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Luigi "Gigi" Delneri, often written as "Del Neri" (born August 23, 1950 in Aquileiamarker, Udinemarker) is an Italianmarker football manager and former player, currently in office as head coach of U.C. Sampdoria.



Del Neri made his professional debut as player at the age of 16 for Spal, Ferraramarker's football team, for which he had worked as storer. After playing for Foggia and Novaramarker, he moved to Udinese, with whom he gained promotion to Serie A, Italymarker's top division. He was later traded to Sampdoria, and then to Lanerossi Vicenza, Siena, Pro Gorizia and Opitergina, an amateur team from Oderzomarker, where he ended his playing career at 34.


After his retirement as a player, Del Neri stayed at Oderzo, appointed by chairman Ettore Setten (now owner of Treviso) as head coach. In 1986 he signed for Serie D team Pro Gorizia. He then coached Partinicaudace, a minor Sicilian Serie D team, in 1989, Teramo, Ravenna, Novara and Nocerina of Serie C2; with this last team he won the league and promotion to Serie C1. He then moved to Ternana of Serie C2, guiding it to Serie B after two consecutive promotions.

In 1998, after his second consecutive promotion, he was signed by Empoli of Serie A, but was fired before starting the championship, and was then recalled by his former team Ternana at the Serie B level.

In 2000 he signed with Chievo Verona of Serie B, a team representing a small quarter of Veronamarker. It was the beginning of the so-called "Chievo miracle", in which the team was promoted to Serie A and then even qualified for the UEFA Cup in its first season at the highest level of Italian football.

In the summer of 2004, Del Neri was signed by Champions' League holders FC Porto, but, as with Empoli, was fired before making his debut. He maintained that he wanted to return to Italy for personal reasons. Signed in October 2004 by AS Roma, replacing Rudi Völler, he in turn left this position in March 2005 after a dismaying series of defeats, which were regarded as only partially the fault of Del Neri.

In mid-2005 he accepted the offer of US Palermo to coach the Sicilian team, which had also qualified for the UEFA Cup. After a good beginning, including a surprising 3–2 win against Inter Milan and qualification to the UEFA Cup group stages, the team started producing poor results, slowly losing position in the Serie A table. After a 3–1 defeat at home against Siena, Del Neri was fired on January 28, 2006.

On October 16, 2006, Del Neri returned to coach Chievo Verona, replacing Giuseppe Pillon. Despite a good start, he did not manage to save his side from relegation, losing a spot in the following season's Serie A with a dramatic 2–0 loss to Catania on the final match day. Following the relegation, Del Neri announced he was going to leave Chievo. He was announced as new Atalanta boss in June 2007. After two seasons in Bergamomarker he left to take over at Sampdoria on June 1, 2009.


A Roman Catholic, Del Neri has often emphasised the importance of ethics in his coaching work. He also maintained that his status as a wealthy and renowned Serie A coach was largely related to luck: despite his ability, he could well have remained one of the many good but unknown coaches of lesser divisions if not for a series of fortunate circumstances (probably hinting at his work at Chievo, where the usual stresses of Italian football world are largely absent).

Managerial career

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Chievo 1 July 2001 1 July 2004 114 44 36 34
Roma 1 July 2004 13 March 2005 37 12 9 16
Sampdoria 1 June 2009 present 7 6 0 1


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