Francesco Guidolin

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Francesco Guidolin
Guidolin francesco (1).JPG
Personal information
Full name Francesco Guidolin
Date of birth (1955-10-03) 3 October 1955 (age 60)
Place of birth Castelfranco Veneto, Italy
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Swansea City (head coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975–1984 Verona 102 (14)
1977–1978 Sambenedettese (loan) 35 (3)
1979–1980 Pistoiese (loan) 35 (5)
1982–1983 Bologna (loan) 24 (1)
1984–1986 Venezia 41 (1)
Total 237 (24)
National team
1976–1977 Italy U21[1] 5 (0)
Teams managed
1986–1988 Giorgione (youth team)
1988–1989 Giorgione
1989–1990 Treviso
1990–1991 Fano
1991–1992 Empoli
1992–1993 Ravenna
1993 Atalanta
1994–1998 Vicenza
1998–1999 Udinese
1999–2003 Bologna
2004–2005 Palermo
2005 Genoa
2005–2006 Monaco
2006–2008 Palermo
2008–2010 Parma
2010–2014 Udinese
2016– Swansea City

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Francesco Guidolin (Italian pronunciation: [franˈtʃesko ɡwidoˈlin]; born 3 October 1955) is an Italian football manager and former player, who is currently head coach of Premier League team Swansea City. He has coached various Italian club sides in Serie A, winning the 1996–97 Coppa Italia with Vicenza, while also competing in European competitions with Vicenza, Udinese, Bologna and Palermo. Outside Italy, he has also managed French side AS Monaco, and latterly joined Welsh side Swansea City.

Playing career[edit]

Guidolin made his professional debut in 1975 with the Serie A club Verona with whom he spent the majority of his career, except for loan moves to clubs Sambenedettese, Pistoiese and Bologna. Latterly spending two seasons with Serie C2 club Venezia, he retired in 1986.

In international football, he played for the Italian Under-21 team between 1976 and 1977.

Coaching career[edit]

Lower Italian leagues[edit]

His managerial debut came in 1988 as head coach of Serie C2 team Giorgione, the main club of his native city, Castelfranco Veneto. Between 1989 and 1993, he then coached Treviso (Serie C2), Fano, Empoli and Ravenna (all in Serie C1).


Leading Ravenna to promotion to Serie B earned Guidolin a move to become head coach of Serie A team Atalanta on 1 July 1993, but he was sacked after just 10 matches.


The next season, Guidolin joined Serie B side Vicenza and restored them following a period of decline. After gaining promotion to Serie A at the end of the 1994–95 Serie B he went on to finish mid-table in the following Serie A season. For the 1996–97 season he led the league for a period, eventually achieving an eighth-place finish in Serie A, and won the 1997 Coppa Italia, defeating Napoli 3–1 on aggregate in the two legged final. It was the club's first ever domestic trophy. As a result, the following season he had his first European campaign, Vicenza's second ever appearance in Europe, reaching the 1997–98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final, losing to eventual winners Chelsea. In the league season however, they finished just one place above the relegation zone; Vicenza were also defeated by Juventus in the 1997 Supercoppa Italiana.[2]


After Vicenza, Guidolin accepted the head coach position at Serie A side Udinese for the 1998–99 season. Their previous third place finish had qualified them the First Round of the 1998–99 UEFA Cup, but they did not progress beyond this stage, losing to Bayer Leverkusen. In the remaining league campaign, Guidolin was only able to guide them to a mid-table finish and was fired only days before the start of the following season.


In the middle of the following season, Guidolin joined Serie A side Bologna, a club he used to play for. Despite finishing ninth in the previous season, they had qualified for the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup after winning a tie-breaker against Inter Milan. Guidolin took them to the Third Round of the UEFA Cup, before being eliminated by Galatasaray. In the Serie A season, they finished in eleventh place. The following league campaign ended with another ninth pace finish, followed by another small improvement to seventh place and entry into in the summer tournament, the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup, where they were defeated in the three game final stage by Fulham. The 2002–03 season began with good results but ended in a disappointing eleventh place finish and resulted in heavy criticism of Guidolin, which became more intense after Guidolin was heard insulting the city of Bologna during a game.[3]


Guidolin returned to management with Serie B side Palermo mid-way through the 2003–04 season, winning the league and gaining promotion to Serie A, their first time in the top flight for 35 years. In the subsequent Serie A campaign he guided Palermo to sixth, earning their first ever UEFA Cup qualification, but opting to leave the club at the end of the season.

Aborted move to Genoa[edit]

For the start of the next season, Guidolin had agreed to join Genoa, who had gained promotion to Serie A from the 2004–05 Serie B. After a match fixing scandal over their final league game was discovered, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) instead placed Genoa last in Serie B, relegating them to Serie C1. As a result, Guidolin rescinded his contract.


In October 2005 Guidolin joined French side AS Monaco FC, his first managerial post outside Italy. With the club experiencing financial difficulties, he was unable to replicate the third place reached by his predecessor Didier Deschamps, finishing in tenth place at the end of the 2005–06 Ligue 1 season.

Return to Palermo[edit]

On 30 May 2006, in a surprise move Guidolin was re-hired by his former club Palermo. In his absence, they had reached the Round of 16 in their inaugural UEFA Cup, and had also qualified for the 2006–07 UEFA Cup despite finishing eighth in the league, due to Italian match fixing scandals costing other clubs their places. Guidolin's Serie A campaign started well, but after losing star player Amauri to injury in December the team went over two months without a win. In the UEFA Cup, they progressed to the group Stage but had failed to exit their group, ending their campaign in December. The season was also disrupted when the club was one of the two teams involved in the Sicilian derby of 2 February 2007 which led to riots and a police fatality, resulting in various safety restrictions being imposed on the league. Having dropped out of the UEFA Champions League qualification places, Guidolin was sacked on 23 April following a 3–4 home defeat to relegation threatened Parma. After his assistant Renzo Gobbo failed to arrest the slide, the sacking was revoked on 14 May after a further two defeats.[4] After finally finishing fifth, qualifying for the 2007–08 UEFA Cup, Guidolin was sacked again, being replaced by the Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono.

