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Giovanni Trapattoni

Giovanni Trapattoni
Date of birth (1939-03-17) 17 March 1939 (age 81)
Place of birthCusano Milanino, Italy
HeightScript error: No such module "convert".
Playing positionDefender, Midfielder
Youth career
Senior career*
National team
Teams managed
1972–1974Milan (youth)
1994–1995Bayern Munich
1996–1998Bayern Munich
2006–2008Red Bull Salzburg
2008–2013Republic of Ireland
2010Vatican City

Giovanni Trapattoni (Italian pronunciation: [d͡ʒoˈvanni trapatˈtoni]; born 17 March 1939), sometimes popularly known as "Trap" or "Il Trap", is an Italian football manager and former footballer, considered the most successful club coach in the history of Serie A.[4] As a player he spent almost his entire career with A.C. Milan, where he won two Serie A titles and the European Cup in 1963 and 1969. He was also a member of Italy's squad at the 1962 FIFA World Cup.

One of the most celebrated managers in football history,[5] Trapattoni is one of only four coaches, alongside Ernst Happel, José Mourinho, and Tomislav Ivić to have won league titles (10) in four different countries. Alongside Udo Lattek, he is the only coach to have won all three major European club titles and the only one to make it with the same club.[6] Also, he is the only one to have won all official continental club competitions and the world title, achieving this with Juventus during his first spell with the club.[7] He is one of the rare few to have won the European Cup, the Cup Winners' Cup and Intercontinental Cup as both a player and manager.

Trapattoni was most recently the manager of the Republic of Ireland national team. He led them to their first European Championships in 24 years, enjoying a successful UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. This followed narrowly missing out on the 2010 FIFA World Cup, after his team were controversially knocked out by France. Trapattoni coached his native Italian national team to the 2002 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2004.

Playing career

Born in Cusano Milanino near Milan, Trapattoni had a successful career as a player with Milan in the early 1970s. Playing primarily as a defender and defensive midfielder with the main task of passing the ball to more creative players such as Giovanni Lodetti and Gianni Rivera, he also played for the Italian national team, mostly as centre back with notable marking skills, appearing at the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Chile.

After taking a break from the national team, Trapattoni thought he could settle with a mid-table team for one last season instead of being at one club all his life, subsequently moving to Varese and, after a successful season with them, retired from professional football and embarked on a highly successful managerial career two years later.

Coaching career


Trapattoni began coaching at Milan as a youth team coach, before becoming caretaker coach. Trapattoni was caretaker coach from 9 April 1974 to 30 June 1974.[8] He was appointed first team coach in 1975.

Juventus and return

Trapattoni was head coach for Juventus from 1 July 1976 to 30 June 1986.[9] Trapattoni won all UEFA club competitions (European record).


Trapattoni coached Internazionale from 1 July 1986 to 30 June 1991.[10]

Bayern Munich and return

Trapattoni became coach of Bayern Munich in 1994.[11] However he left at the end of the season.[11] Trapattoni returned to the club in July 1996.[12] He is well remembered by German fans for an emotional outburst in broken German during a press conference on 10 March 1998 ("Was erlauben Strunz?" ... Ich habe fertig! [Germans use the verb bin(am) instead of habe(have) when saying "I have finished"]"How dare Strunz? ... I have finished) where he criticised the attitude of Mehmet Scholl and Mario Basler ("Diese Spieler waren schwach wie eine Flasche leer!"These players were weak like a bottle empty).[13][14] He left Bayern at the end of the 1997–98 season and was replaced by Ottmar Hitzfeld, who guided Bayern to the Champions League Final the following season.[11]


Trapattoni coached Cagliari in the 1995–96 season.[15]


Trapattoni coached Fiorentina from 1998 to 2000. With Trapattoni's expert guidance, Fiorentina challenged for the title in 1998–99 but finished the season in third, earning them qualification for the Champions League. The following year was disappointing in Serie A, but Trapattoni led them to some historical results in the Champions League, beating Arsenal 1–0 at the old Wembley Stadium and Manchester United 2–0 in Florence.


