Top Facts About Attilio Lombardo, “Popeye The Sailor”

Thu 17 June 2021 | 12:00

Attilio Lombardo is an Italian coach and former player. He is best known for his successful spells in Italian teams: Juventus, Lazio, and Sampdoria. Lombardo is currently the assistant manager for the Italy national team. Read on for more facts about Attilio Lombardo. 

Attilio Lombardo was one of the key players of the golden team of


. Alongside talented players like Roberto Mancini, Gianluca Vialli, Gianluca Pagliuca, and Ruud Gullit, they won several titles, including a historic Scudetto. Despite his time at




was not much longer, he won many trophies at both teams. He is one of few players winning Scudetto with three different teams. Lombardo spent most of his career in Italy, but he had a relatively short spell at English team

Crystal Palace

. He is considered one of the best Crystal Palace players of all time.

After his retirement, Lombardo started his managerial career. For most of the last ten years, he worked as the assistant for his former teammate Roberto Mancini.

Manchester City



, and Italy are the teams he was Mancini's assistant. Lombardo has 19 national team caps as a player, which, considering his rivals in the Azzurri team, it's not a small number. Read on to know more facts about Attilio Lombardo.

The followings are some lesser-known facts about Attilio Lombardo:

As one of the best wingers in the great Sampdoria of Montavoni era, Attilio Lombardo played alongside some of the best Italian footballers of his time.

Attilio Lombardo Early Life

Attilio Lombardo was born on January 6, 1966. He was born in Santa Maria la Fossa, located in the northwest of Naples. Lombardo's family moved to Santa Maria la Fossa, a small town between Lodi and Milan in the Lombardy region. Lombardo found his first team in the neighboring city, Crema. The club was


or Pergocrema. They were competing in the 3rd tier of Italian football, called Serie C. 

After two years in Pergo, Attilio took a big step and signed a contract with


. Their squad had weakened by the departure of their talented striker, Gianluca Vialli. In Cremonese, Lombardo's career as a professional winger began.

Attilio Lombardo Personal Life

There is not much public information about Attilio Lombardo’s personal life. He has a son named


, who was born in February 1995. Mattia followed his father's career from childhood. He joined Sampdoria in 2014 and was loaned to Cremonese and


each for a season. From 2016 to now he was part of many clubs like




, and

Pro Vercelli

, and now is a midfielder in


in Serie C with a one year and a half contract.

Attilio Lombardo Club Career

Tarcisio Burgnich influenced Lombardo's career. Burgnich was once one of the best defenders in the world. He had a lot to teach.


 It didn't take long for Lombardo to find his place in the starting line-up. Lombardo often played as a striker and sometimes played wide in the wing. In the debut season, Attilio caped in 30 league matches and scored four goals.

One of his teammates was Michelangelo Rampulla, who later again played alongside Lombardo in Juventus. At the end of the fourth season, Cremonese reached the play-off round and, after defeating Reggina, got the Serie A promotion. Lombardo left Cremonese before Serie A started. He went to another Serie A Club. 


When Lombardo joined Sampdoria, their squad already had massive players and by the guidance of their manager, Vujadin Boškov they were qualified for European competitions. The former Cremonese player, Vialli, had become one of the best strikers in Italy. Vialli and Mancini formed a memorable due in Sampdoria. In 1989-90 Attilio Lombardo joined Sampdoria. The team had won the Coppa Italia in the previous season, so they were qualified for the European Cup Winners' Cup.

In Sampdoria, he immediately became a crucial player for Boškov. He played as the Right-Winger behind Vialli and Mancini. When Boškov used 3-5-2 formation, Lombardo would be a Wing-Back. Sometimes the formation was 4-4-2 and Lombardo was the Right-Midfielder. Attilio didn't miss one single game in Serie A. He also played in all the Coppa Italia matches before the elimination by Juventus.

Lombardo and Mancini's versatile skills allowed the team to change easily from 3-5-2 to 3-4-3. In the second formation, Lombardo and Mancini played Shadow-Striker roles and very close to today's Wingers. Lombardo scored seven goals in Serie A, including the brace in the 2-0 win over


. Sampdoria finished in 5th place of the standings and normally would qualify for the UEFA Cup, but their performance in the Cup Winners' Cup changed the deal.

