Wed 04 May 2022 | 13:30

Top facts about Christian Panucci, former Italian player

Christian Panucci is an Italian former footballer and manager, who played as a defender in his playing career. Read on to find out more facts about Christian Panucci.

Christian Panucci was born on the 12th of April, 1973. He is an Italian former footballer and manager.

Christian Panucci’s age

is 49.

An important fact about Christian Panucci is that he was a defender throughout his playing career. He started his career as a right-back, but was also capable of playing on the left; when his speed deteriorated later in his career, he was mostly used as a center defender because to his aerial power.

An important fact about Christian Panucci is that he was a part of the Italian senior national team in the 1996 Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2004, and UEFA Euro 2008, scoring four goals in 57 appearances.

Following his retirement, Panucci joined the Russia national football team as an assistant manager to

Fabio Capello

in 2012. He was named head coach of Livorno in 2015 before joining Ternana in 2016.

The award of the Italian udette 'del a sorta', Seria B's equivalent of the best newcomer manager award, was one of his biggest triumphs in management to date. He was named Albania's national team coach in July 2017.

Top facts about Christian Panucci:

Christian Panucci, an

AC Milan

defender, was pacing the departure lounge at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City on Wednesday, July 17, 1996.

He was awaiting the first of two connecting flights that will return him to his native nation. It was late afternoon, he was exhausted, and to make things worse, he had just learned that his suitcase had inexplicably disappeared.

He thinks back to a few days before, when he was in Atlanta, Georgia, training for the 1996 Summer Olympics after Coach Cesare Maldini designated him captain of Italy. After suffering an injury during a normal warm-up match, he was forced to depart the Italian camp. He laments his good fortune and resumes his pacing.

With his TWA aircraft to Paris approaching its departure time and his baggage still missing, Panucci contacts an Alitalia airlines employee to explain his issue.

The sympathetic worker checks the itinerary and informs the passenger that tickets are available on a later aircraft that will take them directly to Milan. Unfortunately, it departs from Newark airport, which is around an hour away by taxi, traffic permitting.

Panucci determines that catching the later Alitalia flight makes more sense after having another strong coffee and analyzing his choices.

Not only would avoiding a stopover in Paris and a domestic flight from Rome to Milan boost his chances of being reunited with his belongings, but it would also prevent a stopover in Paris. He returns to the Alitalia counter to finalize the arrangements, completely ignorant that he has just taken a choice that would save his life.

The penultimate boarding call for TWA flight 800 from New York to Paris is made just before 8:00 p.m., as the two-time Serie A champion prepares to fly west to Newark. The aircraft taxis towards the runway and is granted the all-clear for take-off some minutes later, with the gate finally closed.

Flight 800 was never able to arrive in Paris. The Boeing 747 crashed into the water off the coast of Long Island only 46 minutes into its voyage, killing all 230 people on board.

It's no wonder that the 23-year-old was deeply affected by this astonishing turn of events. He felt as if he was living a second life from that point on, and he resolved to make every second matter.

Panucci had previously won two Italian League crowns, one Champions League trophy, two Italian Super Cups, and one UEFA Super Cup at that point in his career.

He was ready for a new adventure by the time he returned to Milan, and he didn't have to wait long for one to present itself.

Fabio Capello, the former Milan coach, gave the young defender the option to join him at

Real Madrid

in the Spanish La Liga in late 1996. The transfer came as a huge relief for the player, who had lately fallen out of favor with the Rossoneri's new manager, Arrigo Sacchi.

Few Italians have ever played in Spain at the time. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Aridex Calligaris, Sergio Del Pinto, and Angelo Bollano were the first to come, although none of them had much of an influence.

Damiano Longhi returned in Alicante in the summer of 1996, 45 years later, to play for freshly promoted Hercules.

The former Padova star, though, was on his way back to Italy after just six months and 13 appearances. Panucci's transfer, on the other hand, was unique. No Italian player has ever come to Spain with with a strong resume or a strong reputation. This was, of course, Real Madrid.