In July 2000, Trapattoni took charge of the Italian national team after the resignation of Dino Zoff.[16] He led the team to the 2002 FIFA World Cup. In that tournament, after winning its first match against Ecuador, Italy's form dropped and they controversially lost to Croatia. They drew with Mexico, with Alessandro Del Piero scoring a late equaliser. In the second round, Italy were eliminated by South Korea, in a controversial match. They conceded an equaliser two minutes from full-time and lost in extra-time with Ahn Jung-Hwan scoring the golden goal after Francesco Totti was controversially sent off. Their exit sparked Trapattoni to accuse FIFA of fixing the tournament so the host nation would make the semi-finals.

At the 2004 European Championship, Italy once again failed to impress. They drew with both Denmark and Sweden, leading to an unexpected early exit despite being undefeated in the group stage with two ties and a win. Denmark and Sweden drew in the group's final match, eliminating Italy who finished in third place in their group. Trapattoni later said: "Sweden against Denmark, I remember the game. Do you know what Johansson [the then UEFA president Lennart Johannsson] said? 'If this game finishes in a draw, we will open an investigation' Do you know if he made the investigation? I'm still waiting for the investigation." These comments came eight years later, in 2012.[17]

Marcello Lippi replaced Trapattoni on 15 July 2004.[16]


On 5 July 2004, Trapattoni was named as new coach of Portuguese League club Sport Lisboa e Benfica, which he led to win the 2005 league, the first in 11 years, and also to the Portuguese Cup final (which Benfica lost to Vitória de Setúbal). He resigned after the 2005 season, saying he wanted to be closer to his family (in the north of Italy).

VfB Stuttgart

Trapattoni returned to management in the German Bundesliga in June 2005, by signing at VfB Stuttgart.[18] However, during his 20 games at the helm, Stuttgart produced poor results. Denmark internationals Jon Dahl Tomasson and Jesper Grønkjær openly criticised their coach, claiming he was afraid to attack. Trapattoni responded by dropping both players to the bench. With the atmosphere in the team worsening, he was sacked after just seven months, on 9 February 2006, reportedly for "not fulfilling the ambitions of the club".[19] He was replaced as manager by Armin Veh.[19]

Red Bull Salzburg

In May 2006, Red Bull Salzburg announced it had signed Trapattoni as its new director of football, along with one of his former players, Lothar Matthäus, as coach. Trapattoni initially cast doubt on this report, claiming he had not signed any contract. But three days later, both he and Matthäus signed and made their hirings official. After their successful season of 2006–07, the club's board of directors unanimously decided to dismiss Matthäus, making Thorsten Fink Trapattoni's new assistant.

Republic of Ireland

Trapattoni with Marco Tardelli as Ireland take on Algeria in June 2010.

On 11 February 2008, Trapattoni "agreed in principle" to take over the Republic of Ireland manager's job,[20] but finished the season with Red Bull before taking up the Irish position on 1 May. Former Ireland midfielder Liam Brady was expected to be part of the Italian's backroom staff,[21] while Marco Tardelli was confirmed as Trapattoni's assistant manager.[22] Trapattoni signed Brady back in 1980 for Juventus from Arsenal for just over £500,000. Red Bull Salzburg confirmed, on 13 February 2008, that at the end of the 2007–08 season, Trapattoni would be leaving the club to take over as the Republic of Ireland manager.[23] Manuela Spinelli became Trapattoni's interpreter. Because of her ability to speak both Italian and English, she became a familiar sight alongside him during most interviews.[24][25][26][27] She has also appeared on The Late Late Show without Trapattoni.[28]

Trapattoni's first game in charge, a friendly against Serbia on 24 May 2008, ended in a 1–1 draw. His second, another friendly, against Colombia five days later, meant his first victory with the national side, 1–0. This was followed by a 1–1 draw with Norway, his first competitive win against Georgia and a draw with Montenegro in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Trapattoni's first defeat came in a friendly against Poland on 19 November 2008, a 3–2 loss at Croke Park.[29] He also managed to claim a 1–1 away draw against 2006 FIFA World Cup champions Italy, that he had managed himself from 2000 to 2004, thanks to a late equaliser from Robbie Keane. He finished the qualifying campaign unbeaten, becoming only the third Irish manager to do so, qualifying for a playoff place for the 2010 World Cup.

