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Nereo Rocco
Personal information
Date of birth 20 December 1912(1912-12-20)
Place of birth    Trieste, Austria-Hungary
Date of death    20 February 1979 (aged 66)
Place of death    Trieste, Italy
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1929–1937
1937–1940
1940–1942
Triestina
Napoli
Padova
   
National team
1934 Italy 1 0(0)
Teams managed
1947–1950
1950–1953
1953–1954
1954–1961
1961–1963
1963–1967
1967–1973
1974–1975
1977
Triestina
Treviso
Triestina
Padova
A.C. Milan
Torino
A.C. Milan
Fiorentina
A.C. Milan

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Nereo Rocco (20 May 1912, Trieste – 20 February 1979, Trieste) was an Italian football player and manager. He is famous for having been one of the most successful head coaches in Italy, and the first proponent of catenaccio in the country.

Contents

Playing career

Rocco played as a wing, had a modest playing career, spent mainly with Triestina, Napoli and Padova. He played 287 Serie A matches within 11 seasons, scoring 69 goals. Rocco was also capped one time for the Italy national football team.[1]

Coaching career

Nereo Rocco made his coaching debut for Triestina in 1947. He obtained a surprising second place in the Serie A, which is still the highest result ever reached by the team. He left Triestina a few years later because of disagreements with the club chairmanship. In 1951 he briefly coached Treviso, then returning back to Triestina.

In 1953 Rocco signed as coach of Serie B team Padova, being able to avoid a relegation and obtaining promotion into Serie A the following season. The Serie A period of Rocco's Padova is still remembered as the team's most successful in their history, despite having a small team, they were able to score a third place during the 1957/58 season.

In 1961, Rocco was appointed as new AC Milan coach, starting one of the most successful periods for the rossoneri, winning the Italian league and the European Cup in 1963. After a good stint at Torino, where he obtained the best results since the disappearance of the Grande Torino, in 1967 Rocco returned to AC Milan, where he immediately won another scudetto and the Cup Winners' Cup.

He left AC Milan in 1973, after having won also another European Cup in 1969, an Intercontinental Cup, an Italian Cup and another Cup Winners' Cup. After one year in Fiorentina, Rocco decided to end his coaching career in 1974. In 1977 he was appointed by AC Milan as Technical Director and Assistant of coach Nils Liedholm.

Rocco died in 1979, aged 66, in Trieste.

Posthumous

On 18 October 1992, a new stadium in Trieste, named after Nereo Rocco, was inaugurated.

Rocco, popularly known as El Paròn (Triestin for The Master), was popular also for his strong use of the Triestin dialect.

References

Preceded by
Bela Guttmann
European Cup Winning Coach
1962-63
Succeeded by
Helenio Herrera
Preceded by
Zlatko Čajkovski
Cup Winners' Cup Winning Coach
1967-68
Succeeded by
Michal Vičan
Preceded by
Matt Busby
European Cup Winning Coach
1968-69
Succeeded by
Ernst Happel
Preceded by
William Waddell
Cup Winners' Cup Winning Coach
1972-73
Succeeded by
Heinz Krügel
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