Being the first Italian to play for the Spanish giants was no hardship for him, and he spent no time in establishing himself on the squad. Madrid had just acquired highly-rated Porto right-back Carlos Secretario, but Panucci's arrival limited Secretario's time in the famed white jersey to only 13 appearances.

The former Genoa youth player made 96 games in the Spanish capital during his two-and-a-half seasons there, winning the Spanish League, the Champions League, and the Spanish Super Cup. Despite his achievements, he was not selected for the national squad.

He got more restless after playing for four different coaches during his stint at Los Blancos, and he often fought with his superiors. He was beloved with the fans, but he gained a reputation as a fiery maverick, so it was no surprise when, after receiving an offer from Inter, he packed his belongings and returned home in 1999.

The Savona native was unafraid to speak his opinion, and even his brush with death didn't stop him from being brutally honest. His early criticisms of Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi, as well as his subsequent altercations with Inter and Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi, had a bad influence on his international ambitions.

During his tenure at Real Madrid, he publicly chastised his teammates and had spats with players at numerous teams, notably Chelsea's Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and Roma's Alberto Aquilani.

Didier Deschamps

, Luigi Del Neri, Luciano Spaletti, Francesco Guidolin, Fabio Capello, and Enrico Preziosi were among the managers and club owners involved in later spats.

Despite his erratic personality and combative inclinations, he had a welcome time of stability with Roma throughout his eight-year stay. Between 2001 and 2009, he made 311 appearances for the capital club, scoring 29 goals and became the club's all-time leading scorer.

His achievements with the Giallorossi encouraged Roberto Donadoni, the Italian national team coach, to choose him for the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. He went on to become the oldest player to score an outfield goal in a European Championship finals match at the age of 34.

An important

fact about Christian Panucci

is that he made 57 appearances for his country during the course of his 14-year international career, scoring four goals. At Genoa's Stadio Luigi Ferraris, where he started his professional career, he received a standing ovation for his 50th cap.

Christian Panucci retired from football in 2010 following a short stint with Parma. Madrid supporters still remember the complicated Italian as a crucial player of the squad that won the Septima (the seventh European Cup).

He called it the finest moment of his career, and subsequently emphasized the team's confidence by saying, "We won the trophy nine months earlier; we had already won it in our thoughts."

Christian Panucci early life


Christian Panucci’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he was born and raised in Savona, the son of Vittorio, a postman by trade and militant, as well as a former Savona striker and then coach of the same team's youth sector, and Hana, who is originally from Prague.

Unfortunately, there is no more information available regarding

Christian Panucci’s parent


Christian Panucci professional career

Christian Panucci started his professional career with Genoa in 1990, then went to Milan in 1993, where he won multiple trophies, including two Serie A titles and the UEFA Champions League in 1994, when he played as a left-back in the final 4–0 triumph against



Although he began as a back-up to the starting defensive line-up of

Paolo Maldini

, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta, and Mauro Tassotti, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive lines of all time, his precocious performances allowed him to break into the starting line-up, earning him the Bravo Award in 1994.

He joined Real Madrid in 1996, following former Milan coach Fabio Capello, and was a regular right-back for the Spanish club, winning the La Liga championship in 1997 and his second UEFA Champions League in 1998.

In 1999, he returned to Italy to join Internazionale, but had little success, and was then loaned out to Chelsea in the Premier League the following season before joining Monaco in France.

He moved to Roma in 2001, where he was reunited with manager Capello once again, and stayed there until 2009. In his center-back position, he won two consecutive Coppa Italia championships in 2007 and 2008, as well as the Supercoppa Italiana, demonstrating his leadership and expertise. After a season with Parma, he retired in 2010.

Christian Panucci club career

Panucci began his professional career with Genoa in 1990, making his Serie A debut in the 1991–92 season; after his strong performances in the 1992–93 season, in which he scored three goals in 30 games, he transferred to A.C. Milan in July 1993, at the age of 20.