In September 2009, he signed a new contract with Ireland that would have seen him continue as manager until UEFA Euro 2012.[30] In the first leg of the World Cup playoff in Croke Park on 14 November 2009, France won 1–0 with a goal by Nicolas Anelka.[31] In the second leg in Paris, on 18 November 2009, a goal from Robbie Keane levelled the aggregate scores at 1–1 in the first half. In extra time, however, a William Gallas equaliser put France through 2–1 on aggregate.[32] Replays of the French goal showed that Thierry Henry had twice used his hand to control the ball and was in an offside position before crossing for Gallas to head home.[33]

In May 2011, he managed Ireland as they won the Nations Cup, after a 1–0 win against Scotland.[34][35] Later that year he managed the Irish national team to UEFA Euro 2012 qualification, following a 5–1 aggregate play-off win against Estonia.[36][37] Trapattoni was rewarded with a new two-year contract by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).[38] His success was praised by, among others, Dietmar Hamann.[39]

Ireland exited UEFA Euro 2012 at the group stage, after losing to eventual finalists Spain and Italy. Early in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiication, Ireland suffered a 6–1 defeat to Germany at home with a severely depleted team available.[40] On 29 May 2013, Trapattoni's Ireland side faced off against England for the first time in eighteen years at the Wembley Stadium in a match which ended 1–1. Trapattoni parted ways with the Republic of Ireland national team on 11 September 2013 by mutual consent, after a defeat by Austria effectively ended their chances of qualification for the 2014 World Cup.[41][42]

Vatican City

Trapattoni has managed the Vatican City national football team which is a member of neither FIFA nor UEFA.[43] His first match as manager was played on 23 October 2010 when Vatican City faced a team composed of Italian financial police. Previously, at the age of 71 Trapattoni was quoted as saying, "When I retire, I would like to become coach of the Vatican."

Personal life

Trapattoni comes from a working-class background and lost his father as a child. A devout Catholic, he regularly attends Regina Pacis Church in his hometown of Cusano Milanino whenever he is home[44] and is a cooperator of Opus Dei.[45] He and his wife Paola have a son and a daughter and are grandparents.[44][46]


In August 2010, Trapattoni was admitted to a hospital in Dublin, one-day before Ireland's friendly with Argentina. It was initially believed that the shellfish he had eaten before arriving in the country was to blame for him feeling unwell.[47] He underwent surgery in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin on 11 August.[48] He missed the Argentina game due to his surgery.[49] In January 2011, reports in the Italian media, claimed that he was at home recovering from a mild stroke he suffered during surgery on 28 December 2010. The reports claimed that the stroke had caused partial paralysis on the right side of his body. In a statement released through the FAI, Trapattoni said that while he did have scheduled surgery in Italy over Christmas, he had not suffered a stroke.[50]


Trapattoni is a popular in Italy for his original press conference speeches and trademark quotes, one of the most famous being "non-dire gatto se non-l'hai nel sacco ("don't say cat until you've got it in the bag").[51] During his managerial stints overseas, his sense of humour, coupled with his difficulties with the local language, won him a significant amount of popularity with both fans and the press. His most memorable press conference took place while he was in charge of German club FC Bayern Munich. In a speech full of mistakes and involuntary neologisms, most famously using "Ich habe fertig" (roughly translatable as "I have finished", in place of "I am finished") and "Schwach wie eine Flasche leer" ("weak like a bottle empty"),[52] he soundly attacked many of his players, including Thomas Strunz, whose last name, in Trapattoni's native Lombard dialect, is a swear word roughly equivalent to "asshole".

