Wed 04 May 2022 | 4:30

Top facts about Roberto Donadoni, Former Italy Manager

Roberto Donadoni was one of the best footballers in the history of Italian football. He started his coaching career in the 2000s. Read on to find out more facts about Roberto Donadoni.

Roberto Donadoni Cavaliere OMRI

(born September 9, 1963) is an Italian football manager and former player. Donadoni was a versatile player who could play on either wing or in the center.

Roberto Donadoni’s age

is 58. Here you can find out the most important facts about Roberto Donadoni, the coach.

An important fact about Roberto Donadoni is that he started his career at Atalanta and eventually became a key member of AC Milan's late 1980s and early 1990s powerhouse squad, winning both domestic and international titles during his tenure with the club.

He was a pioneer of Major League Soccer in his latter career, playing two seasons with the NY/NJ MetroStars before finishing his career with Saudi Premier League club Ittihad in 2000.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Donadoni was a key player of the Italy national team. He competed for his nation in the European Championships in 1988 and 1996, as well as the FIFA World Cups in 1990 and 1994.

With Italy, he reached the Euro 1988 semi-finals and won bronze and silver medals in the World Cups in 1990 and 1994, respectively.

Top facts about Roberto Donadoni:

Donadoni rose to prominence after joining

AC Milan

from Atalanta in 1986, where he helped the club achieve promotion from Serie B in 1984, and then representing Italy at two World Cups and the 1988 and 1996 European Championships. "My greatest gratification comes from making the pass that leads to the goal," Donadoni famously stated.

Roberto Donadoni early life


Roberto Donadoni’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he was born on September 9, 1963, in Cisano Bergamasco, which is 16 kilometers from Lecco and 18 kilometers from Bergamo, into a peasant family who owned a plot of land and a barn.

Speaking about

Roberto Donadoni’s parents

, it is worth mentioning that their family was large, as were many other families in Italy's provincial towns (father, Roberto, had 11 brothers and sisters, and mother, Giacomina, had 5 sisters). Roberto is the fourth of four children, with older brothers Giorgio and Gigliola, as well as a sister, Maria Rosa.

Cisano Bergamasco's population is primarily agricultural; corn and grapes are grown here. Until now, nature has been Roberto's favorite vacation destination, claiming that he "suffocates" in the city.

Donadoni, along with his brothers, joined the local youth team "Chisanese", competing on the field behind the church parish with the same teams of local boys.

Brother Roberto Giorgio was the best player in the club, but when he was injured, he went to the bankers on the advice of the family's father, and Roberto continued playing sports. Donadoni, who demonstrated good football skills at the age of 12, received his first pair of Adidas Rivera boots.

Roberto Donadoni personal life

Donadoni is married to Christina, and they have a son, Andrea, who was born in 1989. Andrea's assessment of Roberto's teams' performance is critical to his father. Donadoni is envious, but tries to keep it in check.

During Roberto's performance in Saudi Arabia, the couple lived apart for two months due to the country's ban on women wearing anything other than a black tunic, which they put on Christina immediately after she arrived at the airport, and also due to the tradition that forbids women from eating at the same table as men in restaurants.

An important fact about Roberto Donadoni is that he describes himself as a "practicing Catholic," which means he never asks God to influence the outcome of a match. Donadoni attends church every Sunday and prays in difficult times in his life, but not for match results.

He believes that the Pope's decision should be followed in determining whether abortions should be prohibited or permitted. Donadoni is not a believer in omens or "lucky" items to carry around to bring good fortune. Donadoni is open to same-sex marriage, but he defines family as father and mother.

Donadoni despises lies, hypocrisy, and people who like to pretend more than anything else in the world. Donadoni believes in his friends and says they can always rely on him; he considers sincerity, even if it is unpleasant for him, to be the foundation of friendship.

An important

fact about Roberto Donadoni

is that he believes that there is no point in living unless one has personal freedom and love, and he promotes respect for others and their points of view, as well as altruism in all its forms.