An important fact about Christian Panucci is that he was brought in as a younger, more attack-minded replacement for incumbent right-back Mauro Tassotti, who had held the position for more than a decade, and was supposed to be a back-up.

Panucci, on the other hand, proceeded to push his way into the starting lineup under Fabio Capello, featuring in 19 league matches and scoring twice as Milan won both the domestic and European championships.

In the 1994 UEFA Champions League Final, he played left-back, with Tassotti on the right and Paolo Maldini and Filippo Galli in the center, filling in for the injured

Franco Baresi

and suspended Alessandro Costacurta, who were normally the club's starting central defensive pair; despite several key absences, Milan defeated Barcelona 4–0 to win the title.

Nonetheless, it was Tassotti, not Panucci, who flew to the United States with Arrigo Sacchi's Italian World Cup team that summer. Panucci received the Bravo Award as Europe's finest Under-23 player for his efforts.

An important fact about Christian Panucci is that he established himself as the club's first-choice right-back the following season, starting 28 of 34 Serie A matches and breaking into the senior national squad.

Milan began the season well, winning both the Supercoppa Italiana and the UEFA Super Cup, but ended fourth in the league, four points behind winners Juventus, while losing in the 1994 Intercontinental Cup final to Vélez Sársfield and the Champions League final to Ajax.

With internationals Baresi, Maldini, and Costacurta, Panucci had one of his finest offensive seasons in 1995–96, scoring five goals while helping to construct the league's tightest defense, and one of the greatest of all time, as Milan won the Italian title.

The Bosman verdict, on the other hand, ushered in a slew of new prospects throughout Europe. Panucci departed A.C. Milan halfway through the 1996–97 season after winning six championships with the club, joining former A.C. Milan coach Fabio Capello at Real Madrid.

Real Madrid

Panucci made history by being the first Italian to play for Real Madrid. With his great performances, he quickly deposed the previous right-back, Carlos Secretario, and created a very aggressive fullback tandem, beginning with Brazilian star Roberto Carlos, who played on the left.

Real Madrid had a successful spell on the field, winning the league in 1997, but it was a tumultuous period on the bench, with managers Capello, Jupp Heynckes, Guus Hiddink, and John Toshack all following one another in quick succession.

Panucci's career high point occurred in 1998, when he defeated Juventus in the Champions League final for the second time.

Thus, was not picked for the national squad once again, and he missed the World Cup under manager Cesare Maldini. Panucci chose to return to Italian football after a poor 1998–99 season in which Real Madrid only won the Intercontinental Cup, lost the UEFA Super Cup, and finished considerably behind rivals FC Barcelona in La Liga.


A notable fact about Christian Panucci is that he subsequently joined Inter in 1999 and played for them during the 1999–2000 season. During his tenure at Inter, Panucci was unable to reclaim his earlier form, and he constantly fought with manager Marcello Lippi, subsequently unable to earn playing time as the squad struggled through a terrible season.

Inter ended the season in fourth place in the league and advanced to the Coppa Italia final. In August 2000, he was loaned to Chelsea, where he scored once in the UEFA Cup against St. Gallen, but only made eight Premier League games without scoring.

He then transferred to AS Monaco in France for the second half of the season, where he made 9 league appearances and scored three goals. The next season, he made 5 league appearances for the team before returning to Italy to play for Roma in 2001.


Panucci ultimately settled in Roma after a lot of traveling during his career. He joined the Roman club in the 2001–02 season, a year after the Giallorossi won the national championship, and won the 2001 Supercoppa Italiana almost immediately.

A notable

fact about Christian Panucci

is that he went on to become a valuable member of the squad and one of its leaders, as well as the team's permanent starting right-back. He was permanently signed for €9.81 million in July 2002.

Panucci, a dependable leader both on and off the field, often assumed the duty of speaking for the squad in tough situations, such as after Roma's stunning Champions League elimination in 2007.

