Tue 09 November 2021 | 17:30

Top Facts about Ciro Ferrara, the Italian Defender

Ciro Ferrara was one of the greatest Italian defenders of his generation. Although he could not play at some of the international tournaments, he had glorious years at S.S.C Napoli and Juventus. In this article, we will take a look at top facts about Ciro Ferrara.

Ciro Ferrara, who is an Italian former football player and manager was born on 11 February 1967. Ferrara’s most recent position was as coach of Wuhan Zall. He had also formerly coached Juventus and the Italy national under-21 team. As an assistant coach to 

Marcello Lippi

, Ciro Ferrara lifted the 2006 FIFA World Cup with Italy senior team.

One of the top facts about Ciro Ferrara is that he spent his playing professional career as a centre-back, initially at 


 and then at 


. He won seven total Serie A championships as well as other national and international titles. At international level, he played for Italy at the 1988 Summer Olympics, at two UEFA European Championships, in 1988 and 2000, and at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Top Facts about Ciro Ferrara, the Italian Defender

Now let’s take a look at top facts about Ciro Ferrara.

Ciro Ferrara at a glance

  • Date of birth

    : 11 Februrary, 1967

  • Place of birth

    : Naples, Italy

  • Age

    : 54

  • Height

    : Not known

  • Citizenship

    : Italy

  • Position

    : Defender - Centre-Back

  • Foot

    : Right

  • Current status

    : Retired

  • Date of Retirement

    : May, 2005

  • Contract status

    : -

Ciro Ferrara club professional career

One of the top facts about Ciro Ferrara is that he began his career with the youth system of hometown club Napoli in 1980 as he was a native of the city of Naples. Ciro graduated the primavera youth team in 1984, and start to earn first team call-ups that season.

Ciro Ferrara made 14 total appearances with the team in his debut full season. The next season, Ferrara became a player of the starting XI, and he shortly began earning call-ups to the Italy national team and he was one of the players of the team for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Ciro Ferrara also netted one of Napoli's goals as they won the 1989 UEFA Cup final. In addition to the UEFA Cup, with Napoli Ferrara lifted two Serie A trophies in 1986–87 and 1989–90, the 1987 Coppa Italia final, and the 1990 Supercoppa Italiana, the latter was gained by beating his next team, Juventus.

Ciro Ferrara at Juventus

One of the facts about Ciro Ferrara is that in the summer of 1994, he transferred to Turin-based team Juventus under manager Marcello Lippi, and was rapidly introduced into the starting XI, playing in more than 40 matches for the Juventus in all tournaments in his first season, netting one goal.

Ciro Ferrara is regarded as one of the greatest central defenders of his generation, not surrendering his starting position for the team for the next ten years. Ciro Ferrara was also the captain of the team from 1995 to 1996 and became one of the most skilled and decorated football players of the past two decades, winning eight Serie A titles, six of which were with Juventus, and two with Napoli.

Ciro Ferrara also won two Coppa Italia championships (one with each club), three Supercoppa Italiana trophies (two with Juventus, one with Napoli) and numerous European tournaments, including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, Intercontinental Cup and European Super Cup). Ciro Ferrara’s role as the captain of Juventus, nevertheless, was taken over by Alessandro Del Piero in 1996.

During the course of his Juventus career, Ciro Ferrara played a significant role in the team's defence, with his enormous experienced and controlling defensive smartness. Throughout his 12-year term with the team, Ciro Ferrara shaped remarkable defensive partnerships with the players like Mark Iuliano, Moreno Torricelli, Paolo Montero, Gianluca Pessotto, 

Lilian Thuram

, Alessandro Birindelli, Igor Tudor, Gianluca Zambrotta, Nicola Legrottaglie and 

Fabio Cannavaro


Juventus had what was considered as the greatest defence in the world at this time, and it was very difficult for other teams to score a goal against the team. They knew how hard it would be to score a goal against them.

The 1996–97 season was one of his best seasons at the club. He netted 4 goals in 32 Serie A games, while also played in eight matches for Italy national team.

After the Scudetto-winning season, Ciro Ferrara, along with experienced defensive teammates Mark Iuliano and Paolo Montero, ended their Juventus professional careers.

While Paolo Montero returned to Uruguay and Mark Iuliano chose to move to smaller teams to end his professional career, Ciro Ferrara retired from football in May 2005 at the age of 38. He made just four Serie A appearances in his final season with the team. In the next season, Juventus was involved in the 2006 Italian football scandal, "Calciopoli" and Juventus' 2004–05 trophy was later revoked.

Ciro Ferrara International career

One of the

top facts about Ciro Ferrara

is that he played in 49 matches for Italy national team including 1 match at the 1990 FIFA World Cup on home soil (where Italy finished in third place after a semi-final penalty shootout loss to Argentina) and at UEFA Euro 2000 (where Italy reached the final, losing to France on a golden goal).

