Roberto Donadoni

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Roberto Donadoni
Roberto Donadoni - SSC Neapel (2).jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1963-09-09) 9 September 1963 (age 51)
Place of birth Cisano Bergamasco, Italy
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1981–1982 Atalanta
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1986 Atalanta 96 (5)
1986–1996 Milan 261 (18)
1996–1997 MetroStars 49 (6)
1997–1999 Milan 24 (0)
1999–2000 Ittihad 15 (0)
Total 445 (29)
National team
1984–1986 Italy U21 13 (1)
1986–1996 Italy 63 (5)
Teams managed
2001–2002 Lecco
2002–2003 Livorno
2003 Genoa
2004–2006 Livorno
2006–2008 Italy
2009 Napoli
2010–2011 Cagliari
2012–2015 Parma

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

† Appearances (Goals).

Roberto Donadoni (Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrto donaˈdoni]; born 9 September 1963) is an Italian football manager and former midfielder.

A complete winger, known for his pace, stamina, offensive capabilities, distribution, and technique,[1] he was a pillar of the Italian national side and the powerhouse AC Milan teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s; at international level, he represented Italy at the 1988 and 1996 European Championships, and at the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups. He was also one of the pioneers of Major League Soccer, where he played two seasons for the NY/NJ MetroStars.

This was followed by a spell as head coach of the Italian national team, succeeding Marcello Lippi, who resigned after having won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. At the Euro 2008 campaign, with Donadoni as coach, Italy reached the quarter-finals of the tournament, losing to eventual champions Spain on penalties. On 26 June 2008, Donadoni was subsequently dismissed despite having signed a contract extension prior to the beginning of Euro 2008, using a clause in the contract which allowed termination if Italy did not reach the semi-final. He was replaced by Marcello Lippi who returned as national team manager.

Playing career[edit]

Club career[edit]

Roberto Donadoni with Milan during the 1986–87 season.

Donadoni started his career with Atalanta in 1982, winning the Serie C1 title, and the Serie B title in 1984. He transferred to AC Milan in 1986 and he became a mainstay in the legendary team that dominated Italy and Europe in the late 80s and early to mid 90s. Usually playing a right-sided wide midfield role, Donadoni was a vital part of Milan's squad under both Sacchi and Capello, winning six Serie A titles, three European Cups, four Italian Supercups, three European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups during his time at Milan. Although Donadoni failed to win the Coppa Italia with Milan, he reached the final twice, during the 1989-90 and 1997-98 seasons.[2][3]

He came close to being one of a handful of players to ever die on-field, during the 1989–90 European Cup campaign. Donadoni had his life saved only through the quick-thinking of the opposing team's (Red Star Belgrade) physiotherapist, who broke his jaw to make a passage for oxygen to reach his lungs after he had suffered a bad foul and lay unconscious.[3]

After winning his fifth Serie A title with Milan, and following the retirement of several key Milan players, including Franco Baresi and Mauro Tassotti, as well as the departure of manager Fabio Capello, Donadoni temporarily retired from professional football, although he later went on to play in the MLS in the United States. The New York MetroStars of Major League Soccer made him a centerpiece of their franchise when they signed him in 1996. During his three years with the Metros, he was recalled to the Italian national team. He came back to the MLS, but in the league's first two formative years. He proved a solid performer, being named to the league Best XI in 1996. Unfortunately, Donadoni's play could not bring the MetroStars any success as a club. In total, Donadoni scored six goals for the MetroStars.[3]

He went briefly back to Milan after the 1998 MLS season, and promptly helped them to another Coppa Italia final in 1998, during Fabio Capello's second spell with the club, and another Serie A title under Alberto Zaccheroni in 1999, his sixth and final career Serie A title. In total, Donadoni scored 18 career Serie A goals for Milan in 287 appearances, and 23 in 390 appearances throughout all competitions.[2][3]

He ended his career by playing for a short time with Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia, winning the Saudi Premier League during the 1999-2000 season, and officially retiring from professional football soon after.[3]

International career[edit]