He is also known for a two-fingered whistle he uses to capture the attention of his players during games.[53] He also brought a bottle of holy water during 2002 FIFA World Cup games when he was in charge of the Italian national team.[53][54]


Club career


Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1958/59 Milan Serie A 0 0
1959/60 2 0
1960/61 30 1
1961/62 32 0
1962/63 30 0
1963/64 28 1
1964/65 30 0
1965/66 18 1
1966/67 23 0
1967/68 24 0
1968/69 22 0
1969/70 20 0
1970/71 15 0
1971/72 Varese Serie A 10 0
Country Italy 284 3
Total 284 3

National team


Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
1960 1 0
1961 5 0
1962 2 0
1963 6 1
1964 3 0
Total 17 1

Managerial statistics

As of 10 September 2013.
Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Milan 9 April 1974[8] 30 June 1974[8] 11 4 5 2 6 4 +2 36.36
Juventus 1 July 1976[9] 30 June 1986[9] 450 244 136 70 720 334 +386 54.22
Internazionale 1 July 1986[10] 30 June 1991[10] 233 126 61 46 342 169 +173 54.08
Juventus 1 July 1991[9] 30 June 1994[9] 140 74 42 24 235 119 +116 52.86
Bayern Munich 1 July 1994[11] 30 June 1995[11] 46 17 18 11 68 59 +9 36.96
Cagliari 1 July 1995[15] 30 June 1996[15] 37 13 8 16 41 54 -13 35.14
Bayern Munich 1 July 1996[12] 30 June 1998[11] 90 55 22 13 192 89 +103 61.11
Fiorentina 1 July 1998 30 June 2000 99 44 31 24 149 109 +40 44.44
Italy 6 July 2000[16] 15 July 2004[16] 44 25 12 7 68 30 +38 56.82
Benfica 5 July 2004 31 May 2005 51 29 10 12 82 50 +32 56.86
VfB Stuttgart 17 June 2005[18] 9 February 2006[19] 31 11 13 7 37 31 +6 35.48
Red Bull Salzburg May 2006 30 April 2008 87 48 19 20 158 85 +73 55.17
Republic of Ireland 1 May 2008 11 September 2013 64 26 22 16 86 64 +22 40.63
Career totals 1,382 716 399 267 2,184 1,196 +988 51.81


One of the most celebrated managers in football history, Trapattoni is one of only five coaches (alongside Ernst Happel, José Mourinho, Bela Guttmann, and Tomislav Ivic) to have won the league title (10) in at least four different countries (Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Austria)[57] and the fourth coach with the most international competitions for clubs won in the world – second in Europe – with seven titles in eight finals, including the Intercontinental Cup final (six titles in seven finals with Juventus).[58] Alongside the German Udo Lattek, he is the only coach to have won all three major European club titles. Also, he is the only one to have won all UEFA club competitions and the World Club title, also having the record of UEFA Cup wins (three).





