Ferrara in 2012
|Full name||Ciro Ferrara|
|Date of birth||11 February 1967|
|Place of birth||Naples, Italy|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Ciro Ferrara (born 11 February 1967) is a former Italian footballer and manager. His most recent position was as manager of Sampdoria, although he also previously coached Juventus and the Italy national under-21 football team. As an assistant coach to Marcello Lippi, he won the 2006 FIFA World Cup with Italy.
He spent his playing career as a defender initially at Napoli and later on at Juventus, winning seven Serie A titles, as well as other domestic and international trophies. At international level, he represented Italy at the 1988 Summer Olympics, at two UEFA European Championships in 1988 and 2000, and at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
An elegant yet powerful defender, throughout his playing career, he was known for his composure, technical skills, ball playing ability and class, which enabled him to play anywhere along the back-line. Regarded as one of the best Italian centrebacks of his generation, Ferrara was a complete, experienced, consistent, cautious, and successful defender, who was quick, strong in the air, and excelled at reading the game, tackling, and man-marking.
A native of Naples, Ferrara started his career with the youth system of hometown club S.S.C. Napoli in 1980. Ferrara graduated the primavera youth squad in 1984, and began to earn first team call-ups that season. He made 14 total appearances with the club in his first full season. The following season, he became a part of the starting XI, and the Italian soon began to earn national call-ups and was even called up to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He also scored one of Napoli's goals as they won the 1989 UEFA Cup Final. In addition to the UEFA Cup, with Napoli, he won two Serie A titles (during the 1986–87 and 1989–90 seasons), the 1987 Coppa Italia final, and the 1990 Supercoppa Italiana, over his future team, Juventus.
In the summer of 1994, Ferrara transferred to Turin based club, Juventus F.C., under coach Marcello Lippi, and was quickly introduced into the starting eleven, making over 40 total appearances for the club in all competitions in his first season, scoring 1 goal. He is considered one of the best central defenders of his generation, not giving up his starting position for the club for the next 10 years. He also captained the team from 1995 to 1996 and became one of the most experienced and decorated players of the past two decades, winning eight Serie A championships, six of which were with Juventus, and two with Napoli. Ferrara was also part of two Coppa Italia titles (one with each team), three Supercoppa Italiana titles (two with Juventus, one with Napoli) and several European competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, Intercontinental Cup and European Super Cup). His role as captain, though, was taken over by fellow Italian Alessandro Del Piero in 1996. Throughout his Juventus career Ferrara played an important role in Juventus' backline, with his vast experienced and dominating defensive style. Throughout his 12-year tenure with the club, Ferrara formed impressive defensive partnerships with the likes of Mark Iuliano, Moreno Torricelli, Paolo Montero, Gianluca Pessotto, Lilian Thuram, Alessandro Birindelli, Igor Tudor, Gianluca Zambrotta, Nicola Legrottaglie, and Fabio Cannavaro. Juventus had what was considered as the best defence in the world at this time, and teams strongly regretted ever going down a goal to the club, as they knew how hard it would be to score one back for themselves. In the 1996–1997 season, one of his peak seasons, he scored four goals in 32 Serie A competitions, while also being capped eight times internationally. Ironically, his first professional match, while at Napoli, was played against Juventus in a 0–0 draw. Following the Scudetto winning 2004–2005 Serie A season, Ferrara, along with veteran teammates Mark Iuliano and Paolo Montero called it quits on their Juventus careers. While Montero returned to Uruguay and Iuliano opted to join smaller clubs to conclude his career, while Ferrara retired from football in May 2005 at the age of 38. Ferrara made just 4 Serie A appearances in his final season with the club. Following Juventus's involvement in the 2006 Calciopoli Scandal, their 2004–05 title was revoked, however.
