Luciano Spalletti

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Luciano Spalletti
Managing Zenit in 2012
Personal information
Full name Luciano Spalletti
Date of birth (1959-03-07) 7 March 1959 (age 58)
Place of birth Certaldo, Italy
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Roma (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1986 Entella 27 (2)
1986–1990 Spezia 120 (7)
1990–1991 Viareggio 29 (1)
1991–1993 Empoli 60 (3)
Total 236 (13)
Teams managed
1995–1998 Empoli
1998–1999 Sampdoria
1999–2000 Venezia
2000–2001 Udinese
2001–2002 Ancona
2002–2005 Udinese
2005–2009 Roma
2009–2014 Zenit Saint Petersburg
2016– Roma
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Luciano Spalletti (Italian pronunciation: [luˈtʃaːno spalˈletti]; born 7 March 1959) is an Italian football manager and a former player. He is currently in charge of Serie A club Roma.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Certaldo, Province of Florence, Spalletti played for Serie C teams such as Entella, Spezia, Viareggio and Empoli.

Coaching career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Spalletti's early career in management led him to struggling Empoli, where he was head coach between July 1993 and June 1998.[1] Spalletti led the Tuscan side to two consecutive promotions from Serie C1 to the top-flight Serie A. Spalletti also spent time at Sampdoria from July 1998 to June 1999[2] and Venezia from July 1999 to October 1999.[3]

Spalletti had two spells as head coach at Udinese. The first spell was between March 2001 and June 2001.[4] The second spell was between July 2002[4] and June 2005.[5] There was a spell at Ancona in between spells.[6] It was at Udinese where he really began to make an impact as a manager. During the 2004–05 season, Spalletti guided Udinese to a sensational fourth-placed finish in Serie A, exceeding expectations and securing a spot in the UEFA Champions League. Spalletti became coach of Roma in June 2005.[5]


Spalletti with Roma in 2009

Such success for a traditionally unexceptional side with limited resources attracted the attention of Roma. The capital side had come off a disappointing season, in which four different coaches had spells in charge of the club. Spalletti was offered the task of attempting to bring order to this chaotic side. After an uninspiring first half of the 2005–06 season, he changed the team's tactics to suit a more offensive playing style, rather than a defensive-minded system. Spalletti's favoured formation was the 4–2–3–1 system, which used four defenders, two defensive midfielders, two wingers (both sides of the 3), one attacking midfielder, and one striker (Francesco Totti, who typically functioned also as an attacking midfielder in previous seasons; as such, the team played without any real striker, as Totti occupied what later came to be described as a false-9 role.[7][8] This system proved effective for Roma upon its introduction during the 2005–06 season, as on 26 February 2006, Roma broke the Serie A record for most consecutive wins with a 2–0 victory over Lazio, following an 11-match winning streak; as a result, Roma climbed from 15th place to 5th place in the table.[9] By the end of the season, however, Roma failed to reach fourth place, therefore failing to qualify for the Champions League. Spalletti did manage to help Roma reach the 2006 Coppa Italia Final, but ultimately lost out on the title to Internazionale. Nonetheless, as a result of the 2006 Serie A match-fixing scandal, Roma qualified for the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, as league champions Juventus were relegated, while Fiorentina and Milan both received point deductions for their involvement.

At the end of 2006, Spalletti was elected Serie A Coach of the Year[9] and, in the following months, led Roma until the Champions League quarter-final after a 2–0 victory over Lyon at the Stade Gerland in the first knockout round. The team, however, succeeded in becoming the first team to defeat Roberto Mancini's Internazionale in all competitions that year, emerging with a 1–3 result at the San Siro, a match that the Nerazzurri had to win to mathematically claim the 2007 Scudetto against the only credible rival they had in the championship. Roma would also win the 2007 Coppa Italia Final against Inter, with an aggregate result of 7–4; a resounding 6–2 in the first leg in Rome and followed by a narrow 2–1 defeat in Milan. It was the first important trophy in Spalletti's career, who only had won a Coppa Italia di Serie C with Empoli. But he was yet to add another piece of silverware to his cabinet, as Roma would again defeat Inter 0–1 in Milan in the opening fixture of the 2007–08 season to steal their Supercoppa Italiana crown.[9]