Donadoni prefers sportswear and claims that a tie suffocates him. Despite his gray hair, Donadoni refuses to dye it, believing that gray hair is a sign of the past.

Donadoni's favorite food is championship spaghetti with meat sauce, but he also enjoys Japanese and Mexican cuisine.

Roberto Donadoni enjoys sports such as golf, which he once played with Silvio Berlusconi, and cinema, particularly science fiction.

During the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy, Roberto used his own money to purchase 15,000 masks, gloves, and protective suits for Bergamo.

Roberto Donadoni professional career

An important fact about Roberto Donadoni is that he has built a profession out of blending in. As a player, he was a key member of

Arrigo Sacchi

's and subsequently Fabio Capello's famed Milan teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s, winning practically every local and international trophy available at the time.

Donadoni was a skilled player who excelled as a right-sided midfielder. He had great endurance and speed. He accomplished all the little things that don't show up on the scorecard, but they were frequently the deciding factors in their results.

He played with legendary Italian defenders like as Franco Baresi,

Paolo Maldini

, and Mauro Tassotti, as well as renowned attackers like Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, and George Weah.

Donadoni became a manager after retiring at the age of 37, and had the opportunity to coach Italy in the years after their 2006 World Cup victory, as well as Italian teams Napoli, Cagliari, Parma, and, most recently, Bologna.

Following his playing career, Donadoni started his managerial career in 2001, with stops at Italian teams Lecco, Livorno, and Genoa. Later, he was named head coach of the Italy national team, following Marcello Lippi, who resigned after the 2006 World Cup victory.

With Donadoni as coach, Italy reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2008, losing on penalties to eventual winners Spain.

Despite having signed a contract extension before to the start of Euro 2008, Donadoni was fired on June 26, 2008, citing a provision in the contract that allowed for termination if Italy failed to reach the semi-finals. Lippi, who had previously served as the national team manager, took his position.

Another important fact about Roberto Donadoni is that he led Napoli, Cagliari, and Parma after leaving his role as Italy's head coach, until the latter's bankruptcy in 2015. The next season, he joined Bologna.

Roberto Donadoni club playing career

Donadoni began his professional career at Atalanta, where he won the Serie C1 championship in 1982 and the Serie B title in 1984.

AC Milan

In 1986, he joined AC Milan and quickly established himself as a key member of the renowned squad that dominated Italy and Europe in the late 1980s and early-to-mid 1990s.

An important fact about Roberto Donadoni is that he was a key member of Milan's squads under both Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello, winning six Serie A championships, three European Cups, four Supercoppa Italiana, three European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups during his stint with the club.

Despite failing to win the Coppa Italia with Milan, Donadoni made it to the final twice, in 1989–90 and 1997–98.

In a match against Red Star Belgrade during the 1988–89 European Cup campaign, Donadoni was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured jaw following a brutal tackle from Goran Vasilijevic.

He needed treatment on the field to prevent him from choking and was brought to the hospital, where he quickly recovered consciousness.

He scored a goal in a 5-0 victory against Real Madrid CF in the 1989 European Cup semi-finals on April 19, 1989. He assisted Gullit's goal in a 4-0 triumph against Steaua București in the European Cup final.

In a 4–0 triumph against

FC Barcelona

in the UEFA Champions League final, he assisted on Daniele Massaro's goal.


He went on to play in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States after earning his sixth Serie A championship with Milan. When he was signed by the MLS's NY/NJ MetroStars in 1996, he became a focal point of the team. He was called up to the Italy national team during his first year with the Metros.

He was selected to the league's Best XI in 1996 and was also named an MLS Eastern Conference All-Star, defeating the Western Conference MLS All-Stars 3–2 in the inaugural 1996 MLS All-Star Game.

Unfortunately, Donadoni's performance did not lead to the MetroStars' success as a team. Donadoni scored six goals with the MetroStars in total.

Milan and Al-Ittihad's

After the 1997 MLS season, Donadoni returned to Milan for a short while, assisting Fabio Capello in leading the team to another Coppa Italia final in 1998.

