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Giovanni Trapattoni Biography

We all know him as one of the greatest managers in the history of football. In this article, we will take a look at Giovanni Trapattoni biography.

Giovanni Trapattoni, born 17 March 1939 in Cusano Milanino, is an Italian retired football coach and former footballer, who played as a midfielder for AC Milan and Varese. He is generally considered the most iconic Italian football coach after World War II, as well as the most successful Italian coach at club level and also one of the most successful in the world, as he won titles in Italy (a record seven), Germany, Portugal and Austria (one each), for a total of ten league titles.

This makes him one of five coaches to win at least one national first-division league in four different countries; In addition, he has won seven official international titles, making him the sixth coach in the world and fourth in Europe in terms of trophies won in this category.

He spent most of his years as a footballer at AC Milan, remaining a key member of the team for almost fifteen years and, working under the guidance of Nereo Rocco, he won two league titles, an Italian Cup, two Champions' Cups, a Cup Winners' Cup and an Intercontinental Cup; then ended his career with Varese.

He became coach immediately, and emerged at an early age, achieving most of his successes on the bench of Juventus, which he led from 1976 to 1986 - the longest period in the history of Italian professional football - and once again from 1991 to 1994.

He was also the first coach in history to win the three major club competitions organized by the Union of European Football Federations (UEFA) with one team and subsequently all the competitions run by the federation at the time - a first in European football -, which made the Bianconeri team one of the best in the history of the sport also thanks to the innovative mixed zone.

All You Need to Know About Giovanni Trapattoni Biography

Moreover, Trapattoni is among the few sportsmen who have won the Champions League, the Cup Winners' Cup and the Intercontinental Cup either as a player or as a coach; furthermore, he is one of the most successful coaches in the UEFA Cup with 3 victories.

Between 2000 and 2004 he was head coach of the Italian national team and subsequently coached the Irish national team from 2008 to 2013, where he came close to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa following a controversial match against France.

Giovanni Trapattoni Information

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Giovanni Trapattoni biography

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Giovanni Trapattoni nationality

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Giovanni Trapattoni Bio

  • Full Name: Giovanni Trapattoni

  • Nickname:  Trap

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Giovanni Trapattoni Physical Stats

  • Weight: 73 Kg

  • Height: 1.75 m

  • Eye Color: Green

  • Hair Color: Grey

Giovanni Trapattoni Football Information

  • Position: Defensive midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 6

  • Professional Debut: 1959

Giovanni Trapattoni Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 17 March 1939

  • Birth Place: Cusano Milanino, Kingdom of Italy

  • Zodiac Sign: Pisces

  • Nationality: Italian

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Giovanni Trapattoni Early Life

Born into a working-class family, Giovanni Trapattoni lost his dad at an early age. When he was a teenager, he started playing for the youth team of

AC Milan

. Giuseppe Viani became the AC Milan coach in 1957, whereafter youngsters such as Giovanni Trapattoni, Sandro Salvadore and Mario Trebbi made the move to the first team.

The 18-year-old Trapattoni, who joined the Rossoneri as a teammate of top players such as Nils Liedholm, Cesare Maldini and Ernesto Grillo, initially did not get to play much. He only played two matches in 1958/59, yet Milan did win the league. Only in the 1960/61 season, he became a regular in midfield. In the team of coach Nereo Rocco, the defensive orientated Trapattoni primarily played in favour of the creative midfielders Liedholm, Gianni Rivera and Giovanni Lodetti. He won his second league title with Milan in 1962.

His biggest success came a year later. Trapattoni and the Italian champion reached the final of the European Cup l. Milan faced the Benfica team of Portuguese star footballer Eusébio at Wembley Stadium in London. After two goals by striker José Altafini, the Italians won 2-1.

Following the final victory in the European Cup I, Luis Carniglia was appointed coach of Milan. It was only at the end of the 1960s, with the return of Nereo Rocco, that Milan was able to win trophies again. In 1967, Trapattoni, who remained a regular at Milan, won the Coppa Italia for the first time. One year later, the Rossoneri captured another league title and also the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In De Kuip in Rotterdam, Trapattoni and his teammates won 2-0 against Hamburger SV.

Milan met Rinus Michels' Ajax in the 1969 European Cup I final. The game was played at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, where Milan won 4-1 with a hat-trick from Pierino Prati. Milan won the Club World Cup for the first time a few months later, although Trapattoni was absent in both the first and second game against Estudiantes.

The 32-year-old Trapattoni moved to


in 1971, where he ended his playing career after one season.

