relegated. He helped the club win promotion back to the First Division at the first attempt. He left Chelsea in somewhat acrimonious circumstances in the summer of 1991, having made and then withdrawn a transfer request, and then seemingly fallen out with manager Bobby Campbell after being dropped from the side due to declining a new contract. He was sold to Leeds for £1.3m. He made 180 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 11 goals.
Dorigo won the First Division with Leeds in his first season at the club as well as winning the Fans Player of the Year award for the same year. He stayed with the club until 1997, when he joined Italian side Torino. At Torino he helped the side reach the promotion play-offs as well as being awarded the club's player of the year, although he missed a penalty in the play off final.
Due to financial reasons Torino were forced let him go, with Dorigo closing his career with two years at Derby County. He scored three goals during his spell at Derby, with one in the league against Nottingham Forest and two in the FA Cup against Huddersfield Town, one in the original tie and again in the replay. He spent a final season at Stoke City, where he was made club captain, before retiring in 2001 at the age of 35. In his final season he was playing in Division Two (the third tier of the English senior leagues).
Dorigo was initially called-up by Australia for the 1986 World Cup qualifying campaign. However Aston Villa manager Tony Barton refused Dorigo permission to travel. Barton felt that playing for Australia would be a waste of time for Dorigo as their opponents were generally weaker opposition from Oceania.
The Football Association approached Dorigo to represent England: “England came along and asked me to play for them if I hung around for another year and got my British citizenship,” says Dorigo. “My father was Italian and my mother was Australian, so I have no English parentage at all. What I say to my English friends today is that ‘you lot were so bad you needed an Aussie to come and play for you!’ It was very different back then to what it is now – the players in the Premier League today fly all over the world to play for their countries. They just did not allow that to happen in my day.”
Since retiring he has been a football pundit with various TV and Radio networks starting with ITV Digital covering the Championship in 2001/02. He has since worked with Radio Aire covering Leeds United's Premier League campaign as well as TV punditry for Eurosport, Bravo, Channel 5, ESPN and Sky amongst others. He appeared on the James Corden Show on 16 June prior to the England and Germany second round match of the World Cup 2010.
His regular TV work includes La Liga, Serie A and Internationals for Al Jazeera as well as commentating for ESPN. He also commentates for Absolute Radio as part of their live Barclays Premier League coverage as well as appearing a number of times on BBC Radio 5 Live show Fighting Talk.