In the 2007–08 Champions League first knockout round, Spalletti's Roma team became the first Italian team to defeat Real Madrid over two legs (2–1 in both ties in Rome and Madrid) and consequently also became the first European side to record two victories over Real Madrid in their Santiago Bernabéu home ground. In a repeat of the previous season's quarter-final, Roma were again eliminated from the Champions League by eventual winners Manchester United. They did, however, succeed in their defence of the Coppa Italia, once again defeating Scudetto winners Inter in the 2008 Coppa Italia Final — a single match which Roma won 2–1.[9]

In the 2008–09 season, Spalletti faced a very difficult season with Roma. At the end of the season, the team only managed to qualify for the Europa League with a sixth-place position in the league, after a very struggling initial period that left the giallorossi in the bottom half of the league for the first part of the Serie A season.

The new season saw Spalletti struggling with a limited squad, that was weakened further by the sale of Alberto Aquilani to Liverpool, and compounded by serious financial problems for the club. Roma started the season by taking part in two 2009–10 UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds, both easily won against Gent (10–2 on aggregate) and Košice (10–4 on aggregate). However, another poor start in the 2009–10 Serie A season, with two consecutive defeats (2–3 to Genoa and 1–3, at home, to Juventus) prompted Spalletti to resign on 1 September 2009.[10][11]


Spalletti with Zenit in 2012

In December 2009, it was confirmed Spalletti would join Russian Premier League club Zenit Saint Petersburg on a three-year deal,[12] replacing interim coach Anatoly Davydov with Italian coaches Daniele Baldini, Marco Domenichini and Alberto Bartali also joining the Russian club. The Board of Zenit wanted him to return the Premier League title, win the Russian Cup and go through the group stage of the Champions League in his first year.

Zenit won the Russian Cup on 16 May 2010, beating Sibir Novosibirsk in the final (having beaten Volga Tver in the quarter-final and Amkar Perm in the semi-final). After 16 games in the 2010 Premier League, with 12 wins and four draws, under Spalletti Zenit have obtained 40 points. This set a new Russian Premier League record for most points won at that stage of the campaign. In the summer transfer window of 2010, Spalletti made his first signings: forward Aleksandr Bukharov and midfielder Sergei Semak both came from Rubin Kazan while defenders Aleksandar Luković and Bruno Alves joined from Udinese and Porto respectively. On 25 August 2010, Zenit lost its first game under Spalletti to French side Auxerre and failed to advance to the Champions League group stage, though Zenit moved on to play in UEFA Europa League.

On 3 October 2010, Zenit beat Spartak Nalchik to set another Russian Premier League record for most consecutive games going undefeated, with 21 games since the start of the league season. On 27 October 2010, Zenit suffered its first defeat of the season at the hands of rival club Spartak Moscow, seven games short of finishing the championship undefeated. On 14 November, Zenit defeated Rostov and, two games prior to the end of the season, claimed the championship title, the first of Spalletti's coaching career.

Additionally, Zenit went through to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League in first place to the round of 16 stage, where they defeated Swiss club Young Boys. On 6 March 2011, Zenit defeated CSKA Moscow in the Russian Super Cup, winning Spalletti his third Russian trophy. On 17 March 2011, Zenit lost in Europa League to Twente 2–3 aggregate in the quarter-finals.

In the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League, Zenit started in group stage drawn into group G alongside Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and APOEL. On 6 December 2011, Zenit finished the group stage in second place and for the first time in club's history qualified for the spring knockout phase of Champions League. In the first leg against Benfica, Zenit won 3–2 at home through two goals from Roman Shirokov and one from Sergei Semak. In the second leg, however, Zenit lost 2–0 and was eliminated from the competition. On 9 February, Spalletti signed a three-and-a-half-year contract extension to stay at Zenit until 2015. In April 2012, Zenit won their second-straight Russian Championship after beating Dynamo Moscow.[13][14][15] After three trophy-less seasons, Spalletti was sacked on 10 March 2014.[16]

