|Full name||Francesco Guidolin|
|Date of birth||3 October 1955|
|Place of birth||Castelfranco Veneto, Italy|
|1977–1978||→ Sambenedettese (loan)||35||(3)|
|1979–1980||→ Pistoiese (loan)||35||(5)|
|1982–1983||→ Bologna (loan)||24||(1)|
|1986–1988||Giorgione (youth team)|
Francesco Guidolin (Italian pronunciation: [franˈtʃesko ɡwidoˈlin]; born 3 October 1955) is an Italian football manager and former player, most recently served as head coach of Serie A outfit Udinese.
Guidolin made his professional debut with then-Serie A club Verona in 1975, with whom then spent most of his career, except for a number of loan moves to clubs Sambenedettese, Pistoiese and Bologna. He retired in 1986 after two seasons with Serie C2 club Venezia.
Guidolin also appeared with the Italian Under-21 team between 1976 and 1977.
Guidolin debuted in a managing role in 1988, as head coach of Serie C2 team Giorgione, the main club of his native city, Castelfranco Veneto. He then coached teams such as Treviso (Serie C2), Fano, Empoli and Ravenna (all in Serie C1). After having led Ravenna to a Serie B promotion, Guidolin was successively appointed in 1993 as coach of Serie A team Atalanta, but he did not achieve great success and he was fired after just 10 matches.
Vicenza: from Serie B to Europe
The next season, Guidolin joined Vicenza, leading the team from Serie B to win the Coppa Italia in 1997 and even reaching the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final on his first adventure at the European level, then lost to Gianluca Vialli's Chelsea, in 1998. He also guided Vicenza to top the Serie A league table for a short period throughout the 1996–97 season, leading therefore the biancorossi back to the top level after a period of decline, winning the first domestic trophy ever for the club and gaining only the second appearance in a European competition for the club.
Udinese and Bologna
In 1998, after four years of impressive results with Vicenza, Guidolin accepted the head coaching position at Udinese for the 1998–99, guiding the club to a mid-table placement but being fired only days before the kick-off of the following 1999–2000 campaign.
In November 1999, Guidolin was hired by Bologna, a former team of his as a player, to replace Sergio Buso. In his first campaign for the rossoblu, he guided his side to eleventh place in the Serie A table, also leading the club's UEFA Cup campaign up to the third round of the competition.
The 2000–01 campaign ended with another mid-table placement, in ninth place; a small improvement also appeared in the 2001–02 campaign, ended in seventh place and qualification to the UEFA Intertoto Cup, where his side was defeated by Fulham in the finals.
The 2002–03 season, started with good results, ended in a disappointing eleventh place and high criticism of Guidolin, which raised even more after the head coach made him escape an insulting phrase about the city of Bologna during a league match.
First stint with Palermo
Guidolin, after six months of inactivity, was appointed to replace Silvio Baldini at the helm of Serie B team Palermo in January 2004. He then successfully conducted the team to win the league, bringing the rosanero back to the top flight after 35 years in the lower ranks.
He also guided Palermo for their historic first Serie A campaign in the new millennium, ended with the club's first UEFA Cup qualification ever, but then opted to leave the club for the end of the season.
Abroad with AS Monaco
Guidolin was then appointed as Genoa head coach; however, after the team was relegated to Serie C1 by the Football Federation because of alleged fixing, Guidolin rescinded his contract. He was appointed coach of AS Monaco FC in October 2005, but after just one season in charge he departed the club after a campaign in which Monaco finished a disappointing 30 points behind Ligue 1 champions Olympique Lyonnais.
Back to Palermo
After an impressive start which brought Palermo clearly to third place for the whole first part of the season, Palermo however was not able to win a single match in over two months, following a six-month injury for team's biggest star Amauri in December and the infamous Sicilian derby of 2 February 2007 and the successive riots during which a policeman was killed. Following a crushing 3–4 home defeat to Parma, a team in trouble of relegation, and 7 points gained in the last 11 league matches, Guidolin was ultimately sacked by Palermo chairman Maurizio Zamparini on 23 April; however his sacking was revoked on 14 May, following two other consecutive defeats for Palermo. After two wins in the two final Serie A matches which brought Palermo back to fifth place (its best Serie A table placement as of 2009), Guidolin finally ended his second time in Palermo.
In October 2007, Guidolin was reportedly approached by the new owners of English Championship side Queens Park Rangers to become the club's new manager, after the poor start to the new season bought about the sacking of John Gregory. He later confirmed the rumours linking him to QPR, claiming he would be pleased with a professional move to England. A few days later he was however reported to have refused the QPR job due to personal issues.
On 26 November 2007, Guidolin was unexpectedly appointed back at the helm of the rosanero, replacing Stefano Colantuono and joining the Sicilian club for a record fourth time. However, he was axed once again on 24 March 2008 as he only managed to achieve 18 points in 17 matches, after three consecutive defeats, the latter followed by controversial post-match comments in which he criticized the team fanbase. Despite such comments and poor team performances in his last stint as Palermo boss, Guidolin is still today hailed as one of the club legends and was warmly welcomed during his Stadio Renzo Barbera return, this time as Parma manager.
Parma and Udinese
On 30 September 2008, he signed a contract by Parma, replacing Luigi Cagni and guiding the ducali to a runners-up place in the 2008–09 Serie B and an immediate promotion back into the top flight. He was confirmed at the helm of Parma for the 2009–10 Serie A season, where he enjoyed a good start with the team constantly in the top ten for the first half of the season.
In two seasons as Udinese coach, Guidolin obtained a fourth and a third place: both results were hailed as astonishing, considering they both led his club to a place in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League. In his first season, Udinese arrived only behind Milan, Inter and Napoli, with 28-title winners Juventus behind them. In his second season in charge, Guidolin did not make it to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League as his club was eliminated by Arsenal, then arriving to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 (eliminated by AZ Alkmaar), and completing the domestic season in third place (best result in club history, equalling Alberto Zaccheroni 1996–97 season) ahead of Lazio, Napoli and Inter.
- "Lo sport a volte è proprio atroce" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 14 April 2003. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- "Soccer-Sacked Guidolin returns to coach Palermo". Reuters. 14 May 2007.
- "Guidolin confirms R's offer". SKY Sports. 16 October 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2007.
- "De Canio set for QPR". Football Italia. 25 October 2007. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
- "Palermo, via Colantuono. Guidolin pronto al ritorno" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007.
- "Guidolin axed, Colantuono back". Football Italia. 24 March 2008. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2008.
- "Palermo grab late Parma win". SKY Sport. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- "Francesco Guidolin nuovo allenatore dell’Udinese" (in Italian). Udinese Calcio. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2010.