Italy National team

Trapattoni played his first match for the Italian football team against Austria on 10 December 1960. He also took part with


in the Olympic Games in Rome that same year. They won their group and were, therefore, able to take on Yugoslavia in the semi-finals. Following extra time, the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Yugoslavia was declared the winner after a coin toss. Italy lost 2-1 to Hungary in the third-place playoff.

In the national team, the Milan defensive midfielder frequently played as a central defender. He was chosen by national coaches Giovanni Ferrari and Paolo Mazza for the 1962 World Cup in


. Italy ended up in the group of host Chile, West Germany and Switzerland. During the World Cup, Trapattoni did not play a single match and watched his side finish third in Group 2.

Trapattoni was a national team player until 1964. In total, he played 17 international matches and scored once. Trapattoni scored the first goal of his international career on 9 June 1963, where Italy won 0-1 against Austria.

Giovanni Trapattoni Profile

After putting an end to his playing career, Trap, then working for his lifelong club AC Milan, started a coaching career with the Rossoneri. Following a brief spell in charge of AC Milan's first team in 1974, where he replaced Cesare Maldini, Trapattoni coached his first official match on 10 April 1974 in a 2-0 Cup Win against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which was not successful.

In the next season, Trapattoni continued at the club, but this time as assistant to Gustavo Giagnoni. In October 1975 he took over from Giagnoni and remained for another spell (assisted by Nereo Rocco, his former coach at Milan), until, because of the lack of a trophy win, he was replaced in June 1976 by Paolo Barison. His last match on the Milan bench was on 19 May 1976 in a 2-0 win over


in the cup.

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Following two brief spells at the helm of Milan, 37-year-old Trapattoni joined Juventus, where he walked in the footsteps of his fellow countryman Carlo Parola. The temperamental Trapattoni was in charge of talented players such as Dino Zoff, Franco Causio, Claudio Gentile, Marco Tardelli and Gaetano Scirea.

During his first season with Juventus, he instantly won the league. Moreover, the club also won a European trophy for the first time under his leadership. In May 1977, after a narrow victory (1-0) and a narrow defeat (2-1) against

Athletic Bilbao

, Juventus, which could in those days count on the effective strikers Roberto Boninsegna and Roberto Bettega, captured the UEFA Cup.

Trapattoni led his team to a second consecutive title in 1978, and a year later he also won the cup. In the Coppa Italia final, the club defeated Palermo after extra time. The winning goal was scored by Causio a few minutes before the end of the second extra time.

Following the cup final, Trapattoni witnessed his striker Boninsegna leave for Hellas Verona. In the 1979/80 season, Juventus did not win a single prize, but the coach nonetheless retained the confidence of the board. With the Old Lady, he became league champion for the third time in 1981. Afterwards, the club bought back Paolo Rossi, who was suspended for a long time, and also Massimo Bonini was added to the squad.

Juventus won their second consecutive league title in 1982 when the board added two notable reinforcements to Trapattoni's squad: Michel Platini and Zbigniew Boniek. Together with Rossi, who returned from suspension, the French playmaker and the Polish winger became major players in the Italian coach's team and enabled Juventus to once again become a top European club. One goal from Rossi and two from Platini brought Juventus the Coppa Italia in 1983. That year, the club also reached the final of the European Cup I.

Trapattoni's side lost 1-0 in the final to

Hamburger SV

of the successful Austrian coach Ernst Happel. The occasionally hot-tempered Trapattoni pushed his team to another league title in 1984 and also won the European Cup II for the first time. In the final of the Cup Winners' Cup, they won 2-1 against FC Porto.

During the 1984/85 season, the Old Lady won the UEFA Super Cup for the first time. Trapattoni's team won 2-0 against European Cup I winner Liverpool in January 1985, which faced Juventus again in the final of the Champions' Cup a few months later. On 29 May 1985, the final of the European Cup I took place at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels. The match was postponed as a wall of the stadium collapsed due to violent riots between the English supporters and a neutral section that was largely filled with Italian supporters.

Over 30 supporters were killed and some 600 injured. Despite the Heysel drama that had just unfolded, it was agreed to allow the final to go ahead for fear of more violence. It was Juventus that beat Liverpool 1-0 through a penalty kick goal by Platini. In doing so, Trapattoni matched the record of the German Udo Lattek, who like him had won the three most important European Cups (European Cup I, European Cup II and UEFA Cup). Yet the Italian was the only one to win all three trophies at the same club.

