NEWS
Saturday September 9 2017
Happy Birthday Donadoni

Today is the 54th birthday of Bologna Coach and former Milan midfielder Roberto Donadoni.

Born in Cisano Bergamasco, around an hour outside of Milan, the winger started his career with Atalanta.

Having helped the Orobici to win both Serie C1 and Serie B, Donadoni played in Serie A with the Bergamo side for two seasons before earning a move to Milan in 1986.

Following a fifth-placed finish in his first season with the Rossoneri, Arrigo Sacchi's side won the Scudetto in the 1987-88 campaign, with Donadoni a key man in the midfield.

He scored four goals in his 29 league appearances to help the Diavolo pip Napoli to the Scudetto by three points.

Capable of playing on either flank or through the middle, Donadoni became an integral part of the Milan side which swept all before them in the late 80s and early 90s.

He won five Scudetti between 1988 and 1996, lifting the European Cup three times, as well as being on the losing side in two finals.

On the way to the final in 1990, Donadoni came close to losing his life on the pitch against Red Star, having been knocked unconscious in an aerial duel.

Fortunately, a quick-thinking Serbian physio was able to break his jaw, allowing oxygen to reach his lungs and probably saving the Italian's life.

Following his fifth Scudetto with the Diavolo in the 1995-96 campaign, Donadoni joined New York Metro Stars in the nascent Major League Soccer.

After the 1997 MLS season he returned to San Siro, making 24 appearances across two seasons and helping Milan to the Scudetto in 1998-99.

After a final swansong with Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad, Donadoni retired from the game to concentrate on his coaching career.

The former Italy international was given his first break with Lecco, before spells at Livorno and Genoa.

Despite taking Livorno as high as sixth-place in Serie A during the 2005-06 season, the Coach resigned due to criticism from President Aldo Spinelli, only for his country to come calling.

The Azzurri had won the World Cup in Germany that summer, with Marcello Lippi stepping down in triumph.

Donadoni replaced him, and led the Nazionale to Euro 2008, though a disappointing tournament ultimately ended in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Spain.

The FIGC sacked Donadoni, with Lippi returning to the job for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

A brief spell at Napoli followed, but Donadoni was given his marching orders after 19 games, before falling victim to Massimo Cellino's axe at Cagliari.

It was at Parma that the Coach would rebuild his reputation, saving them from relegation after replacing Franco Colomba.

After consistent top-half finishes, Donadoni guided the Crociati to sixth-place, and qualification for the Europa League ahead of the 2014-15 season.

However, it soon emerged that there were serious problems behind the scenes, and the Ducali were denied a UEFA licence.

That precipitated a slide into bankruptcy, but Donadoni was widely praised for his dignified response to the crisis, often dipping into his own pocket to pay for petrol and electricity bills.

Following Parma's collapse, Donadoni was a free agent and he took the job with newly-promoted Bologna.

He has kept the Rossoblu in Serie A ever since, achieving a win percentage of over 30 per cent, no mean feat for a club constantly battling relegation.

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