Ciro Ferrara also played at Euro 1988, where Italy reached the semi-finals, although he did not play during the competition. The same year, Ferrara was a player of the Italy national team that finished in fourth place at the 1988 Summer Olympics after they reached the semi-final.

Ciro Ferrara style of play

Regarding his style of play, Ciro Ferrara was an elegant yet powerful and aggressive defender. Ferrara was known in his professional career for his tranquillity, anticipation, technical abilities, ball-playing skill, adaptability, and class, which allowed him to play anywhere along the back-line, both in the centre, as a man-marker (stopper), or as a full-back, usually on the right side, and permitted him to adapt to various formations and systems. 

Ciro Ferrara was a world-class defender and is considered as one of the greatest Italian centre-backs of his generation. Welsh former winger 

Ryan Giggs

 called Ferrara and his defensive teammate at Juventus Paolo Montero as "...the toughest defenders [he] played against", also adding that they were often very hard in their challenges. 

Furthermore, Polish former midfielder Zbigniew Boniek has said that Ciro Ferrara was the greatest defender he ever faced. An intelligent talent in his youth, Ciro later established himself as one of the greatest centre-backs in the world in his prime.

Ciro Ferrara was considered to be a thorough, skilled, reliable, thoughtful and successful defender, with a good positional sense, who was fast, athletic, tough in the air, a good tackler, and who shined at reading the game and marking his opponents. These skills enabled him to be effective in both a man-marking and a zonal marking defensive system.

In addition to his defensive abilities, Ciro Ferrara was also known for his attacking contribution as a centre-back, and was also capable of playing as a sweeper. In spite of his persistent playing style, he was also known to be a fair and correct player.

In addition to his ability as a defender, he was also known for his professionalism, control, strong character, and his impressive presence both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

Ciro Ferrara coaching career

One of the top facts about Ciro Ferrara is that he was part of the Italian technical staff for the 2006 World Cup. After he won the World Cup, Ciro Ferrara became part of Juventus' staff, joining his former team and national teammate Gianluca Pessotto, with Ferrara being named youth system director (responsabile settore giovanile), dealing generally with organisational aspects of the Juventus academy.

In July 2008, Ciro Ferrara took the UEFA Pro License coaching badges after he was trained at Coverciano, Florence. After Juventus fired 

Claudio Ranieri

 following a back to back of seven league games without a victory in the 2008–09 season, Ciro was named short-term head coach of Juventus on 18 May 2009 for the remaining two weeks of the season, with the goal of maintaining second place in the league table, and the opportunity of being appointed on a full-time basis for a longer period.

In his two matches as interim manager, Ferrara led Juventus to 3–0 and 2–0 victories over Siena and Lazio respectively, thus ensuring a second-place finish over rivals Milan. Due to these results, he emerged as a strong candidate for to take the job permanently for the next season. On 5 June 2009, Juventus officially proclaimed Ciro Ferrara appointment as manager for 2009–10 season.

During the summer, Juventus was strengthened with prominent signings such as Brazilian internationals Diego and Felipe Melo; 2006 FIFA World Cup champions Fabio Cannavaro and Fabio Grosso in defence; and young Uruguayan player Martín Cáceres, on loan.

After Juventus won their first four league matches, Ciro Ferrara's fortunes changed after Juve was unsuccessful to make the knockout stage of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League due to a 4–1 defeat by Bayern Munich at home in a match where a draw would have awarded Juve the qualification to the following phase, despite an encouraging start to the tournament.

Despite a victory over Derby d'Italia opponents Internazionale, Juventus embarked on a losing streak over the winter, particularly against minor sides such as Sicilian team Catania and recently promoted Bari.

Ciro Ferrara came under strong scrutiny from the media and there was much gossip about who would succeed him as the next Juve coach, especially after he was absent at the traditional meeting of all Serie A managers, coaches and referees in Rome during mid-season. It was instead attended by then-Juventus director of sport Alessio Secco and 23-year-old midfielder Claudio Marchisio at the press conference.

Six days later, Juventus were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Inter 2–1 at the San Siro, leading the board of directors to finally fire Ferrara after weeks of speculation regarding his position, replacing him with Alberto Zaccheroni until the end of the season.

On 22 October 2010, Ciro Ferrara was declared as new head coach of the Italy under-21 team, with his former teammate Angelo Peruzzi as his assistant. Under Ferrara, the Azzurrini remain undefeated in the 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifiers as of June 2012. On 2 July 2012, he left the country's U-21 team to coach newly promoted Serie A side Sampdoria for the 2012–13 season. Though, he was sacked on 17 December 2012.