A member of the Italy under-21 national football team, reaching the final of the 1986 Under-21 European Championship, Donadoni made his Italian national team senior debut in 1986, and he played in the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups, helping Italy to third and second place finishes respectively. He also reached the semi-finals of Euro 1988 with the Italian national side, and represented Italy at Euro 96, which would be his final International tournament. Unfortunately, he missed one of the penalties in the shoot-out in 1990, in the fateful semi-final against Argentina. Overall, he made 63 appearances for Italy, scoring 5 goals.[3][4]

Style of play[edit]

Donadoni was a quick, complete, and talented wide midfielder, who was capable of playing on either wing or through the centre, although he was most frequently deployed on the right. Throughout his career he stood out for his pace, agility, and his outstanding technical ability; his acceleration, control, dribbling skills, and creativity allowed him to beat players with feints when undertaking individual runs. A hard-working, versatile, and energetic player, he was also known for his stamina, which allowed him to contirbute defensively as well as offensively. Donadoni possessed a unique capability to deliver accurate curling crosses to team-mates in the area, and was a powerful striker of the ball from distance with both feet, despite being naturally right footed.[1][2][3]

Managerial career[edit]

Early club career[edit]

After retiring as a player, Donadoni trained to become a coach. His first job was as Lecco and he made his debut on 12 August 2001 in the Coppa Italia Lega Pro.[5] This was followed by jobs with Livorno (2002–03) and Genoa (2003). In 2005, he returned to head Livorno in mid-season. After leading them to a surprising ninth-place finish and having the club in sixth place midway through the 2005–06 season, Donadoni resigned over criticism from club chairman Aldo Spinelli.

International career[edit]

On July 2006, following the resignation of Marcello Lippi immediately after the Italian national team won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Donadoni was named as new Italian head coach, his first task being to successfully lead the fresh World Champions through qualification for Euro 2008.

On 16 August, Donadoni made his debut as head coach for the Italian national team in a friendly match against Croatia played at Stadio Armando Picchi, Livorno which did not feature any of the 23 World Champions, excepting third goalkeeper Marco Amelia, and ended in a 2–0 defeat.

Path to Euro 2008[edit]

Donadoni's "real" debut came in the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers; Donadoni took solace in the fact that Lippi's first match in charge of the Azzurri resulted in defeat to Iceland in a friendly match. Despite this, the Italian media did not express discomfort after the following two matches were deemed as negative results: a home 1–1 draw with Lithuania, followed by a 3–1 defeat against France.

Italian newspaper La Nazione's front page featured "How to reduce Lippi's masterwork to pieces in just three weeks,"[6] requesting the return of former coach Marcello Lippi. However, despite all the critics, Donadoni led Italy to five wins in a row to Georgia (3–1), Ukraine (2–0) and Scotland (2–0), the former being controversial for his omission of star Alessandro Del Piero from the squad.[7] One of the main criticisms addressed by the media towards Donadoni was his alleged lack of pressure in persuading Francesco Totti to play again for the Azzurri. Following a question regarding a possible call-up for the AS Roma star, Donadoni jokingly claimed not to know him.[8]

Italy qualified for Euro 2008 after a successful campaign, topping the group ahead of France, in spite of the shaky start. They defeated Scotland 2–1 in Glasgow to confirm their qualification.

Euro 2008 campaign[edit]

On 9 June 2008, Donadoni was handed the biggest defeat for Italy's national team in over 25 years by former Milan team-mate Marco van Basten: a 3–0 loss to the Netherlands. The Italian captain and winner of the Ballon d'Or, Fabio Cannavaro, was unable to play due to injury. Donadoni was widely criticised for his choice of players for that match. His team drew the subsequent match with Romania on 13 June, despite some controversial officiating which saw a goal called back in each of these games creating intense criticism of the officials. The team beat France 2–0 on 17 June to progress to the quarter-finals against a much-fancied Spanish team. The two teams played out a 0–0 draw, Italy being the only team to hold eventual Euro Cup winners Spain scoreless in regular time. However, the Spaniards won 4–2 on penalties. On 26 June 2008, he was sacked as the Italian coach after the Italian Football Federation terminated his contract because of the Azzuri's disappointing performance in the Euro 2008.[9]

The Italian Football Federation later replaced Donadoni and re-appointed Marcello Lippi as coach.

