Alberto Zaccheroni

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Alberto Zaccheroni
Alberto Zaccheroni.jpg
Personal information
Full name Alberto Zaccheroni
Date of birth (1953-04-01) 1 April 1953 (age 69)
Place of birth Meldola, Italy
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Position(s) Full-back[1]
Teams managed
Years Team
1983–1985 Cesenatico
1985–1987 Riccione
1987–1988 Boca San Lazzaro
1988–1990 Baracca Lugo
1990–1993 Venezia
1993–1994 Bologna
1994–1995 Cosenza
1995–1998 Udinese
1998–2001 Milan
2001–2002 Lazio
2003–2004 Internazionale
2006–2007 Torino
2010 Juventus
2010–2014 Japan
2016 Beijing Guoan
2017–2019 United Arab Emirates
Men's football
Representing  Japan (as manager)
AFC Asian Cup
Winner 2011

Alberto Zaccheroni (Italian pronunciation: [alˈbɛrto ddzakkeˈroːni]; born 1 April 1953) is an Italian football manager, formerly in charge of the United Arab Emirates and Japan national football teams.

He has managed a number of top clubs in Serie A, the high point of his career being his stint as manager of A.C. Milan (1998–2001), with whom he won a scudetto, in his first season in charge (1998–99). Other notable clubs coached by Zaccheroni include Lazio, Inter and Juventus, all as interim coach for part of a season. He won the Asian Cup in 2011 as manager of Japan. Zaccheroni is also renowned for his unconventional and trademark 3–4–3 tactical system.


Zaccheroni played as a full-back on both the left and the right wing,[1] without much success, and his playing career was cut short by injury. He therefore became a manager at the relatively young age of 30 with amateur club Cesenatico. He won the Serie C2 and Serie C1, the fourth and the third highest football leagues in Italy. His managerial career took off when he was in charge of Udinese.


Zaccheroni was appointed manager of Udinese in 1995. The 1996–97 season saw Udinese qualify for the UEFA Cup. In the following season, they managed a 3rd place finish behind champions Juventus and runners-up Inter, largely thanks to Oliver Bierhoff's 27 goals.


Zaccheroni's results at Udinese attracted the attention of Silvio Berlusconi, owner of Italian giants A.C. Milan, who appointed him as manager after the San Siro club had endured two miserable seasons, despite their expensive, star-studded squad (George Weah, Leonardo, Paolo Maldini etc.). Zaccheroni asked Berlusconi to sign two key players from Udinese to accompany him to Milan: German striker Oliver Bierhoff and Danish right wing-back Thomas Helveg. Berlusconi obliged, and both players joined Zaccheroni in his new club.

Zaccheroni delivered instantly, as Milan conquered the Serie A in his first season in charge, overcoming Lazio and Fiorentina to the title, after seven straight wins in the last seven matches, with Zaccheroni employing an attacking 3–4–3 (or 3–4–1–2) formation that made good use of Milan's forwards, attacking midfielders and wing-backs.[2]

The following season was less successful for Zaccheroni as Milan crashed out of the Champions League early, and, despite finishing 3rd in Serie A, were never really in the running for the title. The 2000–01 season was even worse for Zaccheroni and would be his last in charge, as Milan had a poor run in the Serie A, at one time finding themselves barely above the relegation zone (eventually they finished 6th); in the Champions League they had a good start in the First Group Stage, topping their group (which included Barcelona, Leeds United and Beşiktaş), but were eventually eliminated in the Second Group Stage. As the Champions League Final was about to take place at the San Siro, the backlash was immense, and this led Berlusconi to sack Zaccheroni and replace him with caretaker manager Cesare Maldini on 14 March 2001, one day after Milan's elimination from the Champions League.

As manager of Milan, Zaccheroni was successful and prescient in some of his signings; Oliver Bierhoff, Kakha Kaladze, Gennaro Gattuso and, above all, Andriy Shevchenko would become key players for the club. On the other hand however, transfers like those of José Mari were expensive flops, and he was also criticised for letting top centre-back Roberto Ayala leave Milan and move to Valencia; Ayala was generally unhappy in his two seasons at Milan (making 13 appearances in 1998–99 and 22 in 1999–2000) as there was stiff competition in defence with established players like Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta.


Zaccheroni was without a job for a few months before Lazio came calling, after Dino Zoff had resigned. The Rome-based club had endured a terrible start to the 2001–02 season. He changed things around and managed to finish 6th in Serie A, thus earning Lazio a place in the UEFA Cup. Zaccheroni was not without his critics, though, as he played Gaizka Mendieta and Stefano Fiore out of position, thus failing to get the best out of them. He was also held responsible by many for the humiliating 5–1 loss to Roma in the Rome derby that season. Despite Zaccheroni's efforts, he parted company with Lazio, to be replaced by Roberto Mancini.


Zaccheroni was again called upon in the mid-season of 2003–04, this time to try to save Inter after the departure of coach Héctor Cúper from the club. Despite crashing out of the Champions League after a humiliating 5–1 loss to Arsenal at the San Siro, he managed to lift Inter to 4th place in Serie A, thus securing qualification to the Champions League for next season. However, Inter president Massimo Moratti was not convinced of Zaccheroni's abilities, and he was again replaced by Roberto Mancini.


