Cristiano Lucarelli

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Cristiano Lucarelli
Personal information
Date of birth (1975-10-04) 4 October 1975 (age 42)
Place of birth Livorno, Italy
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Catania (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1993 Cuoiopelli 28 (5)
1993–1995 Perugia 7 (0)
1995–1996 Cosenza 32 (15)
1996–1997 Padova 34 (18)
1997–1998 Atalanta 26 (5)
1998–1999 Valencia 13 (1)
1999–2001 Lecce 59 (26)
2001–2003 Torino 55 (10)
2003–2007 Livorno 146 (92)
2007–2008 Shakhtar Donetsk 12 (4)
2008–2012 Parma 45 (16)
2009–2010 Livorno (loan) 28 (10)
2010–2012 Napoli (loan) 12 (1)
Total 497 (203)
National team
1996 Italy Olympic 2 (0)
1996–1997 Italy U-21 10 (10)
1997 Italy U-23 2 (0)
2005–2007 Italy 6 (3)
Teams managed
2013 Perugia
2013–2014 Viareggio
2014–2015 Pistoiese
2015–2016 Tuttocuoio
2016–2017 Messina
2017– Catania
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Cristiano Lucarelli (born 4 October 1975 in Livorno, Italy) is an Italian former footballer who played as a striker from 1992 until 2012.

He is currently the head coach of Catania.

Club career[edit]

A journeyman striker, Lucarelli had stints with eight different teams (including a brief run in Spain with Valencia) before signing with hometown A.S. Livorno Calcio in 2003. While playing for Torino F.C. the previous season, he attended a match that saw Livorno emerge victorious and earn promotion to Serie B, and he was among a throng of fans who rushed the pitch afterwards in celebration. He made an immediate impact in Livorno's return to Serie A in the 2003–04 season, scoring 29 goals in 38 matches and instantly winning a place in the hearts of Amaranto fans.[1][2] He won the Golden Boot Award as Serie A's top goalscorer the following season, with 24 in 35 matches as Livorno finished in eighth place.[2][3][4]

A rarity in the football world in terms of club loyalty, he rejected several better-paying offers from other Italian and European clubs (among them a €3 million offer from FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in July 2006) to remain with Livorno.[2] He was once quoted as saying, "Some football players pay a billion for a Ferrari or a yacht; with that money I bought myself Livorno’s shirt. That's all."[5]

He scored his 100th Serie A goal as part of a hat-trick in a 4–1 defeat of Catania on 1 April 2007.[6]

Lucarelli's seemingly perfect relationship with the team soured after a conflict with club president Aldo Spinelli arose over the firing of coach Daniele Arrigoni in March 2007, during which he openly stated his desire to leave. It became permanently damaged a month later, when Lucarelli received a frosty reception from supporters after a sluggish 1–1 home draw with Reggina, with many fans going as far as to accuse Livorno of match-fixing. Lucarelli, hurt by the fans' criticism, reiterated his plans to leave Livorno at the end of the season.

In May, he was quick to snuff out rumors of a move to Serie A rivals ACF Fiorentina, and continued to remain ambiguous about his future with Livorno, claiming that he would make a decision on 6 June; five days later, Lucarelli announced that he would be staying home for next season due to a lack of offers from other teams, despite fresh rumors about Palermo, Parma and Sampdoria being interested in his services.

However, on 13 July, Lucarelli agreed to join Shakhtar Donetsk for £6 million, signing a three-year contract worth £2.8 million a season, thus becoming the first Italian to play in Ukraine.[7] The news resulted in a flood of negative responses from fans on his official website. He replied to the furor at a press conference, "I am going, but I didn't hold a gun to anyone's head...Shakhtar signed me for a figure that was below the buy-out clause of my contract. That means the club made its considerations and thought that £6m was good for a player going on 32."[citation needed]

Lucarelli scored his first European goal for Shakhtar in their 3–1 third qualifying round return game of the 2007–08 Champions league against FC Red Bull Salzburg on 29 August 2007.[8]

On 15 January 2008, Lucarelli was sold to Parma F.C. for ₤4 million, and he signed a three-and-a-half year, ₤1.2 million contract.[9] His younger brother, Alessandro, joined him at Parma for the 2008–09 season. His time at Parma did not prove to be particularly successful, as he scored only four goals in 16 matches in the remaining half of the 2007–08 season, with his side being ultimately relegated to Serie B after a long struggle with results. He opted to stay with Parma also for the 2008–09 season, aiming to offer his contribution to bring the team back into the top flight. During the first part of the season, he initially served as the club's captain, and played 19 games, scoring a total eight goals; however, on 5 February, ahead of the team's away fixture against Ancona, he was ultimately left out of the first team after leaving a training session early, and was subsequently featured intermittently throughout the second half of the season. In total, he only made 29 appearances for the club throughout the season (out of a possible 42), scoring 12 goals.[10]