In 1999, he won his sixth and last Serie A championship, this time under Alberto Zaccheroni. Donadoni scored 18 Serie A goals in 287 games for Milan, and 23 goals in 390 matches in all competitions.

He finished his career by playing for Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia for a brief while, winning the Saudi Premier League in 1999–2000, and then retired from professional football.

Roberto Donadoni international career

Career highlights include a youth career, senior debut, Euro 88, and the 1990 World Cup. Donadoni made his senior debut for Italy on October 8, 1986, in a 2–0 win against Greece under Azeglio Vicini.

A notable

fact about Roberto Donadoni

is that he was a part of the Italy under-21 national football team, which reached the final of the 1986 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

He quickly established himself as a major player of his national team, helping Italy reach the semi-finals of Euro 1988 and then playing in the 1990 FIFA World Cup on home soil, when he helped Italy finish third.

In the crucial semi-final shoot-out against reigning champions and eventual runners-up Argentina, he unfortunately missed one of the penalties.

Overall, he made five appearances throughout the tournament, missing the round of 16 triumph against Uruguay and the bronze medal match victory over England due to injury.

Donadoni again played in the 1994 World Cup under Arrigo Sacchi, assisting Italy to a second-place finish, when they were beaten on penalties by Brazil once again. Donadoni, on the other hand, did not take a penalty in the final shoot-out this time.

He assisted on Dino Baggio's goal in Italy's 2–1 quarter-final win over Spain, and also delivered the throw-in on the left side from which Roberto Baggio scored his first goal in Italy's 2–1 semi-final triumph against Bulgaria.

He also played in all three group matches for Italy at Euro 1996, which would be his last international competition before retiring from the national team.

On June 19, 1996, he made his last appearance for Italy in the final group match, which finished in a 0–0 draw against eventual winners Germany, knocking the Italians out of the competition in the first round. Donadoni made a total of 63 appearances for Italy, scoring five goals in the process.

Roberto Donadoni coaching career

A notable fact about Roberto Donadoni is that he went on to become a coach after retiring as a player. His first employment was as Lecco, and he debuted in the Coppa Italia Lega Pro on August 12, 2001.

Following that, he worked for Livorno (2002–03) and Genoa (2003–05). In 2005, he took over as coach of Livorno in the middle of the season.

Donadoni resigned after receiving criticism from club chairman Aldo Spinelli after guiding them to an unexpected ninth-place finish and had the team in sixth position halfway through the 2005–06 season.


Following the departure of Marcello Lippi three days after Italy's 2006 World Cup victory, Donadoni was selected as the new Italian head coach in July 2006, with his first responsibility being to successfully guide Italy through UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying.

Donadoni made his head coaching debut on August 16 in a friendly match against Croatia at Stadio Armando Picchi in Livorno, which included none of the 23 world champions, except for third goalkeeper Marco Amelia, and resulted in a 2–0 loss.

Donadoni found comfort in the knowledge that Lippi's first match in command of the Azzurri, against Iceland, was similarly a friendly loss.

In Euro 2008 qualification, Donadoni made his competitive debut. Italy drew 1–1 with Lithuania in the first match, then lost 3–1 to France in the second.

As a result, the front page of the Italian daily La Nazione published the headline, "How to reduce Lippi's opus to bits in barely three weeks," pleading for Lippi's return.

Despite the criticism, Donadoni led Italy to five consecutive victories against Georgia (3–1), Ukraine (2–0), and Scotland (2–0), the latter of which was contentious due to the exclusion of star Alessandro Del Piero from the team.

One of the most common complaints leveled at Donadoni by the media was his supposed lack of pressure in getting

Francesco Totti

to return to the Azzurri. When asked about a probable call-up for the Roma player, Donadoni joked that he didn't know who he was.

Despite a rough start, Italy qualified for Euro 2008 following a good campaign, leading the group ahead of France. They qualified for the tournament by defeating Scotland 2–1 in Glasgow.

