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Gianni De Biasi

Gianni De Biasi
Full nameGiovanni De Biasi
Date of birth (1956-06-16) 16 June 1956 (age 59)
Place of birthSarmede, Italy
Playing positionMidfielder
Club information
Current team
Albania (manager)
Senior career*
1976–1977Reggiana (loan)24(0)
1977–1978Pescara (loan)24(0)
Teams managed
1990–1991Bassano (youth team)
1991–1992Vicenza (youth team)
2007–2008Levante UD

Gianni De Biasi (born Giovanni De Biasi, Albanian: Gani Abazi, on 16 June 1956 in Sarmede, Treviso) is an Italian-born Albanian football coach and former player, who currently serves as head coach of Albania national team.

Personal life

On the 28th of March De Biasi obtained Albanian citizenship therefore making him a dual citizen.

Playing career

De Biasi, a midfielder, started his professional playing career for Inter Milan; he was part of the first team squad but, despite this, never played for the nerazzurri and was then loaned to Serie C team Reggiana in 1975 and newly promoted Serie A club Pescara Calcio one year later. He was sold to Brescia in 1977 as partial compensation for the signing of Evaristo Beccalossi by Inter. De Biasi played in Brescia for five seasons, only one of them in Serie A. He then moved to Palermo in 1983, but abruptly left it three years later following the cancellation of the Sicilian club in the summer of 1986. This was followed by a single season with Vicenza and two Serie C2 seasons for Treviso. De Biasi retired from active football in 1990, after a Serie D season with Bassano.

Coaching career


In 1990, De Biasi became youth team coach for Bassano; in 1991, he was appointed by Vicenza to coach the allievi nazionali youth squad. In 1992, De Biasi made his debut as first team coach, being boss of Serie C2 club Vastese (now Pro Vasto); this was followed by three seasons as Carpi boss. In 1996, De Biasi was appointed coach of Serie B club Cosenza, but was fired on Christmas' eve day. After a two-year spell at SPAL, De Biasi was contacted and hired by Serie C1 club Modena on 2000; with the canarini, De Biasi obtained two consecutive promotions that brought Modena back in Serie A after 38 years. He left Modena in 2003, after having led his club to a good 13th place in the Serie A table, and signed for Brescia, where he had the opportunity to coach Roberto Baggio in his last playing season. He was sacked during the 2004/2005 season.

In 2005, Torino F.C. of Serie B appointed De Biasi as head coach, offering him a squad quickly built in a very few days following the cancellation of the old Torino Calcio club and the forming of a new society, owned by Urbano Cairo. Under De Biasi, Torino obtained immediate Serie A promotion, after having defeated Mantova on play-offs. De Biasi, initially confirmed as head coach also for the 2006/2007 Serie A campaign, was however sacked three days before the first matchday and replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni. On 26 February 2007 Torino FC chairman Cairo decided to sack Zaccheroni too and recall De Biasi at the helm of the granata, leading them to escape from relegation.

After several rumours regarding a possible move to La Liga side Levante UD, he was announced on 9 October 2007 to have reached an agreement with the Spanish side, where he will join fellow Italians Damiano Tommasi, Christian Riganò, Marco Storari and Bruno Cirillo.[1] He did not manage to save the club from relegation, mainly because of financial struggles which questioned the club's own survival and led to sell several key players during the January transfer window. Despite the lack of top-quality players and as the risk of bankruptcy loomed, he led the team to some unexpected victories, displaying linearity and tactical discipline that gained him the love of the Spanish fans and esteem of the critics: in one of its editions, the popular sports daily “As” declared him the best coach in the championship

On 16 April 2008 he was announced by Torino to replace Walter Novellino for the five final matchdays, with the aim to save the club from relegation once again. Once again, De Biasi saved the team.[2] On 8 December 2008 he was sacked after fifteen matches, blamed by the team's manager for the fact that Torino was once again struggling to avoid relegation. However, despite hiring and then dismissing a second and then a third coach, the team was still relegated at the end of the championship.[3]

On 22 December 2009 Udinese dismissed manager Pasquale Marino and appointed De Biasi to take charge of the struggling team from North-Eastern Italy. However, results did not particularly improve under his tenure as head coach, and De Biasi himself was removed from his post on 21 February 2010 with Marino being named back at the helm of the club.[4]

Albania national team

On 14 December 2011, De Biasi was named as the successor to Josip Kuže in charge of the Albanian national side.[5] De Biasi has proved to be pivotal in convincing to play for Albania promising players such as Mërgim Mavraj and Edgar Çani, who had previously refused the national team, but were convinced by De Biasi's project. De Biasi also has tried to get into the national team Migjen Basha, who had been refused clearance by Switzerland, as he had been capped with the Switzerland national under-21 football team earlier, but who had declared that he would play only for Albania.[6] In May 2012, in two friendlies played by Albania against Iran and Qatar, De Biasi launched young players such as Hair Zeqiri, Mërgim Brahimi, and Etrit Berisha, whereas in the friendly against Moldova, scheduled on 16 August 2012, he convocated three young players, Erjon Dushku, Erjon Vuçaj, and Renato Arapi.[7]

The first match in the qualifiers of the 2014 World Cup was a win for De Biasi: Albania played against Cyprus and the result was a 3–1 win with goals of Sadiku (who had been launched in the national team by De Biasi), Çani, and Bogdani. The two last goals for Albania came on the 84th and 88th minutes by substitutes Çani and Bogdani, whereas Çani's assist came from the other substitute, Hyka. This match saw two newcomers to the Albania's midfield, Alban Meha and Burim Kukeli, who played for the entire match. Meha was the assistman of Albania's first goal.[8] He got an historic win against Norway at Oslo with Albania who got three points after a 1–0 win. This moved Albania into joint 2nd place in the group 9 points, ahead of Norway who were left on 7 points.[9][10][11]

Gianni De Biasi started UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier with a 1–0 win over against group favorites Portugal.[12] This victory was described as historic by Albanian and international media,[13] and caused the resignation of Portugal's coach, Paulo Bento.[14]


As of 29 March 2015.
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Albania 14 December 2011 Present 28 11 7 10 39.29


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