In October 2007, Guidolin declined to take up an offer to coach struggling English Championship side Queens Park Rangers, after failing to agree personal terms.[5][6]

On 26 November 2007, with Palermo having been eliminated from the UEFA Cup in the first round and slipping to ninth place in Serie A, Guidolin was unexpectedly re-appointed by Palermo for a record fourth time, replacing Colantuono.[7] After only gaining 18 points in 17 matches he was sacked again on 24 March 2008 at the end of a run of three defeats, the latter followed by controversial criticism from him of the fans.[8]


On 30 September 2008, Guidolin signed a contract with Serie B side Parma, guiding them to second place in the 2008–09 campaign, earning promotion back into the top flight. A good start to the following Serie A season saw the team constantly in the top ten for the first half, before finally ending mid-table. Despite the manner of his departure from Palermo, he is still today hailed as one of the club legends and was warmly welcomed during his return as Parma manager, albeit suffering a late defeat to his old side.[9]

Return to Udinese[edit]

After two seasons at Parma, Guidolin resigned in order to take up the head coach position at Serie A side Udinese for a second time, who despite having recent history of European football, had latterly finished in 15th, nine points and three places clear of the relegation zone.[10]

After a poor start to the 2010–11 Serie A season, the team went on to record their highest points total in history and finished in fourth place, earning themselves a spot in the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League qualifying round on the final day; Guidolin kept his promise of "dancing like Boateng" if they qualified and did a little jig in the middle of the pitch. Later that year, he was awarded the Panchina d'Oro as the best coach of the league.[11] In the next season, the club were unable to qualify for the Champions League proper after losing to Arsenal, but progressed as far as the Round of 16 in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League, being eliminated by AZ Alkmaar. They finished the 2011–12 Serie A in third place, the best result in the club's history, equalling Alberto Zaccheroni's 1996–97 season, again achieving a place in the qualifying round for the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League. In his third season at Udinese, Guidolin again failed to reach the Champions League proper, losing on penalties to S.C. Braga, but this time also finished bottom of their group in the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. In the Serie A table, the club again finished fifth, reaching the Champions League qualifying round for a third time.

Pozzo family consultant[edit]

On 20 May 2014, Guidolin took the decision to leave coaching, but maintained a link with Udinese by becoming the technical supervisor for the club's chairman Giampaolo Pozzo, thereby also overseeing his two other clubs, Spanish side Granada CF and English team Watford F.C..[12]


On 18 January 2016 Guidolin was named head coach of Welsh club Swansea City, at that point struggling in the 2015–16 Premier League, to work alongside interim manager Alan Curtis, who took the post of First Team Coach.[13] While the decision baffled some pundits, the Swansea chairman argued that Guidolin's achievements at Udinese on a relatively small budget were similar to what the club was trying to achieve.[14] At the time of his appointment, Guidolin was virtually unknown to the English game and club captain Ashley Williams later admitted that he had to 'Google' his new manager.[15] Guidolin took charge of his first game on 24 January 2016, an away fixture at Goodison Park, which Swansea City won 2–1, recording the club's first-ever league win over Everton.[16]

Honours and Achievements[edit]




Managerial statistics[edit]

As of as of match played 6 February 2016
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Bologna Italy July 2001 July 2004 119 40 33 46 33.61
Monaco France October 2005 May 2006 41 17 12 12 41.46
Palermo Italy May 2006 April 2007 41 16 11 14 39.02
Palermo Italy May 2007 May 2007 2 2 0 0 100.000
Palermo Italy November 2007 March 2008 19 5 4 10 26.32
Parma Italy September 2008 May 2010 44 16 14 14 36.36
Udinese Italy June 2010 May 2014 185 80 45 60 43.24
Swansea City Wales January 2016 present 3 1 2 0 33.33
Total 454 177 121 156 38.99
  • Statistics from
  • Swansea City are a Welsh club that plays in the English league.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Alfonso Fasano. "Il Sogno Europeo del Vicenza di Guidolin" (in Italian). Storie dei Calcio. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Lo sport a volte è proprio atroce" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 14 April 2003. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Soccer-Sacked Guidolin returns to coach Palermo". Reuters. 14 May 2007. 
  5. ^ "Guidolin confirms R's offer". SKY Sports. 16 October 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2007. 
  6. ^ "De Canio set for QPR". Football Italia. 25 October 2007. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007. 
  7. ^ "Palermo, via Colantuono. Guidolin pronto al ritorno" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007. 
  8. ^ "Guidolin axed, Colantuono back". Football Italia. 24 March 2008. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2008. 
  9. ^ "Palermo grab late Parma win". SKY Sport. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Francesco Guidolin nuovo allenatore dell’Udinese" (in Italian). Udinese Calcio. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "A Guidolin la Panchina d'oro Quella d'argento a Tesser" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Ben Gladwell (20 May 2014). "Guidolin leaves role as Udinese boss". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 January 2016. .
  13. ^ "Swansea set to appoint Francesco Guidolin as head coach alongside Alan Curtis". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Francesco Guidolin: Swansea City name Italian as new head coach". BBC Sport. 18 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Ashley Williams: We had to Google new Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin". The Guardian. 19 January 2016. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "Everton 1-2 Swansea: Francesco Guidolin wins first game in charge". Sky Sports. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  17. ^ a b "F. Guidolin". Soccerway. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 

External links[edit]