Ciro Ferrara and Diego Maradona

As a football player of Napoli, Ciro Ferrara moved to Juventus, who were one of the rivals of his former club.

Diego Maradona

was his former teammate and it is interesting to know how he reacted when he knew one of his friends was going to join Napoli’s opponent in Italy.

Ciro Ferrara said, “He hugged me and said to me: 'If it is good for you, I wish you the best'”. 

He started a new era during his spell at Juventus. It was 1994 and the Juventus adventure began. They won five league titles, a Champions League, an Intercontinental Cup, just to mention the most important honours. 

Ferrara says, “We shared a lot. I was there when he first arrived at San Paolo, I was on the pitch behind him for all the years he played in Naples, I was there at his farewell to football at the Bombonera and he came to the end of my career.”

Ciro Ferrara and Gianluca Vialli

Ciro Ferrara said about Gianluca Vialli that “He called me every day to join him at Juventus. He was a great captain and he is a great man. Vialli along with Roberto Mancini were able to create the group that this summer (2021) gave us an amazing victory. We were not the strongest team in the European Championship, but we have become. And then I have many funny memories with Vialli, I was with him most of the time.”

Ciro Ferrara told one of his funny memories, “We were at the airport because we had an away match. At one point they asked me and Luca to follow a person who would lead us to Gianni Agnelli, who wanted to meet me. We got in the car. Then we arrived at the area of ​​private flights. The lawyer shook my hand and asked me, “But what was Maradona like?”. I started talking and he commented: “I would have loved to have him here at Juventus”. I joked that if the Bianconeri had also Diego, we would not have won anything. Diego is timeless and space-based. Then Agnelli asked me what Gianfranco Zola was like and greeted us. He asked nothing of me. With Vialli we laughed a lot at my embarrassment of that day.”

Ciro Ferrara comment on Jose Mourinho

Ciro Ferrara does not forget what Jose Mourinho did when he was sacked from Juventus and after so many years he wanted to thank the special one for his friendship. 

The former footballer, who is now a columnist for DAZN, reveals what happened, “When I was sacked by Juventus, the first one to call me to express his displeasure was Mourinho. He was the coach of Inter, a direct rival of Juve, and yet he telephoned, said nice words to me. I have never forgotten him and for this I thank him". 

Mourinho then took the floor, replying to his thanks: “I remember this fact. I know perfectly well what we feel on the day of a dismissal. I always try to stay close to my colleagues whom I consider friends or whom I respect.” 

Ciro Ferrara personal life

One of the top facts about Ciro Ferrara is that with his fellow Neapolitan friend and former defensive teammate Fabio Cannavaro, he has helped found a charity foundation, Fondazione Cannavaro Ferrara, focusing on the obtaining cancer research equipment and surgery for special cases of cancer for a hospital in their native Naples. The foundation also aims to help at risk youth in Naples.

Ciro Ferrara family

One of the top facts about Ciro Ferrara

is that he married to Paola Pallonetto and their marriage ended in 2017.

Ciro Ferrara has 2 sons, Paolo and Giovanbattista, and one daughter, Benedetta,

Benedetta Ferrara is the oldest daughter of the former Italian football player.

Benedetta Ferrara is the first daughter of Ciro Ferrara, who has become a grandfather.

Ciro Ferrara’s daughter was born in 1990. She graduated in Information Management and Corporate Communication, and on social media she has not given any particular information about her personal life.

She does not seem to particularly like drawing attention, and on her Instagram her profile appears to be armoured. The only information that emerges is about her career at a boutique in Turin, but nothing more.

Ciro Ferrara himself became a father at the age of 23, as he had

When he knew that he was going to become a grandfather, his joy did not go unnoticed, and he announced it publicly and he was so excited in front of the audience. Regarding the issue Ciro Ferrara said, “Even if my daughter had asked me to not to leak the news before the three months of pregnancy, I'm so happy that I had to say it“.

Ciro Ferrara honours

As a Player


  • Serie A in 1986–87, 1989–90

  • Coppa Italia in 1986–87

  • Supercoppa Italiana in 1990

  • UEFA Cup in 1988–89


  • Serie A in 1994–95, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03

  • Coppa Italia in 1994–95

  • Supercoppa Italiana in 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003

  • UEFA Champions League in 1995–96

  • UEFA Super Cup in 1996

  • UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1999

  • Intercontinental Cup in 1996

Italy National Team

  • FIFA World Cup third place in 1990

  • UEFA European Championship runner-up in 2000


  • ESM Team of the Year in 1996–97

  • Pallone d'Argento in 2003

  • FIFA XI (Reserve) in 2000

  • Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare "Gaetano Scirea" in 2003


  • 5th Class / Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in 1991

  • 4th Class / Officer: Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in 2000

As an Assistant coach


  • FIFA World Cup in 2006


Read more:



 for the 

latest football news

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.