Borussia Dortmund

could stop Sampdoria in Westfalen, but in Genoa they lost, so Sampdoria reached the next level. Defeating


led to the match against


in the Semi finals. Lombardo scored a goal against Arsène Wenger's Monaco. The final's opponent was


. 90 minutes passed without any goals, but in the extra time Vialli scored twice and Sampdoria won the title. It's good to know that Sampdoria was in the previous final too, but lost the match to



Thanks to great teamwork by Lombardo's teammates and a good form of Gianluca Pagliuca, Sampdoria was invincible in the competition. The first title Lombardo won was a precious European one. In the 1990-91 season Coppa Italia and European Super Cup slipped out of Sampdoria's hands. Coppa Italia was lost to


and European Super Cup was against Arrigo Sacchi's legendary


. While Milan was busy winning the European Cup, Sampdoria won a historical Scudetto. Mancini and Vialli were called the Goal Twins. These three players, alongside Pagliuca and Vierchowod, were instrumental in Sampdoria.

As Serie A champion, Sampdoria competed in European Cup. Sampdoria and Lombardo failed to defend the Serie A title and finished the league in 7th place. In the European Cup, things went better than in the domestic league. Except for a group stage match against


that Lombardo missed due to yellow card suspension, he played in all the European Cup fixtures.

Lombardo scored four goals and provided two assists in the 10 caps. In his debut match, Lombardo scored a brace and created an assist. In the final, though, after a 120-minute challenge, they were defeated by Barcelona again. Sampdoria was so close to being a surprise champion of Europe.

Lombardo played in the right midfielder role, right behind the captain, Roberto Mancini. At the end of the season coach, Boškov left the team and went to Roma. Vialli was the other Sampdoria departure. Sven-Goran Eriksson was the replacement of Boškov. Despite the good performances by Lombardo, Jugovic, and Mancini, they didn't have the balance in defense. For the next season, the superstar Ruud Gullit was added to the squad. David Platt was the other player Eriksson hired.

The manager used the 4-4-2 Diamond formation and Platt was the attacking midfielder behind Mancini and Gullit. Lombardo and Platt were vital for Sampdoria's attacks. The changes played off and they finished 3rd on Serie A standings. Sampdoria reached the final of the Coppa Italia facing Ancona. The first leg of the finals was goalless, just like the first half of the second leg. The second half was totally different. It started with an early own-goal, followed by a goal from Lombardo a few minutes later. Sampdoria scored six goals in the second half, including the brace by Lombardo and Coppa Italia title was handed to them.

Sinisa Mihajlović was added to the squad for the next season.


made a deal with Sampdoria for swapping goalkeepers Pagliuca and Zenga. After a declining form in Serie A, Sampdoria had the chance to turn the page in Cup Winners’ Cup. In an exciting challenge against


in the semi-finals, the teams finished the regular time 6-6 in aggregate. In the penalty shoot out, Lombardo failed to score the last penalty and Arsenal went to the final. At the end of the season, Sampdoria lost the three playmakers, Platt, Jugovic, and Lombardo. Popeye went to Turn to become Vialli's teammate once again.


After six years, Lombardo left Sampdoria and joined Juventus. In Juventus, there were many familiar players for Lombardo. Vialli and Rampulla were already there. Lombardo, Jugovic, and Vierchowod were the three Sampdoria players that Juventus signed in 1995-96. When Lombardo arrived, Juventus was the Serie A title defending. The move to Juventus was unfortunate for Lombardo. Because of the serious injury during the pre-season, he missed most of the fixtures before January.

After the recovery, he had to compete with big names like Antonio Conte, Angelo Di Livio, and his own pal Jugovic for the starting line-up. In Serie A table, they finished under Milan, but in the Champions League, they were victorious. Lombardo capped in four Champions League matches, including both legs of the quarter finals against

Real Madrid

. In the 1996 UEFA Super Cup, their opponent was

Paris Saint-Germain

. The Italian team won 9-2 in aggregate and Lombardo scored one of Juve's goals. In the 1996-97 season, Lombardo finally found his way into the Lippi's first choices of midfielders.

