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Luciano Spalletti
Luciano Spalletti.JPG
Personal information
Date of birth March 7, 1959 (1959-03-07) (age 51)
Place of birth Certaldo, Italy
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1986 Entella 27 (2)
1986–1990 Spezia 120 (7)
1990–1991 Viareggio 29 (1)
1991–1993 Empoli 53 (3)
Teams managed
1994 Empoli (caretaker)
1994–1995 Empoli Youth
1995–1998 Empoli
1998–1999 Sampdoria
1999–2000 Venezia
2000–2001 Udinese
2001–2002 Ancona
2002–2005 Udinese
2005–2009 Roma
2009– Zenit
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Luciano Spalletti (born 7 March 1959) is a retired Italian footballer and current manager of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.


Playing career

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

Coaching career


Early career

Spalletti's early career in management led him to struggling Empoli, where he lead the Tuscan side to two consecutive promotions from Serie C1 to Serie A. However, 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 Champions League.


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 attacking rather than defensive, but starting playing without any real striker (with an attacking midfielder as striker). On 26 February 2006, Roma broke the Serie A record for consecutive wins (11) with a 2–0 victory over Lazio. However, by the end of the season, Roma failed to reach 4th place, therefore failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Spalletti also took Roma into the Coppa Italia final against Inter during the 2005–06 season but lost. However, Roma qualified for the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, since Juventus was relegated and Fiorentina and AC Milan received point deductions, all as a result of the Serie A match-fixing scandal.

Spalletti's favoured formation is the 4–2–3–1 system, where he uses 4 defenders, 2 defensive midfielders, 2 wingers (both sides of the 3), 1 attacking midfielder, and 1 striker (Francesco Totti, another attacking midfielder, or without any real striker). This system proved effective upon its introduction during the 2005-06 season for Roma. As a result, the team climbed the charts from 15th to 5th place by the end of the season. During that time, Roma also went on an 11-match winning streak.

At the end of 2006, Spalletti was elected Serie A Coach of the Year 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. In the quarter-final, despite a promising 2–1 win in the first leg, Roma crumbled incredibly to a 7–1 annihilation at the hands of Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.

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 Coppa Italia 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 2007-08 to steal their Supercoppa Italiana crown.

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 final — a single match which Roma won 2–1.

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 6th-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 Serie A 2009–10 season, with two consecutive defeats (2–3 to Genoa and 1–3, at home, to Juventus) persuaded Spalletti to resign on September 1, 2009.[1][2]

Zenit St. Petersburg

On December 2009, it was confirmed Spalletti would join FC Zenit Saint Petersburg on a three-year deal, replacing interim coach Anatoly Davydov.[3]


Simple English

Luciano Spalletti
Personal information
Full name Luciano Spalletti
Date of birth 7 March 1959 (1959-03-07) (age 51)
Place of birth    Certaldo, Italy
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
Teams managed
Zenit St. Petersburg

Luciano Spalletti (born 7 March 1959) is a former Italian football player.



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