During the 1985/86 season, the Italian coach of success further extended his list of honours. In 1985, Juventus won the Club World Cup after penalty kicks. Several months later, the Old Lady won the Italian title for the sixth time under Trapattoni.

Stay tuned to this section of Giovanni Trapattoni biography because we want to share some information about his Internazionale career.

Inter Milan

In 1986, after ten highly successful years at Juventus, Trapattoni transferred to Internazionale, where he took charge of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Daniel Passarella, Giuseppe Bergomi, Walter Zenga and Alessandro Altobelli, among others, and was again united with midfielder Marco Tardelli.

At first, Trapattoni, who began the season with a defeat against Empoli, found little success in Milan. The results-oriented football that the highly defensive coach expected from his players did not always yield beautiful football.


took on Gothenburg in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. In the opening match, striker Altobelli was forced to drop back into his own penalty area to defend. The match ended in a scoreless draw. The Swedes went on to reach the semi-finals in the return match, where they drew 1-1.

In the summer of 1987, Rummenigge, who was never able to reach his old level at Inter, was allowed to leave. The club took striker Aldo Serena from Trapattoni's former employer in return. That same year, the Italian Belgian Enzo Scifo joined Inter from Anderlecht. However, also the newcomers couldn't push Inter to a higher level.

Under Trapattoni, Scifo was unable to make a breakthrough and was regularly criticized by the Italian press. He was allowed to leave Milan again after one year, whereupon the board recruited Lothar Matthäus, Andreas Brehme, Ramón Díaz, Alessandro Bianchi and Nicola Berti.

After the arrival of German stars Matthäus and Brehme, among others, Trapattoni, who, as with Juventus, often opted for a catenaccio system, was immediately successful. Inter became league champions for the first time in nine years in 1989. Jürgen Klinsmann even added a third German to the squad in the summer of 1989. A few months later, Trapattoni captured the Supercoppa.

Inter won their first European trophy since 1965 in 1991. The 52-year-old Trapattoni guided his team to the final of the UEFA Cup. In the final, Inter took on their fellow countrymen from AS Roma. In the first match at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Trapattoni's team won 2-0 with goals from Matthäus and Berti. They lost the return match at the Stadio Olimpico by the slimmest of margins, giving Inter their first-ever UEFA Cup.

Return to Juventus

In spite of winning the European Cup, Trapattoni went back to Juventus in 1991, where he had achieved his greatest success as a manager. In Turin, he replaced coach Luigi Maifredi, who was forced to leave after a disappointing seventh place in

Serie A


As with Inter a few years earlier, Trapattoni added German defenders to his squad. Stefan Reuter and Jürgen Kohler both joined Juventus in 1991. Furthermore, Trapattoni was able to count on Italian talents such as Roberto Baggio, Antonio Conte, Pierluigi Casiraghi and Salvatore Schillaci.

Juventus returned to the top under Trapattoni. In 1992, the Old Lady finished as runners-up and reached the final of the

Coppa Italia

. In that final Juventus lost to Parma. The experienced striker Schillaci left for Inter in the summer of 1992, a move that saw Trapattoni bring in two new strikers: Gianluca Vialli and Fabrizio Ravanelli.

In 1992, German midfielder Andreas Möller also arrived in Turin. This new team promptly reached the final of the UEFA Cup. In the final Trapattoni faced the German side Borussia Dortmund, which had bought defender Stefan Reuter from Juventus in the summer of 1992. In the first match at the Westfalenstadion, the Old Lady won 1-3 with one goal from Dino Baggio and two goals from his namesake Roberto Baggio. In the return match at the Stadio delle Alpi, the team won 3-0 thanks to a goal by Möller and again two goals by Roberto Baggio.

During the 1993/94 season, Trapattoni, who made the debut of young Alessandro Del Piero during the year, failed to win a single prize. However, Juventus became runners-up and parted company with the Italian coach after the end of the season.

Bayern Munich

At both Inter and Juventus, Trapattoni had demonstrated his love for working with German players. He replaced club icon Franz Beckenbauer as head coach of

Bayern Munich

in 1994. In the summer of 1994, the Italian, who was joined by Lothar Matthäus at the German club, had the opportunity to add top players such as Jean-Pierre Papin, Oliver Kahn and Markus Babbel to his squad. In the winter break, Bayern also signed Bulgarian striker Emil Kostadinov.

While the 55-year-old Trapattoni appeared very well suited to the Bundesliga because of his defensive game system, he was unable to win a trophy with Bayern. The club was knocked out in the first round of the DFB-Pokal and only finished sixth in the league. The German top club was only able to compete in the UEFA Champions League for a while. Trapattoni's team was only defeated in the semi-finals by Ajax, the later winner.


