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Davide Ballardini
Davide Ballardini cropped.JPG
Personal information
Date of birth January 6, 1964 (1964-01-06) (age 46)
Place of birth Ravenna, Italy
Playing position Manager
Club information
Current club Lazio
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Teams managed
2004–2005 Sambenedettese
2005 Cagliari
2006 Pescara
2007–2008 Cagliari
2008–2009 Palermo
2009– Lazio
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).

Davide Ballardini (born January 6, 1964 in Ravenna) is an Italian football manager who is currently the head coach at Serie A club Lazio. He formerly played professionally for Cesena.





Ballardini spent seven years as a player with Cesena, under youth team coach Arrigo Sacchi and first team coach Osvaldo Bagnoli, which are often cited by him as his personal mentors.[1]


Ballardini started his coaching career serving as youth team coach for Bologna, and successively Cesena and AC Milan. He then worked as Parma under-19 youth team coach from 2002 to 2004.[2] He was then appointed by Sambenedettese as new head coach for the 2004–2005 season, ended with an impressive fourth place and the consequent participation in the promotion playoffs, then lost to Napoli in the semi-final.[3] He was subsequently chosen by Massimo Cellino as new Cagliari boss for their 2005–06 Serie A campaign, being however sacked only a few weeks later, on November 11, and replaced by Nedo Sonetti.[4]

Ballardini started the 2006–07 season at the helm of Serie B side Pescara, where he however lasted only until October, following a very unimpressive beginning in the league.[5] He was surprisingly announced as new boss of last-placed Serie A team Cagliari on December 27, 2007, succeeding Sonetti, who ironically replaced him during his first period at the helm of the Sardinian side.[6] Under his tenure as head coach, Cagliari dramatically improved their results, winning 32 points in 21 weeks[7], thus rising up the table and managing to escape relegation in advance of a week. However, Ballardini failed to find an agreement with Cagliari chairman Massimo Cellino for a contract extension, and they ultimately decided to part company on May 28.[8]

On September 4, 2008 Palermo announced to have dismissed head coach Stefano Colantuono, appointing Ballardini as new rosanero boss in a one-year contract.[9] In his debut match with Palermo, Ballardini led the Sicilians to a very impressive 3–1 home win to AS Roma, and then went on to impose the first seasonal loss to Juventus, winning 2–1 in Turin, this being the first time Palermo won at Juventus' home in 47 years. His ability to recover Palermo, leading them to the top league positions, was quickly praised once again by the media. On October 7, just two days after the rosanero triumph in Turin, Palermo announced to have agreed a two-year contract extension with Davide Ballardini.[10]

After weeks of rumours regarding a possible departure of Ballardini from Palermo at the end of the season, on May 30 the rosanero head coach announced he had agreed for a 10-day period to give a definite answer to the club regarding his intentions. Later that day, Palermo chairman Maurizio Zamparini announced Ballardini had asked to be relieved from his position due to his unwillingness to keep on serving as Palermo head coach.[11] A few days later, on June 5, Palermo unveiled Walter Zenga as new head coach, thus ending speculation regarding Ballardini's future with the rosanero. Despite being dismissed as head coach following these events, Ballardini was however still under a contract for two more years with the Sicilian club.[12]

Finally, after long rumours connecting Ballardini's name as the next coach of Lazio following Delio Rossi's departure, he was appointed as the new manager of the Roman club on June 15, 2009. He signed a two year contract with an option for a third worth 750,000 euro per year.[13]

On his first competitive match as Lazio boss, Ballardini led the club to triumph in the 2009 Supercoppa Italiana, as his side won 2–1 to outgoing Italian champions Inter in a single-legged game played at Beijing National Stadium, Beijing, China.


Ballardini has three sons, all of them being footballers: Leo Natale (born 1990) plays in the role of striker for Igea Virtus, whereas Elia (born 1991, striker) and Erik (born 1995, midfielder) are currently part of Cesena youth ranks.[14]


  1. ^ "Samb, vincere con il Rimini per far sognare i tifosi" (in Italian). 2004-09-25. Retrieved 2008-01-02.  
  2. ^ "Mister Ballardini: "Bisogna costruire bene ed avere il buon senso di capire che viviamo una situazione un po’ particolare"" (in Italian). 2004-09-15. Retrieved 2008-01-02.  
  3. ^ "Stagione 2004-2005 Serie C1 girone B - Playoff - Playout" (in Italian). Retrieved 2008-01-02.  
  4. ^ "Cagliari: la panchina affidata a Sonetti" (in Italian). TuttoMercatoWeb. 2005-11-11. Retrieved 2008-01-02.  
  5. ^ "UFFICIALE: il Pescara esonera Ballardini" (in Italian). 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2008-01-02.  
  6. ^ "Cagliari appoint new Coach". Football Italia. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2007-12-27.  
  7. ^ "DAVIDE BALLARDINI" (in Italian). Retrieved 2008-05-28.  
  8. ^ "Ballardini va via" (in Italian). Cagliari Calcio. 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-05-27.  
  9. ^ "Palermo, via Colantuono Ballardini nuovo allenatore" (in Italian). 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-04.  
  10. ^ "Ballardini prolunga contratto" (in Italian). US Città di Palermo. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
  11. ^ "Zamparini-Ballardini, divorzio di fatto Il presidente: "E' lui che vuole andar via"" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-06-05.  
  12. ^ "Zenga, l'uomo nuovo per un EuroPalermo" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-06-05.  
  13. ^ "Lazio, Ballardini nuovo allenatore" (in italian). Corriere Dello Sport. 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-07-15.  
  14. ^ "L'Igea Virtus ingaggia il figlio del tecnico laziale Ballardini" (in Italian). Messina Sportiva. 2009-08-09. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  


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