After two seasons without a job, he was linked with a move to England in the vacant manager's post at Crystal Palace.[citation needed] These rumors never came to fruition. He did, however, become the new head coach of Torino on 7 September 2006, the 100th anniversary of the team, replacing Gianni De Biasi, fired by chairman Urbano Cairo three days before the start of the new season despite having led the team to instant promotion from Serie B. However, despite a good start, Zaccheroni was not able to bring Torino to the top positions in the league table and even suffered a worrying sequence of six consecutive defeats, which led chairman Cairo to sack him on 26 February 2007, and reinstate De Biasi at the helm of the granata.


On 29 January 2010 he was appointed to replace Ciro Ferrara as head coach of under-crisis Juventus. He signed a four-month contract.[3] On 14 February 2010, Zaccheroni achieved his first win as a Juventus manager, defeating Genoa 3–2.[4] His first loss in charge of the team arrived two weeks later, a 0–2 home defeat to Palermo.

He also guided Juventus through the newly established UEFA Europa League campaign, after the club failed to qualify to the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League. In his first game at European level with Juventus, his side defeated 2–1 AFC Ajax in Amsterdam (the return leg then ended 0–0), and then went on to play English opponents Fulham. The first leg ended in a 3–1 win, but in Craven Cottage his side suffered a 4–1 defeat, sending Juventus out of the competition on a 5–4 aggregate scoreline. After a good start, results fell down again, similarly to the way they did during Ferrara's tenure, and Juventus ended the season in seventh place, thus concluding what was remembered as one of the most troubled Serie A seasons for the bianconeri.


On 30 August 2010, it was revealed via an announcement from the Japan Football Association that Zaccheroni would become the new manager of the Japan national football team.[5] However, due to a visa problem, he was not able to take charge in the first two matches against Paraguay (1–0) and Guatemala (2–1), in which former Japan striker and JFA technical director Hiromi Hara took charge. The first match he took charge, Japan had a historic 1–0 win over Argentina.

His first major competition with Japan was the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, hosted in Qatar. He led the team to their record fourth Asian Cup title, winning 1–0 in the final against Australia.[6]

He led Japan to become the first nation to qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil after their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match against Australia in Saitama on 4 June 2013. Japan opened their campaign at the World Cup with a 2–1 defeat to Ivory Coast, where they led the match until 64 minutes. In the next match, Japan faced Greece, which ended 0–0. They were eliminated in the group stages after a 4–1 defeat to Colombia and finished fourth with one point. At the end of the tournament, Zaccheroni resigned as the manager of Japan.

Beijing Guoan[edit]

On 19 January 2016, Zaccheroni was appointed manager of Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan on a two-year contract.[7] But after a dismal start to the season in which Guoan picked up just nine points in their first nine games of the season, combined with the team scoring just seven goals in their first nine games and growing discontent among fans, Zaccheroni was fired.[8][9][10]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

On 16 October 2017, Zaccheroni took over the United Arab Emirates national football team.[11] The team in January 2018 finished as the runner-up in the 23rd Gulf Cup. In January 2019, Zaccheroni led the national team to the semi-final of the Asian Cup which was hosted by the United Arab Emirates. After the 4–0 defeat against Qatar in semi-final, Zaccheroni left his position as UAE head coach as his contract with the UAE was set to expire at the end of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[12]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 29 January 2019
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Udinese 1995 1998 112 49 25 38 043.75
Milan 1998 14 March 2001 125 54 44 27 043.20
Lazio September 2001 1 July 2002 46 19 11 16 041.30
Internazionale 19 October 2003 14 June 2004 44 18 14 12 040.91
Torino 7 September 2006 26 February 2007 24 5 7 12 020.83
Juventus 29 January 2010 16 May 2010 21 8 5 8 038.10
Japan 30 August 2010 26 June 2014 55 30 12 13 054.55
Beijing Guoan January 2016 May 2016 10 3 3 4 030.00
United Arab Emirates 16 October 2017 30 January 2019 23 7 8 8 030.43
Total 461 195 128 138 042.30



  • Campionato Interregionale: 1986–87
Baracca Lugo
  • Campionato Interregionale: 1988–89
  • Serie C2: 1989–90


United Arab Emirates



  2. ^ Provaci ancora, Milan: le grandi rimonte Scudetto, 12 December 2016
  3. ^ "Zaccheroni nuovo allenatore della Juventus" (in Italian). Juventus FC. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Del Piero's disputed spot-kick". ESPN. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  5. ^ "SAMURAI BLUE(日本代表)新監督決定". 30 August 2010. Archived from the original on 1 September 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Australia 0 - 1 Japan". ESPN Soccernet. 29 January 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.In 2013 Japan won for the first time the EAFF East Asian Cup.
  7. ^ "UFFICIALE - Zaccheroni è il nuovo allenatoredel Beijing Guoan".
  8. ^ Duerden, John. "Alberto Zaccheroni's Beijing Gouan exit a warning for coaches in China". ESPN FC. ESPN. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Alberto Zaccheroni sacked by Beijing Guoan". GBTimes. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  10. ^ Yu, Fu. "Beijing Guo'an Sack Alberto Zaccheroni". China Radio International. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Alberto Zaccheroni confirmed as UAE football manager". 16 October 2017.
  12. ^ McAuley, John (30 January 2019). "Alberto Zaccheroni's reign as UAE manager set to end following Asian Cup exit". The National.
  13. ^ "Albo "Panchina d'Oro"" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Albo d'Oro" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2016.

External links[edit]