Former Milan teammate Marco van Basten gave Donadoni the heaviest defeat for Italy's national team in almost 25 years, a 3–0 loss against the Netherlands, on June 9, 2008. Due to the absence of Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro due to injury, Donadoni was heavily chastised for his team selection.

His squad drew the next encounter with Romania on June 13, despite some questionable calling that saw a goal called back in both of these games, drawing widespread condemnation of the referees.

On June 17, the squad defeated France 2–0 to go to the quarter-finals, where they would face Spain, the eventual winners.

The match ended in a 0–0 tie, marking the first occasion Spain was kept scoreless in normal time throughout the tournament. The Spaniards, on the other hand, triumphed 4–2 on penalties.

Following Italy's poor performance in the tournament, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) fired Donadoni on June 26, 2008, and replaced him with Lippi.


Napoli confirmed the appointment of Donadoni as their new head coach on March 10, 2009, after the dismissal of Edoardo Reja after five years in charge. Reggina drew 1–1 in Donadoni's debut match in charge.

A notable fact about Roberto Donadoni is that he was fired as Napoli manager after a 2–1 defeat to Roma on October 6, 2009. Former Sampdoria coach Walter Mazzarri took his post.


On November 16, 2010, it was reported that Donadoni will replace Pierpaolo Bisoli as head coach of Serie A relegation fighters Cagliari.

Cagliari won its next two matches after joining, 2–1 against Brescia on November 21 and 3–2 against Lecce on November 28.

Donadoni was fired by Cagliari chairman Massimo Cellino on August 12, 2011, two weeks before the start of the 2011–12 Serie A season.

According to Italian media reports, there were disagreements between Donadoni and Cellino over the sale of Alessandro Matri to Juventus and the incident involving David Suazo, who first attended the pre-season training camp only to be asked to leave a few days later.

In December 2011, Donadoni was in discussions with Persepolis of Iran's Pro League. However, no agreement could be achieved.


Donadoni was named head coach of Serie A side Parma on January 9, 2012, succeeding Franco Colomba. Parma's condition in the league standings was serious when he arrived, as the team was on the verge of relegation.

Parma's performances improved quickly under Donadoni, with the team setting a new record by winning seven consecutive Serie A games.


would complete the season in eighth position in the league standings, tied for eighth place with Roma on points.

Donadoni's first contract was set to expire in 2013, but it was extended by two years in October 2012, making it the longest contract with a head coach that club president Tommaso Ghirardi has ever signed. Despite early worries of relegation, Parma excelled towards the conclusion of the 2012–13 season, finishing in a comfortable tenth position.

Parma finished sixth in Serie A in 2014, and Donadoni helped the team qualify for the UEFA Europa League for the first time since 2007.

However, their participation in the competition was halted due to late payment of income tax on wages, as well as the club's failure to qualify for a UEFA license, for which the team was punished seven points during the 2014–15 Serie A season.

Parma's serious financial woes continued the following season, eventually leading to the club's bankruptcy in March 2015, resulting in relegation. Despite the FIGC's decision to allow the team to continue the season in Serie A, they finished last in the league, in 20th place.

Donadoni, who claimed that he had not been paid since July 2014, along with the rest of the Parma staff and players, departed the club at the conclusion of the season.


A notable

fact about Roberto Donadoni

is that he was named as the head coach of newly promoted Serie A team Bologna in October 2015, replacing Delio Rossi. Bologna and Donadoni parted ways on May 24, 2018.


Donadoni was named manager of Chinese club Shenzhen on July 30, 2019.

Roberto Donadoni legacy

Donadoni has quietly joined the ranks of successful Italian managers who have built a reputation for themselves throughout the world, just as he did when he roamed the Milan midfield in front of 70,000 spectators at the San Siro. He does not get the same level of respect as Antonio Conte or Carlo Ancelotti, a former Milan colleague.