Two French men Zinedine Zidane, Didier Deschamps, and two Italians Conte and Tacchinardi were the usual central midfielders. Lombardo, Di Livio, and Jugovic were the options for the wide midfielder. In 22 appearances, Lombardo didn't score any goals but helped Juventus win the Scudetto. The peak of Lombardo in Juventus was in the Champions League semi-finals.


was seeking revenge for the last final. Juventus won 2-1 in the first leg at Amsterdam. At the second leg, Lombardo scored the opening goal of the match. He netted the cross that Zidane sent by a header. Two minutes later, Lombardo's cross was scored by Christian Vieri.

Juventus easily eliminated Ajax thanks to Zidane and Lombardo. But in the final, they were defeated by Dortmund. Lombardo didn't return to his form at Sampdoria and after 51 appearances and four goals, he left the Zebras.

Crystal Palace

Lombardo traveled to Britain and joined Crystal Palace. In Crystal Palace, he was the big shot. In the first week of 1997-98, his goal in the victory over


was welcomed by Eagles. Lombardo scored again in the next two victories by the Eagles. Unfortunately, another injury was a wet blanket for the "Bald Eagle". In Lombardo's absence, Palace declined from the middle table to the bottom. They failed to win in 15 back to back matches.

Lombardo was the team's manager at some point. Not winning streak ended by Lombardo himself scoring another goal. Eventually they relegated to the First Division. Lombardo stayed for a few more months, then left to join Eagles in Italy.

Lazio & Retirement in Sampdoria

Eriksson and Mancini were enough reasons for Lombardo to sign with Lazio. Siniša Mihajlović, Dejan Stanković,  Pavel Nedved, and Sergio Conceicao were the Lazio veterans and it was hard for Lombardo to get playing time. Despite the lack of playing, Lazio won the Cup Winners' Cup. They were too close to win the Scudetto, but Milan had one point more.

In the 1999-2000 season, Lazio did the one point trick to Juventus and won the Scudetto race. Lombardo scored a three points goal in the late season match. In the Coppa Italia, Lombardo had more opportunities to play, where Lazio also won. 

Lombardo was given only a little bit of chance in the field, yet he got many medals. In the 1996 UEFA Super Cup, he did play for Lazio. After 64 appearances, he decided to return to Sampdoria. In his return to Sampdoria, Popeye made 34 appearances in two seasons, 17 each and scored one goal. After that Lombardo chose to retire from playing and start his coaching career.

Attilio Lombardo International Career

Attilio Lombardo didn't have much chance with the Azzurri. In 1990, while Lombardo played for Sampdoria, he was called for the Italy national team. Lombardo had a gift for scoring in the debut matches. It was the same with Italy versus


. His first goal was at the Euro 1992 qualifying tournament against Cyprus, which Italy won, 4-0. The second, was in a friendly match against


in 1994. Italy won 2-0 at Stadio Adriatico in Pescara.

The last but not least was at the Euro 1996 qualifying tournament against


in Kiev. Lombardo scored one of the two goals for Italy at the minute 12 of the match. Italy was qualified and but didn’t made it to the knockout stage.

Roberto Donadoni, Nicola Berti, and Angelo Di Livio, along with the injuries, were the main reasons Lombardo's international career ended in 1997 after only 19 caps. Lombardo didn't play in any major tournaments for Azzurri.

Attilio Lombardo Managerial Career

Attilio Lombardo has been on the staff of many clubs. His managerial career began during his spell at Crystal Palace. The manager, Steve Coppell, moved to the director of football post and Lombardo became the caretaker player-manager for the rest of the season. Palace was relegated to the championship and had a financial crisis in the following season. From 2002, he became the Sampdoria youth team manager for four years. 

From 2006 to 2009, Lombardo took the manager post of

FC Chiasso



, and


, each for a season. After being


manager in nine games, he went back to the premier league and became the assistant manager of his old teammate Roberto Mancini in

Manchester City

for two seasons. He didn’t leave the club and became the manager of the Man City youth team for a season. However, after Mancini was sacked, he left the club in May 2013. 

