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Vanni Sartini

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Vanni Sartini
Personal information
Date of birth (1976-11-14) 14 November 1976 (age 47)
Place of birth Florence, Italy
Team information
Current team
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (manager)
Managerial career
Years Team
2008–2011 A.S. Mezzana
2011–2012 Luco di Mugello
2019–2020 Vancouver Whitecaps FC (assistant)
2020–2021 Vancouver Whitecaps FC U23
2021– Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Vanni Sartini (born 14 November 1976) is an Italian professional football coach, who is the head coach of Major League Soccer club Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Early life


Sartini was born in Florence, Italy,[1][2][3][4] to a teenage couple - both his parents were 17 at the time of his birth.[2] Inspired by his father, a semi-professional footballer who also worked as the photo archivist for a local newspaper,[2] Sartini started playing football as a goalkeeper.[3]

He went on to feature regularly in the Italian amateur leagues,[1][3] while taking up several side jobs, including as a marketing rep for a software company and as a courier, in order to support himself financially.[1][2]

Coaching career


Early coaching career


After retiring from his playing career, Sartini started his coaching career in 2008, when he was appointed by A.S. Mezzana as a head coach.[3][4][5][6] He spent three seasons there, before taking the same role at fellow amateur club Luco di Mugello.[3]

Meanwhile, in 2010 he began working for the Italian Football Federation as a coaching instructor at the Federal Technical Center in Coverciano.[4][5][6][7] During his stint, he hosted a wide variety of international coaching courses,[1][2][4] focusing on macro-areas such as women's football,[8][9] coaching formation,[10] goalkeeping training[11] and athletic training.[12] At the same time, he worked in the opposition analysis department for the Italian under-17, under-19 and under-21 national teams.[5]

Between 2012 and 2015, Sartini was also a member of Davide Nicola's staff during his managing spells at Livorno and Bari,[3][4][6] serving as a match analyst in the former one and as an assistant coach in the latter.[4][5]

Shortly after obtaining his own coaching badges, including a UEFA Pro Licence,[5][13] in 2016 Sartini was offered a job by the United States Soccer Federation, where he led the U.S. Soccer Pro License Coaching Course until 2018.[2][4][5]

Vancouver Whitecaps FC


On 1 January 2019, Sartini joined Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps FC, as an assistant coach to Marc Dos Santos.[4][5]

On 8 September 2020, he was appointed as the head coach of the club's U-23 team, as well as the Academy's director of methodology.[5]

On 27 August 2021, Sartini took over as interim coach of the Whitecaps' first team, after the sacking of Marc Dos Santos.[14][15] On 29 August, Sartini took charge for the first time as Whitecaps' head coach in their league match against Real Salt Lake, which ended in a 4–1 victory at BC Place.[15] With the squad being at the bottom of the Western Conference's league table at the time of his appointment,[1][6] Sartini managed the side to seven wins, five draws and two losses until the end of the regular season, collecting a total amount of 26 points in 14 matches and helping the club qualify for the Playoffs,[2][6][16] although the team eventually lost to Sporting Kansas City in the first round.[17]

On 30 November 2021, Whitecaps announced that Sartini would officially become the club's new head coach, having signed a contract until the 2023 season.[18]

On 26 July 2022, the Italian manager won the first trophy of his career as Whitecaps won the Canadian Championship, following a 5-3 win (on aggregate) over Toronto FC after a penalty shoot-out in the final match.[19][20]

On 8 June 2023, Sartini guided the Canadian team to their second Canadian Championship title in a row, thanks to a 2-1 win over CF Montréal in the final match.[21][22]

On 5 November 2023 in an MLS Cup Playoff game, Sartini received his first red card in Major League Soccer for verbally abusing the referee in second half stoppage time, whom moments earlier had accidentally collided with a Whitecaps player, preventing them from defending a Los Angeles FC counter attack. LAFC scored, but the goal was later overturned due to a delayed offside decision.[23]

Manager profile


"We had a game in two days. If I step into the locker room and act like I’m the boss, everyone’s going to say, 'Who the f**k are you?' So, I called a group of players, the leaders, who are respected, and asked them: 'Tell me, what is the situation? Tell me.' I wanted them to know that we’re all on the same page. The players are the leaders."

Vanni Sartini, breaking down his approach to team talk in the wake of his first game in charge of Vancouver Whitecaps FC in August 2021.[1]

During his coaching stint at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Sartini mainly used a 3–4–1–2 formation,[1][6] with an organised system based on zonal marking, high pressing and a quick and direct style of play, which allowed his team to break through the middle of the field and create chances via counter-attacks.[1]

He named fellow Italian coach Renzo Ulivieri as his biggest influence: the two worked together at the Italian Football Federation's Technical Center from 2010 to 2016.[2][10][11][12] When asked to elaborate on Ulivieri's impact on him, Sartini stated that he taught him how to analyse the opponent's tactics meticulously, saying quote, "What I learned from him is the desire to go deep into detail, try to challenge yourself every time and to find the new ways, new ideas. This desire to know everything."[2]

The Italian has also gained notoriety for his eccentric personality, his enthusiastic interactions with the fan-base and his man management skills, showing respect for the most experienced players in the locker room while often giving motivational speeches to encourage the whole team.[1][2][6]