For Italy, Ferrara was capped 49 times and played one game each at the 1990 FIFA World Cup on home soil (where Italy finished in third place after a semi-final penalty shootout defeat to Argentina) and at Euro 2000 (where Italy reached the final, losing to France on a golden goal). Ferrara took part at the 1988 UEFA European Championship, where Italy reached the semi-finals, although he did not appear during the tournament; the same year, he was a member of the Italy team that finished in fourth place at the 1988 Summer Olympics after reaching the semi-final. His brilliance, however, was never truly realised at international level despite his impressive tally of caps. During this time, Italy had a plethora of top-class defenders such as Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassotti, Pietro Vierchowod, Riccardo Ferri, Giuseppe Bergomi, Gianluca Pessotto, Paolo Maldini, and in latter years, stars like Fabio Cannavaro, and Alessandro Nesta. He was also unfortunate with untimely injuries. This was most notable in the buildup to the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Ferrara, aged 31 at the time, was at the peak of his career, and had just finished 3 superb seasons at Juventus. In 96–97 and 97–98, he was quite possibly the best defender in Italy, and he was a regular in the Italy line-up. However, Ferrara suffered a serious injury a few weeks before the World Cup and missed the tournament. He was replaced by Nesta. From this time on, Ferrara was a reserve for Italy (and also for Juventus), whereas Cannavaro went on to achieve legendary status. Had Ferrara not suffered this injury, many believe he would have been one of the stars of France '98, as he was at the peak of his career. For this reason, he is not so well known outside his native country, but within Italy he is regarded as yet another illustrious defender in a long line of world class Italian defenders.
|Italy national team|
Ferrara was part of the Italian technical staff for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. After winning the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he became part of Juventus' staff joining former club and national teammate Gianluca Pessotto, with Ferrara being named youth system chief (responsabile settore giovanile), dealing mostly with organisational aspects of the Juve academy. In July 2008 Ferrara took the UEFA Pro License coaching badges following training at Coverciano, Florence. After Juventus fired Claudio Ranieri following a string of seven league games without a win in the 2008–09 season, Ferrara was named interim head coach of Juventus on 18 May 2009 for the remaining two weeks of the season, with the goal of maintaining second place in the league table, and the possibility of being appointed on a full-time basis for a longer period. In his two games as caretaker manager, he led Juventus to 3–0 and 2–0 wins over Siena and Lazio respectively, thus ensuring a second-place finish over rivals Milan. Following these results, he emerged as a strong candidate for to take the job permanently for the next season. On 5 June 2009, Juventus formally announced his appointment as manager for 2009–10 season.
During the summer the team was then massively strengthened with high-profile signings such as Brazilian internationals Diego and Felipe Melo, 2006 FIFA World Cup champions Fabio Cannavaro and Fabio Grosso in defence, as well as young Uruguayan international Martin Caceres, on a loan deal. After winning all the initial four league games, Ferrara's fortunes changed after Juve failed to make the knockout stage of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League following a 4–1 defeat by Bayern Munich at home in a game where a draw would have awarded Juve the qualification to the following phase despite a promising start to the campaign. Despite a win over Derby d'Italia rivals Internazionale, Juve embarked on a losing streak over the winter, notably against minor teams such as Sicilian side Catania and recently promoted Bari. He came under intense scrutiny from the media and there was much speculation about who would succeed him as manager, especially after he was absent at the traditional meeting of all Serie A managers, coaches and referees in Rome during mid-season and was instead represented by then Director of Sport Alessio Secco and 23-year-old homegrown midfielder Claudio Marchisio at the press conference.
Six days later, Juventus were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Internazionale 2–1 at Stadio San Siro, leading the board of directors to ultimately sack Ferrara after weeks of speculation regarding his position, replacing him with Alberto Zaccheroni until the end of the season.
On 22 October 2010 Ciro Ferrara was announced as new head coach of the Italy U21 team, with former teammate Angelo Peruzzi as assistant. Under Ferrara, the Azzurrini remain unbeaten in the 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifiers as of June 2012. On 2 July 2012, he left the country's U21 to coach newly promoted Serie A side U.C. Sampdoria for the 2012–13 season. Ciro Ferrara was sacked as manager of Sampdoria on 17 December 2012.
- Serie A: 1994–95, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05 [nb 1]
- Champions League: 1995–96
- Intercontinental Cup: 1996
- European Super Cup: 1996
- Coppa Italia: 1994–95
- Italian Super Cups: 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003
- Intertoto Cup: 1999
- ESM Team of the Year: 1996–97
- USSI Silver Ball: 2003
- FIFA XI (Reserve): 2000
- Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare "Gaetano Scirea": 2003
- Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 1991
- Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 2000
With his fellow Neapolitan friend and former defensive team-mate Fabio Cannavaro, Ferrara has helped establish a charity foundation, Fondazione Cannavaro Ferrara, specialising in the procurement of cancer research equipment and surgery for special cases of cancer for a hospital in their native Naples; the foundation also aims to help at risk youth in Naples.
- This title was revoked through the courts following the Calciopoli scandal.
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