During the 2006–07 season, he was a key player for the club, scoring numerous goals and helping Roma win the Coppa Italia with his exploits, including a brace in a 6–2 triumph against Inter in the first leg of the final.

Panucci had a successful start to the 2007–08 season, winning the 2007 Supercoppa Italiana against Inter, but he lost his starting right-back spot to Cicinho and was mostly used as a back-up central defender.

Later in the season, he was able to claw his way back into the starting lineup, scoring numerous goals (five in Serie A and one in the UEFA Champions League) as Roma finished second in the league and successfully defended their Coppa Italia championship.

Despite the club's dismal record, his prolific attacking efforts continued into the 2008–09 season, when he scored two goals in the league against Reggina and Atalanta, and two more in the UEFA Champions League against Cluj and Chelsea.

Panucci was dismissed from Roma's first team squad on January 25, 2009, after refusing to sit on the bench for a league match against


. He was then withdrawn from the Champions League squad list as well.

A notable fact about Christian Panucci is that he announced his intention to leave Roma due to his strained relationship with manager Luciano Spalletti, but no serious bidder was found in the January transfer window, and he ultimately stayed, returning to the first team on February 28 after formally apologizing to his teammates and the club management.

He was sent off in the second Derby della Capitale of the 2008–09 season after a violent on-the-field brawl with Lazio's Stephan Lichtsteiner after a harsh tackle on the Swiss defender.

His contract with Roma, which he had signed in October 2005, expired on June 30, 2009, and he became a free agent. He appeared in 311 games for Roma, scoring 29 goals and became the club's all-time leading goal scorer.


Panucci signed a one-year contract with Parma on July 30, 2009, he made his Parma debut on August 23, 2009, away at Udinese in the opening match of the season, and scored his first goal for the club on December 13, 2009, against Bologna. Panucci departed Parma by mutual agreement on February 23, 2010, seven months after joining them.

A notable fact about Christian Panucci is that he declared his retirement from football on August 22nd, stating, "I got offers, but I simply don't have the desire anymore."

Christian Panucci international career

Under the direction of Cesare Maldini, Panucci had a great career with the Italian national under-21 football team, winning consecutive under-21 European Championship championships in 1994 and 1996.

Following a 1–1 draw in the final of the second edition of the tournament against Spain, he took and missed Italy's first penalty in a 4–2 shoot-out triumph.

A notable

fact about Christian Panucci

is that he made his senior Italy debut against Slovenia in a UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying match on September 7, 1994, after missing out on the Italy team that reached the final of the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

However, due to a disagreement with Italian national coach Arrigo Sacchi, he was left out of the final tournament roster.

Despite missing out on the European Championship roster, he was appointed captain of the Italian national team for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where he was coached by his old youth coach, Maldini.

Due to his lack of playing time and inconsistent performances with Inter during the following seasons, he was once again left out of Maldini's team for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and he was also left out of Dino Zoff's squad for UEFA Euro 2000; it was not until the 2002 World Cup, under manager Giovanni Trapattoni, that Panucci became a regular in the Italian team.

Panucci was heavily accused for failing to clear a ball that led to Seol Ki-equalizing Hyun's goal for co-hosts South Korea in the round of 16 in the final minutes of normal time; Ahn Jung-hwan scored the game's golden goal in extra time, knocking the Italian squad out of the tournament.

Panucci had also surrendered a disputed penalty in the first half of regular time, as referee Byron Moreno adjudged him to have brought down Seol Ki-Hyeon in the area; Ahn's spot shot, however, was saved by Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Following his participation in Italy's dismal Euro 2004 campaign in Portugal, where he assisted Antonio Cassano's goal in a 1–1 draw against Sweden in Italy's second group match, for more than three years, Panucci did not play for Italy.

Despite his excellent performances and the lack of genuine quality right-backs in Italy, he was overlooked by manager Marcello Lippi, with whom he had a falling out during his time at

Inter Milan

, during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, as Italy went on to win the final tournament in Germany.