"He's the kind of guy anybody would want as a friend.” Sacchi, who currently works as a television football analyst in Italy, said, "He was a great player and is a brilliant coach.

"He has a great coaching approach and is a nice guy. I coached him for approximately ten years, alternating between Milan and the national team, and I never had to discipline him. He always offered all he had.”

"With his teammates, he was incredibly generous. He was always willing to run, suffer, and fight for his comrades. He was a good role model for them.

He was the sort that arrived for training early and took his training extremely seriously. He was a hard worker with a strong work ethic. Overall, he had the necessary skills to participate in a team sport. As a result, it's no wonder that he's become a successful manager."

As Bologna manager, Donadoni paced the sidelines every weekend. Donadoni is more than a competent manager, as shown by his mop of curly hair, which has been chopped a little shorter and notably greyer.

He brings out the best in his guys, a characteristic he had as a teammate. He also exudes positivism in subtle ways, and has aided Bologna in overachieving at times, coming perilously near to the top half of the Serie A standings at times.

A place in the Europa League would be regarded an achievement for a team with Bologna's great tradition but modest financial means.

Donadoni isn't frightened of failure, either. Despite his many achievements – including three European Cups and six Serie A crowns — Donadoni missed a crucial penalty against Argentina in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals, causing Italy to lose out on the final despite playing on home territory.

Four years later, at USA 94, he was a member of the squad that lost the final to Brazil on penalties. Those were both heartbreaking losses, but Donadoni had the correct attitude and energy after each match.

Donadoni isn't one to yell at players, and he's usually silent. When others bark, he might get pensive. This trait is sometimes mistaken for boredom.

Rather, it is a characteristic that has served him well in the past. His reserved demeanor should not be misconstrued for weakness.

When Donadoni took over as manager of Napoli in March 2009, he imposed fines on players who were more than 10 minutes late to practice, for each time a cell phone rang during team meetings, and for failing to correctly arrange their shoes in the appropriate changing room compartment.



, he had instilled discipline and gotten the most out of young players like forwards Simone Verdi and Mattia Destro. During his tenure at Bologna, the Italian had developed both players, and the results.

Sacchi said, "I always rated players based on their talents and capacity to give of themselves." "As a result, any player I coached might have gone on to manage. It's not so much about his brains as it is about his desire. I've seen him teach and lead training sessions, and I must say that I appreciated it since it was well-organized."

Donadoni, like every other Italian, can be passionate. He used to celebrate goals with zeal, embracing teammates and showing his feelings by pumping his fist in the air while smiling.

When a ball in the final third went astray or his side conceded a goal, he expressed his unhappiness — largely directed at himself. He routinely yells out to his players from the technical area like a manager, ensuring that they follow his stringent tactical directives.

As a player and a coach, the former midfielder never shied away from taking chances. Donadoni joined with the NY/NJ MetroStars of the then-new Major League Soccer in 1996, following ten years with Milan.

His skill improved the squad, but his low-key attitude wasn't what a new league required. Donadoni was no Pelé, who led the New York Cosmos to a championship in 1977 and served as a fantastic ambassador for a nation that had not yet really embraced football.

In its infinite wisdom, MLS decided that flare and pizazz were more important than class and elegance.

Donadoni became a fan favorite, despite the fact that he was never a household name in the United States. The Italian was recognized by the country's football elite, but not by the average baseball fan. Donadoni's brilliance won him a recall to Italy's squad ahead of Euro 96.

He returned to AC Milan after two seasons in New York, where he played until 1999. He came to the end of his career, like so many other aging athletes, searching for one final payday. After signing with Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, he relocated to the Middle East and helped the team win the domestic championship in 1999/2000.

Roberto Donadoni social media


Roberto Donadoni social media

, it should be mentioned that he does not have any pages on any social media platforms.

Roberto Donadoni body measurements

Speaking about

Roberto Donadoni body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the coach is 173cm and 68kg.

Roberto Donadoni net worth and salary

Roberto Donadoni's net worth

is estimated to be around $12 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


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