Post-international club career[edit]


On 10 March 2009, Napoli officially announced to have sacked veteran head coach Edoardo Reja after five years at the helm of the team, and also confirming to have appointed Donadoni as his replacement.[10] His first match in charge against Reggina ended in a 1–1 draw.

After a 2–1 loss to Roma on 6 October 2009 he was relieved of his duties as Napoli manager and replaced by former Sampdoria coach, Walter Mazzarri.[11]


On 16 November 2010 it was revealed Donadoni would take over as head coach of Serie A relegation battlers Cagliari, replacing dismissed boss Pierpaolo Bisoli.[12][13] Reached the guide of the Cagliari, Donadoni immediately gets, with his new team, two victories: on 21 November to Brescia (1–2 final result) and on 28 November against the Lecce (3–2 at the end of the match).

On 12 August 2011, two weeks before the new season kick-off, he was surprisingly sacked by chairman Massimo Cellino.[14] Italian press sources cited divergencies between Donadoni and Cellino regarding the sale of Alessandro Matri to Juventus and the affair involving David Suazo, who first joined the pre-season training camp only to be asked to leave days later.[15]

He was in talks with Iran Pro League side, Persepolis in December 2011.


On 9 January 2012, Donadoni was unveiled as head coach of Serie A club Parma, replacing Franco Colomba.[16] When he arrived at the club, the situation in the league table was critical for Parma, being close to the relegation zone. With him managing the team the results improved immediately. Parma managed to achieve its own record – seven wins in a row in Serie A. At the end of the season Parma finished eighth in the table with equal points as the team that finished 7th – Roma. His initial deal ran until 2013, but this was extended by two years in October 2012. It was the longest deal that president Tommaso Ghirardi had signed with a head coach. At the end of the 2012-2013 season, Parma finished in 10th place despite fearing they would be relegated. [17]






Italy national football team



Cavaliere OMRI BAR.svg
5th Class/Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 1991[19]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 12 April 2015
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Lecco Italy June 2001 June 2002 25 9 8 8 36.00
Livorno Italy June 2002 June 2003 41 14 13 14 34.15
Genoa Italy June 2003 August 2003 6 1 1 4 16.67
Livorno Italy January 2005 February 2006 46 17 16 13 36.96
Italy Italy 13 July 2006 26 June 2008 23 13 5 5 56.52
Napoli Italy 10 March 2009 16 October 2009 19 5 6 8 26.32
Cagliari Italy 16 November 2010 12 August 2011 27 10 4 13 37.04
Parma Italy 9 January 2012 Present 131 46 34 51 35.11
Total 318 115 87 116 36.16


  1. ^ a b "Sconcerti: "Donadoni era un giocatore completo, ora è un eccellente allenatore". Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "A.C. Milan Hall of Fame: Roberto Donadoni". (in Italian). Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Roberto Donadoni". (in Italian). Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Nazionale in cifre: Roberto Donadoni". (in Italian). Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Lazio-Parma: numbers and curiosity". 30 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Beleaguered Donadoni to turn to Totti
  7. ^ [1] (Italian)
  8. ^ – Italy – Totti Who? – Donadoni
  9. ^ "Donadoni axed as Italy boss". Sky Sports. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  10. ^ "Roberto Donadoni nuovo tecnico azzurro" (in Italian). SSC Napoli. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "È Walter Mazzarri il nuovo allenatore" (in Italian). SSC Napoli. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  12. ^ "Comunicato Stampa" (in Italian). Cagliari Calcio. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Cagliari, esonerato Bisoli Cellino ingaggia Donadoni" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Comunicato della Società". Cagliari Calcio (in Italian). 12 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Rottura con Cellino Esonerato Donadoni". La Repubblica (in Italian). 12 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "Benvenuto mister Donadoni". Parma F.C. (in Italian). 9 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Donadoni e il Parma, avanti insieme con entusiasmo". (in Italian) (Parma F.C.). 24 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare Gaetano Scirea". Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "Onoreficenze". (in Italian). 30 September 1991. Retrieved 19 March 2015.