In July 2009 Lucarelli completed a much-publicized comeback at Livorno on a loan move from Parma; he had already played for Livorno from 2003 to 2007.[11][12]

In June 2010, after Livorno's relegation to Serie B and consequently, the loan ending, he returned to Parma, who continued in Serie A.[13]

On 21 August 2010 it was announced that he had been loaned to Napoli.[13][14] After two seasons with the club, he announced his retirement after the end of the 2011–12 season.[15]

International career[edit]

Lucarelli has been capped six times for the Italy senior squad between 2005 and 2007, scoring 3 goals;[16] he was also a member of the team that took part in the 1996 Summer Olympics.[17] His aforementioned debut was during a 2005 friendly tournament in the United States and Canada, where he scored his first international goal in a 1–1 draw against Serbia and Montenegro at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on 8 June.[18] He was left off the Italy roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup,[19] but was recalled by new coach Roberto Donadoni – who had briefly coached Lucarelli at Livorno earlier in the year – for a friendly against Croatia on 16 August 2006.[16][20]

Due to a rash of injuries among the Azzurri, Lucarelli was summoned for a pair of June Euro 2008 qualifiers against Lithuania and the Faroe Islands.[21] He came on as a substitute for Filippo Inzaghi in the 58th minute of Italy's narrow 2–1 victory over the Faroe Islands on 2 June 2007,[22] but did not play in a 2–0 defeat of Lithuania on 6 June.[23] Lucarelli also substituted for Inzaghi in the 65th minute of a Euro 2008 qualifying match against France on 8 September 2007.[24] He scored his first brace in Italy's 2–0 friendly win over South Africa on 17 October.[16][25]

Passion, political views and controversy[edit]

Lucarelli's passion for his home club often resulted in many questionable incidents. The May 2005 issue of Calcio Italia magazine reported that he had paid for a bus that brought a cadre of traveling Livorno fans back to the city after they had been arrested for rioting. He has the A.S. Livorno logo tattooed on his left forearm, and his jersey number, 99, was an homage to left-wing ultras group Brigate Autonome Livornesi, which was founded in 1999.[26]

He was also of an increasingly rare breed of Italian footballer who openly brought his politics onto the pitch; his goal celebration consisted of a dual clenched-fist salute, a gesture made famous by the Communist party.[27] He has openly admitted that he is a supporter of communism. One of his cell phone ringtones was Bandiera Rossa, and he once declared, “We Livorno get no favors from the referees because we are Communists!” but later retracted this statement.[28]

Lucarelli, the supporter who became a Livorno player and icon, even had his mobile phone ring to the tune of The Red Flag.
 The National[29]

He is a staunch admirer of Che Guevara, whose face is frequently displayed on Livorno fans' banners and T-shirts during matches. This first came to the fore in 1997, when, after scoring for Italy's Under-21 side, he celebrated by pulling his jersey over his face to reveal a shirt bearing Che Guevara's image. Despite his insisting that it was not a political gesture, he was consequently blackballed from the national team for several years until Marcello Lippi called him up as a starter for a friendly in 2005.[27]

Lucarelli met Guevara's daughter, Aleida Guevara, after the 2004–05 Serie A season; one subject of discussion was the possibility of Livorno travelling to Cuba to play a charity match, but it never came to fruition.

Coaching career[edit]

Lucarelli became a youth coach at Parma for the 2012–13 season. Charge of the club's second most senior youth side (the Allievi Nazionale), which is composed of players aged between 15 and 17 years.[30] He left Parma in June 2013 to accept an offer to become the new head coach of ambitious Lega Pro Prima Divisione club Perugia, only to be sacked before the season begin due to disagreements with the board.[31] He then returned into management in October 2013, to become the new head coach of Viareggio, still in Lega Pro Prima Divisione.[32] He then left the club in June 2014 to accept an offer from newly promoted Lega Pro club Pistoiese.[33]

In October 2016 he was named new head coach of ailing Lega Pro club Messina.[34] After guiding the club to safety during a period of serious financial struggles followed by a club takeover, Lucarelli and Messina mutually parted company by the end of the season.[35] A few days later, he was announced as new head coach of fellow Sicilian Lega Pro club Catania.[36]

Outside of football[edit]

On 16 July 2010, Lucarelli became a share-holding partner of Carrarese; he initially owned 50% of the club's shares, along with Gianluigi Buffon and Maurizio Mian.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Cristiano's younger brother, Alessandro is also a footballer, who currently captains and plays as a defender for Parma.[38]

Career statistics[edit]



Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1992–93 Cuoiopelli Cappiano Romaiano Nazionale Dilettanti 28 5
1993–94 Perugia Serie C1 2 0
1994–95 Serie B 5 0
1995–96 Cosenza Serie B 32 15
1996–97 Padova Serie B 34 14
1997–98 Atalanta Serie A 26 5
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
1998–99 Valencia La Liga 13 1 0 0 7 2 20 3
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1999–2000 Lecce Serie A 30 15
2000–01 29 12
2001–02 Torino Serie A 30 9
2002–03 26 1
2003–04 Livorno Serie B 41 29
2004–05 Serie A 35 24
2005–06 36 19
2006–07 34 20
Ukraine League Ukrainian Cup Europe Total
2007–08 Shakhtar Donetsk Premier League 12 4
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
2007–08 Parma Serie A 16 4
2008–09 Serie B 29 12
2009–10 Livorno Serie A 28 10
2010–11 Napoli Serie A 9 1
2011–12 3 0
Country Italy 473 197
Spain 13 1
Ukraine 12 4
Total 498 202


Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
2005 2 1
2006 1 0
2007 3 2
Total 6 3






  1. ^ "Cristiano Lucarelli allo Shakhtar Donetsk" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Paolo Menicucci (13 May 2005). "Money can't buy Lucarelli". Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Nadia Carminati. "Lucarelli top of the charts". Sky Sports. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Livorno 'not interested in selling Lucarelli'". ESPN FC. 29 August 2005. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Greg Lea (30 November 2014). "Livorno keep the red flag flying in Italy". World Soccer. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "Lucarelli è l'anima del Livorno Il capitano festeggia i 100 gol in A" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Jonathan Wilson (18 September 2007). "Shakhtar Donetsk are hoping money talks in Europe". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Pavle Gognidze (19 September 2007). "Lucarelli justifies Donetsk decision". Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "2008 as it happened". World Soccer. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Lucarelli s'azzuffa con Pisanu lascia l'allenamento: è fuori" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "Ufficiale: Cristiano Lucarelli al Livorno" (in Italian). AS Livorno Calcio. 15 July 2009. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  12. ^ "CRISTIANO LUCARELLI CEDUTO AL LIVORNO" (in Italian). Parma FC. 15 July 2009. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "Lucarelli ready for Napoli comeback". Football Italia. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  14. ^ "Lucarelli loaned to Napoli". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  15. ^ "Modric al Real, Nesta a Montreal El Kaddouri, alleanza Milan-Juve" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c "Lucarelli, Cristiano" (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  17. ^ "Atlanta, 1996: Mexico - Italy (1 - 0)". Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  18. ^ JOHN F. MOLINARO (9 June 2005). "Soccer friendly in Toronto ends in stalemate". CBC. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  19. ^ VALERIO GUALERZI (15 May 2006). "Lippi ha fiducia, nonostante tutto Convocato Buffon: "E' sereno"" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "Ecco la prima Italia di Donadoni" (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. 13 August 2006. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "Euro 2008, Inzaghi torna azzurro nelle gare contro Faroer e Lituania" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  22. ^ "E' piccola Italia ma grande Inzaghi" (in Italian). TGcom24. 2 June 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  23. ^ "E' nata una stella, Quagliarella a Kaunas due gol da ricordare" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  24. ^ Gaetano De Stefano (8 September 2007). "Italia e Francia si annullano A San Siro vince la tensione" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  25. ^ "Lucarelli, due gol nel finale e l'Italia batte il Sudafrica" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 17 October 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  26. ^ "Cristiano Lucarelli: My Secret Vice". FourFourTwo. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  27. ^ a b Andrea Scanzi (2 January 2011). "Lucarelli, il goleador rossoche i compagni non amano più" (in Italian). La Stampa. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  28. ^ Dan Silver (2 April 2013). "Political footballers: Paolo Di Canio and 10 other players who have nailed their colours to the mast". The Mirror. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  29. ^ Livorno Fans see Red – all the Time by Ian Hawkey, The National, February 5, 2010
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  31. ^ "Calcio, caos Perugia: Camplone subito in campo. Lucarelli addio: "Situazione paradossale"" (in Italian). Il Messaggero. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "Cristiano Lucarelli è il nuovo allenatore del Viareggio". La Nazione. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "SECONDO COLPO GROSSO DELLA PISTOIESE. CRISTIANO LUCARELLI NUOVO ALLENATORE". US Pistoiese 1921. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "Messina, Cristiano Lucarelli sarà il nuovo tecnico" (in Italian). Gazzamercato. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  35. ^ "Calciomercato Messina-Lucarelli: è ufficiale l'addio" (in Italian). Tuttosport. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  36. ^ "Serie C, Cristiano Lucarelli è il nuovo allenatore del Catania" (in Italian). La Sicilia. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  37. ^ "Finalmente, accordo fatto: si parte" (in Italian). Il Tirreno. 17 July 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  38. ^ "Alessandro Lucarelli: Difensore con i fiocchi" (in Italian). 22 July 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  39. ^ "Cristiano Lucarelli". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. 
  40. ^ a b c "C. Lucarelli". Soccerway. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  41. ^ a b "Cristiano Lucarelli". Eurosport. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  42. ^ Roberto Di Maggio; Igor Kramarsic; Alberto Novello (11 June 2015). "Italy - Serie A Top Scorers". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 31 October 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Andriy Shevchenko
Serie A top scorer
Succeeded by
Luca Toni