In September 2013, he again became the assistant manager of Mancini, but this time at


. In the following season, Lombardo joined


as the assistant manager of Sinisa Mihajlovic, another compatriot. 

In 2016, he and Mihajlovic went to


, but in 2018 he was sacked along with the rest of the staff. In 2019, Mancini and Lombardo took the posts of manager and assistant manager of the

Italy national team

, until now.

Attilio Lombardo Stats

Attilio Lombardo started his professional career in 1983 in Pergocrema, which was in Serie C. The sixteen year old winger was in the club for two seasons, playing in 38 games and scoring nine goals. Then he moved to Cremonese in Serie B. From the 1985 to 1988 season, he was part of the squad in 168 games in all the competitions, scoring 22 times under the manager Burgnich .  

After that, he went to Sampdoria. In six seasons, he played in 308 games and scored 51 goals in all the competitions. He was mostly in the right midfield position and won a lot of domestic titles with the club.  

Juventus, under Marcello Lippi, was the Serie A champion defender and Lombardo moved to the club to play alongside Vialli again. For two years, he played in 51 games and scored four times. Despite injuries, Lombardo managed to win the Serie A title, UEFA champions league, super cup, and international cup.

In 1997, he transferred to Premiership Crystal Palace and a year later he was appointed as caretaker and then player-manager. Due to injuries, he had 47 appearances, and ten goals in both seasons, but his return earned Crystal Palace its only two home league wins of the season. 

A fact about Attilio Lombardo is that he came back to Serie A and joined Lazio in 1999. In two seasons, he was part of the squad for 64 games and scored five goals as the right midfielder. In 2001, he went back to Sampdoria to finish his playing career and played in 34 games in two seasons, scoring a goal. 

At the international level, from 1990 to 1997, Lombardo played 19 games for Italy and scored three goals. Italy at the time had a lot of great players and also due to injuries, he wasn’t a regular player at big tournaments. 

Some Quick Facts About Attilio Lombardo


Attilio Lombardo's age

, it should be mentioned that he was born on January 6, 1966, so till now he has 55 years of age. He was Nicknamed “Popeye” because of his resemblance to the cartoon character “Popeye The Sailor”, due to his baldness and strong physique. When he was younger, he was called the Bombetta at Cremonese, and in his late career he was the Bald Eagle in Crystal Palace. 

A fact about Attilio Lombardo is that in almost twenty years he played in 706 games and scored 102 goals. For most of his career he was in the position of right midfielder, but sometimes he played as an offensive right winger, or fullback later in his career. 

Another fact about Attilio Lombardo is that he is one of the six players who have won the Serie A championship with three different clubs, in his case with Sampdoria in the 1990-91 season, Juventus in the 1996-97 season, and Lazio in the 1999-2000 season. Also, he has won a champions league title in 1995-96 with Juventus. 

Lombardo is the assistant manager to Italy national team's manager Roberto Mancini since 2019, and also have worked with him in Manchester City, Torino, and Galatasaray. Lombardo has been the manager of Man City and Sampdoria youth teams. One of the

facts about Attilio Lombardo

is that in his late career when he was in Crystal Palace, he was the caretaker manager in the first season, and became a player-manager in the second. In 2005, Crystal Palace named him one of his Centenary XI.

Attilio Lombardo Social Media 


Attilio Lombardo's social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an official Instagram page (@attiliolombardo7) and he shares lots of photos and updates with his followers. He is really popular on Instagram and his page has about 11.1k followers. He doesn’t seem to have an official Twitter account or it might be private. 

Attilio Lombardo Body Measurement

About Attilio Lombardo's body measurements, it should be mentioned that there is no information on his body measurements, but he stands 1.75 m tall and he weighs about 64 kg.

Attilio Lombardo Honors

Coppa Italia Top-scorer: 1993–94

Crystal Palace Centenary XI: 2005

Attilio Lombardo Net Worth & Salary

Speaking about 

Attilio Lombardo’s net worth and salary

, it has been reported that he has a net worth of one to nine million approximately at the age of 55, and there is no information about his salary.




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