Trapattoni returned to Italy in 1995, where he was appointed coach of Cagliari. At the club, he teamed up with Brazilian-Belgian striker Luis Oliveira, among others. His assistant was Sergio Brio, a former player at Juventus. However, Trapattoni, who promised to reach European football before the start of the season, was unable to get his team out of the bottom of the table and was dismissed in February 1996. This was the first time in his career that he was fired.

Return to Bayern Munich

In the following season, Trapattoni was again hired by Bayern, which failed to win back the league title. Trapattoni won the


and the German Cup during his first season but failed to defend the league title the following year. Although they were successful at home, the management of Bayern expected the coach to be successful in European competitions, and following an unsuccessful performance there, Giovanni left the Munich side once again.

Stay tuned to this section of Giovanni Trapattoni biography because we want to share some information about his Fiorentina career.


After his German stint, Trapattoni headed back to Italy to take charge of Fiorentina. During his time at the club, Trapattoni managed to build on the success of his predecessor Claudio Ranieri. He led his side to a third-place finish in the Italian league (their first in 15 years and so far the last for the Florentines) and a place in the Italian Cup final, before losing to Parma.

In the next season, however, they only finished seventh but managed to make a decent showing in the Champions League, where they advanced to the second round from the group stage, eliminating Arsenal FC.

Italy National Team

Trapattoni replaced his former Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff as coach of the Italian national football team in July 2000. The team had just lost the final of Euro 2000 and was about to start the qualification campaign for the 2002

World Cup

. In the national team, Trapattoni managed players like Francesco Totti, Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Del Piero and Marco Delvecchio and had no difficulty in winning the group with Romania, Georgia, Hungary and Lithuania. All of Italy's goals in the qualifying campaign were scored by the quartet of Inzaghi (7), Del Piero (5), Totti (2) and Delvecchio (2).

In the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Italy was placed in the group of Mexico, Croatia and Ecuador. The generally defensively-minded Trapattoni took a lot of attacking talent with him to the tournament. Besides the four players that made it through the qualification process, he also brought Inter striker and Italian top marksman Christian Vieri with him to Asia.

In its first World Cup match, Italy won 2-0 against Ecuador with two goals by Vieri. In the following match against Croatia, Vieri also scored, however, Italy lost 2-1. In the end, a draw against Mexico after a goal by Del Piero meant that Trapattoni's team qualified for the 1/8 finals as runners-up in Group G.

As a result, the Italians faced

South Africa

, where they won the match. Consequently, the Italians played against the South Korea of Dutch coach Guus Hiddink. After 18 minutes, Vieri took the lead, but then saw the host country equalize in the final minutes. Totti was grounded in the penalty area after making slight contact with the ball. The referee ruled it misconduct and showed him his second yellow card.

Frustrated, an angry Trapattoni slammed his fist into the FIFA officials' dugout. With a few minutes left in the second extension, Ahn Jung-hwan scored a golden goal for South Korea, meaning Italy were knocked out. Trapattoni later accused FIFA of bribery.

The 63-year-old national coach also made it to the 2004 European Championships in


. The controversial striker Antonio Cassano was included in the selection. During the European Championship, the Azzurri arrived in the group of Sweden, Denmark and Bulgaria. In their first match, Italy came not further than a scoreless draw.

Trapattoni's team faced Sweden in the second match. It ended 1-1 with goals from Cassano and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, who was on the verge of a move to Juventus. With two points from as many matches, Italy was still in with a chance of qualifying for the next round.

In its final game, Trapattoni's team won 2-1 against Bulgaria with goals from Simone Perrotta and Cassano again, but a draw between Sweden and Denmark put Italy in third place in Group C. The disappointing European Championship ended after just three games for Trapattoni. He was replaced by Marcello Lippi after the tournament.

Back to club life

Trapattoni's career declined after leaving the Italian national team and he was never again offered a job with the elite teams. Nevertheless, on 5 July 2004, he was introduced as the head coach of


Lisbon. He won the Eagles their first league title in 11 years and made it to the Portuguese Cup final, where they suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Setubal Victoria.

In the summer of 2005, Trapattoni again moved to Germany and signed for Stuttgart. This time, however, Trapattoni did not even manage to complete the season and was fired due to unsatisfactory results. Furthermore, the Italian was in conflict with the players, who blamed him for his unwillingness to play attacking football.