Coach Roberto Donadoni, on the other hand, gave the 34-year-old a second opportunity when he called him up for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Georgia, Scotland, and the Faroe Islands.

In a 2–0 victory against Georgia in their Euro 2008 qualifying fixture at Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Panucci acknowledged his excitement at getting his 50th Italy cap in the venue where he started his career for the Azzurri.

Playing at an arena where I grew up was quite emotional for me. I'll never forget the standing ovation I got, even if it looked a bit staged.

Panucci scored his first international goal for Italy since April 2002 on November 17, 2007, when he headed a critical injury-time winner against Scotland in a Euro 2008 qualifying Group B encounter. After that, Italy was able to secure a spot in the European Championship finals.

Panucci became the oldest player to score in outfield play in the competition and Italy's all-time oldest goalscorer when he scored Italy's first goal of the tournament in a 1–1 draw against Romania on 13 June 2008, at the age of 35 years, 2 months and 1 day; the latter record was later broken by Fabio Quagliarella in 2019.

Later, he gave up a penalty, which Italy goalkeeper

Gianluigi Buffon

saved. Panucci played 57 times for Italy, scoring four goals in the process.

Christian Panucci playing style

Panucci was a fast, powerful, competitive, and flexible defender who played predominantly as a right-back but could also play on the left, in the center, or as a wing-back.

Despite being criticized at times for being overly temperamental or for having occasional lapses in concentration, he established a reputation as a calm, defensive-minded full-back who was known for his work-rate, defensive consistency, and comfort in possession; he also possessed significant stamina, as well as notable physical and athletic attributes.

His aerial prowess, combined with his accurate distribution, precise crossing, good technical skills, and ability to make attacking runs down the flank, allowed him to contribute offensively to his team's play, with goals and assists; with 34 goals in Serie A, he is among the most prolific defenders in the league's history.

As he lost his speed, he mostly played as a center defense, where he earned the moniker "El Grinta" from commentator Carlo Zampa for his leadership, persistence, and tactical brilliance.

Christian Panucci coaching career

In 2013, he earned his UEFA Pro Licence. He was hired manager of Serie B club Livorno on March 18, 2015, replacing Ezio Gelain. He was named head coach of Ternana in June 2016, and he signed a one-year deal.


Panucci was named head coach of the Albanian national football team on July 19, 2017, after signing a two-year, four-month deal with the Albanian Football Association. He succeeded fellow Italian coach Gianni De Biasi, who had quit the previous month.

In July 2017, he began his job by flying to Basel, Switzerland, to witness Taulant Xhaka play for FC Basel. Xhaka, on the other hand, was an unused replacement in the game and was afterwards forced to train on the field by Basel's coach, along with all other unused substitutes in that game.

Panucci waited outside the stadium after the game with his assistant Ervin Bulku to see Xhaka, but this meeting did not materialize because Xhaka, unhappy with Basel's coach choice, went home immediately and did not notice Panucci's SMS. Panucci then traveled to Zürich to visit Burim Kukeli, a fellow Albanian midfielder who played for FC Zürich.

Panucci brought three new players to his first meeting with the Albanian national team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Liechtenstein and Macedonia on September 2 and 5, 2017.

Iván Balliu, a Spanish-born Albanian descent who previously played for Spain's under-17 team, Valon Ahmedi, and Hysen Memolla, both former Albanian under-21 internationals, were among the newcomers.

He led Albania to a 2–0 win against Liechtenstein in his debut match in charge on September 2 at the Elbasan Arena.

Following a 2–0 home defeat to Turkey in the first UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match on March 22, 2019, Panucci was fired the next day; in 15 matches as Albania's head coach, he only managed four victories and two draws.

Christian Panucci social media


Christian Panucci social media

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

Christian Panucci body measurements

Speaking about

Christian Panucci body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 184cm and 73kg.

Christian Panucci net worth and salary

Christian Panucci's net worth

is estimated to be around $14 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

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