Return to Roma[edit]

Spalletti was appointed manager of Roma for his second spell on 13 January 2016 after ex-manager Rudi García was sacked due to poor team performances.[17] On 21 February, Totti publicly criticised Spalletti due to his own lack of playing-time since returning from injury; as a result, he was subsequently dropped by Spalletti for Roma's 5–0 win over Palermo, with the decision causing an uproar among the fans and in the media.[18] After their initial disagreements, Spalletti began to use Totti as an immediate impact substitute, which proved to be an effective decision, as the Roma number 10 rediscovered his form, and contributed with four goals and an assist after coming off the bench in five consecutive Serie A games;[19][20] as a result, Spalletti was able to lead Roma from a mid-table spot to a third-place finish in Serie A, clinching the UEFA Champions League play-off spot.[21]





Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 24 April 2017
Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win % Ref.
Empoli 1 July 1995[1] 30 June 1998[1] 176 60 61 55 199 179 +20 34.09 [24][25][26]
Sampdoria 1 July 1998[2] 30 June 1999[2] 44 14 11 19 49 62 −13 31.82
Venezia 1 July 1999[3] 31 October 1999[3] 8 1 2 5 6 11 −5 12.50
Udinese 22 March 2001[4] 30 June 2001[4] 11 2 4 5 13 19 −6 18.18
Ancona 1 July 2001[29] 30 June 2002[29] 38 14 8 16 43 52 −9 36.84 [30]
Udinese 1 July 2002[4] 16 June 2005[5] 121 52 32 37 165 142 +23 42.98
Roma 16 June 2005[5] 1 September 2009[11] 217 118 51 48 403 256 +147 54.38
Zenit 11 December 2009[12] 10 March 2014[16] 179 103 47 29 319 167 +152 57.54
Roma 13 January 2016 Present 70 46 11 13 153 72 +81 65.71
Total 864 410 227 227 1,350 960 +390 47.45

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Empoli FC » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Sampdoria » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "FBC Unione Venezia » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Udinese Calcio » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Spalletti übernimmt Roma". kicker (in German). 16 June 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Luciano Spalletti". World Football. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Great Team Tactics: Francesco Totti, Roma and the First False Nine". Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Jonathan Wilson (27 October 2009). "The Question: Why are teams so tentative about false nines?". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Official: Spalletti returns to lead Roma". A.S. Roma. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Spalletti quits as Roma coach". Sky Sports. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Roma's Spalletti resigns, Ranieri linked with job". ESPN. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Spalletti: Alles klar mit Zenit". kicker (in German). 11 December 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "The secrets of Zenit's third title success". 28 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Spalletti to coach Zenit St. Petersburg". USA Today. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 
  15. ^ "Zenit win Russian championship". 14 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "Zenit setzt Spalletti vor die Tür". kicker (in German). 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  17. ^ Strootman: 'Goodbye Garcia'
  18. ^ "Francesco Totti faces uncertain Roma future after controversial comments". Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  19. ^ Susy Campanale (3 May 2016). "Serie A Week 36: Did You Know?". Football Italia. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  20. ^ "Francesco Totti helps Roma rally to victory at Genoa". ESPN FC. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  21. ^ Terry Daley (15 May 2016). "Higuain heroics mean Roma come up short in fight for second in Serie A". ESPN FC. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  22. ^ "Ibra re del calcio italiano Lo segue a ruota Del Piero" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 
  23. ^ "Albo "Panchina d'Oro"" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  24. ^ Mariani, Maurizio. "Italy Championship 1993/94". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  25. ^ Mariani, Maurizio. "Italy Championship 1994/95". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  26. ^ Mariani, Maurizio. "Italy Championship 1995/96". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  27. ^ Mariani, Maurizio. "Italy Championship 1996/97". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  28. ^ Mariani, Maurizio. "Italy Championship 1997/98". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  29. ^ a b "Ancona Calcio » Historical results". World Football. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  30. ^ Misha Miladinovich; Giacomo Giusti; Alberto Novello. "Italy 2001/02". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 

External links[edit]