Personal life


Sartini is fluent in Italian (his first language), Spanish, and English. He cited his interest in languages and common knowledge as the main reason behind his decision to learn English as a kid, saying, "I like to travel, and I was the only one with my friends that was an English speaker, so I was always the one who spoke with everyone. I have the urge to know things I don't know."[1] While coaching Whitecaps ahead of a game in Mexico delivered a press conference in Spanish [24]

An atheist and a frequent reader, he has declared to be mainly interested in political philosophy and current affairs.[2] He has described himself as a socialist, pointing at his working class family background as the main factor behind his political formation, stating, "If there was no kind of social security or welfare state, I wouldn’t be here now. I think [there] should be even more [opportunities] for everyone. That’s not happening right now in the world. [My] desire to improve the world is what made me a socialist."[2] He also dated his passion for constructive debate to a series of classes hosted by one of his teachers in high school,[2] and compared politics to soccer tactics, by stated, "There’s a lot of ways to make your team play well, but there’s only one way that you really believe is the right one.”[2]

He is a self-declared Fiorentina fan.[2]

Coaching statistics

As of 20 July 2024
Coaching record by club and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
P W D L Win %
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 27 August 2021 present 128 52 33 43 040.6
Total 128 52 33 43 040.6





Vancouver Whitecaps FC


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Pentz, Matt (27 October 2021). "'Stand by me,' a star signing and returning home: Whitecaps pushing for playoffs after a tumultuous two years". The Athletic. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Pentz, Matt (19 November 2021). "Who is Vanni Sartini? The bombastic, proudly socialist leader of the Vancouver Whitecaps' MLS revival". The Athletic. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Dai dilettanti alla MLS: Vanni Sartini batte il Toronto di Insigne". SerieD24 (in Italian). 2 August 2022. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Masi, Davide (6 October 2022). "La panchina degli Whitecaps, il calcio in MLS e gli obiettivi per il futuro. Sartini: "È quasi la mia isola felice"". Gianluca Di Marzio (in Italian). Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Academy update: Vanni Sartini to take on new role as director of methodology" (Press release). Vancouver: Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 8 September 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Pegoraro, Paolo (10 November 2021). "Vanni Sartini, il tecnico italiano dietro al miracolo Vancouver Whitecaps: dall'ultimo posto ai playoff". Eurosport (in Italian). Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  7. ^ "UEFA Pro, al via la terza settimana di corso. Docente per un giorno il mister dei Vancouver Whitecaps, Vanni Sartini". FIGC (in Italian). 28 November 2022. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  8. ^ "Tecnici stranieri a Coverciano per uno stage sul calcio femminile". FIGC (in Italian). 24 October 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  9. ^ "E' terminato a Coverciano l'UEFA Study Group Scheme". FIGC (in Italian). 4 February 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  10. ^ a b "I tecnici di Germania, Spagna e Svizzera a Coverciano per un corso di aggiornamento". FIGC (in Italian). 12 December 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  11. ^ a b "Delegazione del Dubai: si conclude a Coverciano il corso per portieri". FIGC (in Italian). 29 July 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Collaborazione FIGC-KFA: i membri delle federcalcio coreana in visita a Coverciano". FIGC (in Italian). 9 October 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  13. ^ "Corso speciale per allenatori di seconda categoria: 41 abilitati". FIGC (in Italian). 29 January 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  14. ^ "Vancouver Whitecaps FC part ways with head coach Marc Dos Santos". Vancouver Whitecaps. 27 August 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  15. ^ a b Morris, Jim (30 August 2021). "Whitecaps get emphatic win over RSL in 1st game under new interim coach". CBC.ca. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  16. ^ "'Caps clinch playoff berth!". Vancouver Whitecaps. 7 November 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  17. ^ "'Caps incredible 2021 season comes to an end". Vancouver Whitecaps. 21 November 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  18. ^ "Andiamo! Vancouver Whitecaps drop interim tag, name Vanni Sartini head coach". MLSSoccer.com. 30 November 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  19. ^ a b "CCL bound! Vancouver Whitecaps capture 2022 Canadian Championship over Toronto FC". MLSSoccer.com. 27 July 2022. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  20. ^ a b Karstens-Smith, Gemma (27 July 2022). "Vancouver takes down Toronto FC in Canadian Championship to win Voyageurs Cup". CBC. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  21. ^ a b "Gauld nets winner as Whitecaps beat CF Montreal to repeat as Canadian champions". CBC. 8 June 2023. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  22. ^ a b Bedakian, Armen (8 June 2023). "Vancouver Whitecaps defeat CF Montreal to WIN 2023 Canadian Championship title". OneSoccer. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  23. ^ Dylan Butler (5 November 2023). "Sartini outraged as Vancouver Whitecaps exit playoffs: "We didn't have a fair chance"". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  24. ^ "Vanni Sartini, DT de Vancouver Whitecaps, 'teme' al ataque de Tigres: "No hay solución para jugadores como Gignac y Brunneta"" (Press release) (in Spanish). Claro Sports. 13 February 2024. Retrieved 13 February 2024..