The conflict resulted in Trapattoni putting Danish players Jon-Dal Thomasson and Jesper Grönkjær on the bench, totally destroying the atmosphere in the team. His decision as coach led to rumours that the Italian was taking revenge on the Danes for his side's exit from the European Championship.

Only a few months after his dismissal, Trapattoni was appointed head coach of the Austrian Red Bulls, creating a coaching partnership with Lothar Matthäus. The duo managed to win the Austrian Bundesliga title in a move that the Bulls had failed to achieve for a decade. Having worked with the team for another season, Trapattoni made the decision to leave his post, Red Bull being the last club in his coaching career.

Ireland National Team

For the second time in his career, Giovanni was appointed to lead a national team in 2008, this time in Ireland. In qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup, the Irish performed quite strongly, without losing a single match, including two draws with the current world champions and compatriots Italians. But they failed to beat the Azzurri in the table and qualified for the tie-break where they would face France.

In the first leg, France held on to a narrow victory, but in the return leg in St Denis, the Irish managed to take the game to extra-time and one goal would have been enough to advance to the World Cup finals. The decisive goal, however, was scored by the French, who broke the rules: striker Thierry Henry played the ball with his hand and delivered an assist to an offside player, William Gallas. Consequently, the Irish failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Trapattoni kept working with the Greens, and this time succeeded in leading them to UEFA EURO 2012. During the tournament, the Irish team lost all three group stage matches against Spain, Croatia and Italy and went out of the tournament. Trapattoni was the oldest coach in the European Championship (at the time he was 73) when he took charge of the team in the final tournament.

The World Cup qualifiers were disappointing for the Irish and Trapattoni was dismissed in September 2013 following another defeat against Austria. Trapattoni then decided to end his coaching career.

Style of Play

Upon becoming a coach, he was among the leading theorists and interpreters of the mixed zone, a tactical system that best combined the characteristics of two opposing football philosophies, the Italian catenaccio and the Dutch total football.

That was how the teams coached by Trapattoni between 1970 and 1990 displayed their midfield as a flagship, difficult to read by the opponents, where the role of the director was emphasized, who was free to move from the defensive zone to set the game to the offensive zone to finalize the action.


In the football world, many critics, players, fans and his colleagues consider Trapattoni to be one of the best coaches in the history of football. He was named in 2007 by the British newspaper Times in the list of the fifty best coaches in football history and then six years later in the special list of the twenty greatest coaches by the US channel ESPN. Last but not least, he was inducted into the Italian football hall of fame in the Italian coach category in 2012.

Giovanni Trapattoni outside Football

He published his autobiographical book Non dire gatto (Don't say cat) in September 2015, which he wrote in collaboration with Bruno Longhi. During the summer of 2018, he was appointed honorary president of San Venanzo, an amateur team from the eponymous Umbrian town.

Giovanni Trapattoni Personal Life

In this section of Giovanni Trapattoni biography, we will take a look into his personal life and share some information about

Giovanni Trapattoni religion


Giovanni Trapattoni life story


Family, Children and Relationships

He met Paola Miceli during the 1960 Olympic tournament in Rome and kept on seeing her thanks to his military service, which allowed him to move to the capital. In 1964, the couple got married in Grottaferrata and the best man was former minister Alberto Folchi. The couple has two children, Alberto and Alessandra.


As one of the famous Italian football coaches, we have seen Giovanni Trapattoni attend many charity projects and support different fundraisers with charitable causes during all these years.

Legal Issues

There are no reports of legal issues or disputes regarding Giovanni Trapattoni on the media.

Giovanni Trapattoni Career Statistics

In this section of Giovanni Trapattoni biography, we take a look into his club and managerial career stats.


During his club career, Trap has played a total of 351 matches for Milan and Varese and scored 3 goals, which almost all of it were with the Milanese club.


Between 1960 and 1964, Trapattoni played a total of 17 matches for his country and scored one goal.


During his managing career, Trap has a win ratio of 51.41 percent, with 729 wins, 411 draws and 278 defeats in a total of 1418 matches.

Giovanni Trapattoni Honors

As a player, Trap has won Serie A, Coppa Italia, European Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup, all with AC Milan.

He has also won Serie A, Coppa Italia, European Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Cup, Bundesliga and many other trophies with different clubs. He also won the 2011 Nations Cup with Ireland national team.

His most notable individual awards include European Football Coach of the Year, World Soccer 19th Greatest Manager of All Time, France Football 12th Greatest Manager of All Time and many others.

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