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|Date of birth||19 March 1979|
|Place of birth||Cantù, Italy|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Playing position||Forward, Attacking midfielder|
|2002–2003||→ Ascoli (loan)||30||(7)|
|2004||→ Perugia (loan)||12||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 March 2016.
Franco Brienza (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfraŋko briˈɛntsa]; born 19 March 1979) is an Italian footballer who plays for Bari in Serie B and also briefly represented Italy at international level. A diminutive and creative playmaker, who is known for his technique as well as his striking and passing ability with his left foot, he usually plays as a forward or as an attacking midfielder, known as the Trequartista position in Italy, although he is also capable of playing as a second striker, as a central midfielder, or as a right winger, a position which allows him to cut into the middle onto his stronger foot.
Born in Cantù but grown in Ischia, he began his footballing career with local club Campagnano, before moving to Florence at the age of 15 to play for Isolotto. In 1997–98 he joined Serie B club Foggia and stayed when the team relegated to Serie C1 in 1998 and to Serie C2 in 1999.
In 2000 he was signed by A.S. Roma along with team-mates Attilio Nicodemo and Giuseppe Di Masi, which cost Roma 100 million Italian lire for Brienza (€51,646). Roma loaned out Brienza and Nicodemo along with Roma youth products Daniele De Vezze and Luca Ferri to sister club Palermo, which Roma president Franco Sensi had acquired in March 2000. Brienza helped his club to win the league and achieve promotion to Serie B in 2001.
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After Sensi sold the club to Maurizio Zamparini in July 2002, Brienza was out of favour at Palermo, as Zamparini bought players from his other club Venezia. The co-ownership deal was terminated on 13 August 2002 for 1 million lire (€516). His registration rights (€5,500,516) were also reduced to €1M to reflect his real value. However, the "write-down" was actually through Articolo 18-bis Legge 91/1981, which only left over the toxic asset "worth "€4,500,516" list in asset side and amortize in 10-year period. On 31 August 2002, he moved to Ascoli on loan, re-joining team-mate Vincenzo Montalbano, where Brienza scored 7 goals playing as second striker.
In 2003 he returned at Palermo, playing for the rosanero for the first half of the season before being loaned out to Perugia on January 2004 as part of an agreement that brought Fabio Grosso to Palermo, making his Serie A debut at Stadio San Siro, in an away match lost 2–1 to A.C. Milan.
He again returned to Palermo as the club won promotion to Serie A. In the 2004–05 Serie A campaign, Brienza scored an impressive 10 goals in 33 games playing just behind Luca Toni, earning a call-up to the national team.
In 2005–06, new Palermo boss Luigi Delneri, who always showed a preference to play a 4–4–2 formation, ruled out a 'free role' for Brienza, who had little space during the first half of the season. After Del Neri's dismissal, Brienza later found more space in the starting lineup with new coach Giuseppe Papadopulo. He scored only one goal in 27 matches, being also featured 13 times in the UEFA Cup, scoring three goals in the continental competition.
Following Francesco Guidolin's return to Palermo in the 2006–07 season, Brienza failed to find a stable place in the regular lineup, being featured mostly as a substitute, playing only 22 league and five UEFA Cup matches. On the 37th matchday, after a 2–1 home win to Siena, Guidolin declared his choice to use Brienza mostly as a reserve as one of his main mistakes in a troubled season which ended in a fifth place. Brienza, who originally declared his intention to leave Palermo to find more space in the lineup, remained for the 2007–08 season, later stating to have changed his mind following a meeting with new boss Stefano Colantuono.
On 17 January 2008, it was announced that Brienza had joined Reggina on loan for €300,000. Before leaving Palermo, Brienza was the only player still contracted to Palermo who played with the rosanero in both Serie A, B and C1 divisions.
Brienza joined Siena following their relegation from the Serie A in the 2010–11 season for about €700,000, signing a three-year contract. He helped the club to win an immediate return to the top flight, and established himself as first choice in the 2011–12 season under the guidance of new head coach Giuseppe Sannino, who regularly featured him as attacking midfielder.
Third stint at Palermo
On 6 June 2012, Palermo confirmed to have signed Brienza from Siena for €1.4 million on a two-year contract. The announcement came only a few hours after Palermo unveiled the hiring of Giuseppe Sannino, Brienza's former boss at Siena, as new head coach. On 18 August 2012, in the Coppa Italia match against Cremonese, Brienza reached the milestone of 200 appearances with Palermo: 168 in the league, 15 in UEFA Cup, 15 in Coppa Italia and 2 in the Supercoppa Serie C.
In 2005, Brienza was called up to the Italian national team by Marcello Lippi and was subsequently capped during a North-American tour with the Azzurri, marking his debut in a 1–1 draw with Serbia and Montenegro at Rogers Centre, Toronto on 8 June 2005, replacing Giorgio Chiellini in the 64th minute. In the match against Ecuador three days later, Brienza featured in the starting lineup partnering Luca Toni and David Di Michele. Brienza and Toni were replaced by Cristiano Lucarelli and Antonio Langella at half-time in the 1–1 draw at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey state.
- "Un 2015 da favola per Masina". UEFA.com. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- Luca Aquino (3 November 2015). "Bologna, Donadoni studia la mossa. Brienza può essere il nuovo regista" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "RELAZIIONE SEMESTRALE AL 31 DIICEMBRE 2000" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). Borsa Italiana Archive. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- AS Roma SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2002 (Italian)
- Vittorio Malagutti (7 November 2002). "La Roma ha un buco nel bilancio? Per coprirlo basta vendere 26 sconosciuti". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "COMUNICATO UFFICIALE N. 91/CDN (2009–10 season)" (PDF). FIGC (in Italian). 27 May 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- "TMW A CALDO – Palermo, Guidolin: "Soddisfatto della Uefa, ma ammetto i miei errori…"" (in Italian). TuttoMercatoWeb. 9 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-20.
- "Brienza: "A Palermo mi trovo molto bene"" (in Italian). Stadionews. 9 September 2007. Archived from the original on 25 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
- US Città di Palermo Report and Accounts on 30 June 2008 (Italian)
- "DICHIARAZIONE DI ZAMPARINI". ilpalermocalcio.it (in Italian). 2 September 2008. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- AC Siena SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2011 (Italian)
- US Città di Palermo SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2012 (Italian)
- "BRIENZA TORNA A "CASA"" [BRIENZA COMES BACK "HOME"] (in Italian). US Città di Palermo. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- "BRIENZA SI TRASFERISCE ALL'ATALANTA, LORES E SOSA CEDUTI IN PRESTITO" [BRIENZA MOVED TO ATALANTA, LORES E SOSA ON LOAN] (in Italian). US Città di Palermo. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- US Città di Palermo SpA bilancio (financial report and accounts) on 30 June 2013 (Italian)
- "Franco Brienza è bianconero" (in Italian). AC Cesena. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "Bologna sign former Palermo forward Franco Brienza". ESPNFC. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- "Brienza in rossoblù: l'avventura continua" (in Italian). Bologna F.C. 1909. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Mercato: Brienza è biancorosso" (in Italian). F.C. Bari 1908. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.