Bayern Munich
Red Bull Salzburg


Republic of Ireland


  • A.C. Milan Hall of Fame[59]
  • Seminatore d'Oro: 1976–77, 1985
  • Premio l'Allenatore dei Sogni: 1992
  • Panchina d'Oro: 1997
  • Champions of Europe plaque: 2006[60]
  • Philips Manager of the Year Award: 2012[61]
  • Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2012[62]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Di Maggio, Roberto (13 April 2003). "Giovanni Trapattoni – International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Trapattoni wants Italy deal". BBC Sport. 30 March 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2008. 
  5. ^ "Greatest Managers, No. 12: Trapattoni". Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni". Union des Associations Européennes de Football. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Football Philosophers" (PDF). The Technician (Union des Associations Européennes de Football) 46: 5. May 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c "AC Milan .:. Coaches from A-Z". Worldfootball. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Juventus .:. Coaches from A-Z". Worldfootball. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c "Inter .:. Coaches from A-Z". Worldfootball. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Bayern München .:. Coaches from A-Z". Worldfootball. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Trapattoni und die neue Ruhe bei den Bayern". Die Welt (in German). 11 September 1996. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Short version of press conference (English subtitles)". Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Long version (in German) on YouTube[dead link]
  15. ^ a b c "Cagliari Calcio .:. Coaches from A-Z". Worldfootball. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c d Di Maggio, Roberto. "ITALIAN NATIONAL TEAM COACHES". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni believes he is due some luck as he leads the Republic into Euro 2012". RTÉ Sport. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Trapattoni in Stuttgart: "Stolz, Trainer beim VfB zu sein"". Der Spiegel (in German). 17 June 2005. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c "VfB Stuttgart schmeißt Trapattoni hinaus". Die Welt (in German). 10 February 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  20. ^ Ennis, Darren (11 February 2008). "Trapattoni set to get Ireland job". Reuters. Retrieved 11 February 2008. 
  21. ^ "Trapattoni named Republic manager". BBC Sport. 13 February 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008. 
  22. ^ "Tardelli to be Republic assistant". BBC Sport. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2008. 
  23. ^ "Red Bull Salzburg announcement; Trapattoni leaving club at end of 2007/08". Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  24. ^ Hyland, Paul (11 November 2011). "Time Irish cracked the code". Evening Herald. Retrieved 11 November 2011. After three years, he still talks about Shay Givens and John Shea yet this time, he made sure he had everyone's name right – even as far as asking his translator, Manuela Spinelli, for assistance in identifying which hack was which. 
  25. ^ Hannigan, Mary (16 November 2011). "The cat is in the sack and drinking the cream". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 November 2011. He's becoming more Irish than the Irish themselves, that fella. He half promised a song if Estonia didn't do a John Treacy, and honestly, what you wouldn't pay to hear him duet with his translator Manuela Spinelli on, say, The Fields of Athenry. 
  26. ^ "Manuela, la lady che mette nel sacco il "trappese" del signor Giovanni". Corriere della Sera. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  27. ^ "Trapattoni e il gatto: No say is in the sac". la Repubblica. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  28. ^ Hannigan, Mary (21 February 2011). "Manuela's keen vision avoids trap of getting lost in translation". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 February 2011. Yes, it was Giovanni Trapattoni's translating sidekick Manuela Spinelli on the Late Late Show... 
  29. ^ "Republic of Ireland 2–3 Poland". RTÉ Sport. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  30. ^ "Trapattoni signs new Ireland deal". ESPN. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  31. ^ "Anelka's deflected strike hurts Irish". ESPN. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  32. ^ Winter, Henry (19 November 2009). "France 1 Republic of Ireland 1, agg 2–1: match report". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  33. ^ "Henry's hand ends Irish World Cup hopes". The Irish Times. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  34. ^ Malone, Emmet (30 May 2011). "Keane equals record and secures title". The Irish Times. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  35. ^ "Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni: Home Nations Cup triumph proves we can beat anyone". 30 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  36. ^ Mason, Glenn (15 November 2011). "Ireland 1–1 Estonia". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  37. ^ "Trapattoni hails his 'fantastic team'". RTÉ Sport. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  38. ^ "Trapattoni agrees new deal with Ireland". RTÉ Sport. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  39. ^ "Hamann hails Trapattoni influence". RTÉ Sport. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  40. ^ "Republic of Ireland 1–6 Germany". RTÉ News. 12 October 2012. 
  41. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni stands down as Republic of Ireland manager". BBC Sport. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  42. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli leave Ireland by 'mutual consent'". The Score. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  43. ^ "The things they say: Giovanni Trapattoni". FIFA. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  44. ^ a b "The real Il Trap". Irish Independent. 16 February 2008. 
  45. ^ "The true cost of landing Trapattoni". Irish Independent. 17 February 2008. 
  46. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni's trappings of success". The Sunday Times. 17 February 2008. 
  47. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni in hospital". ESPN Soccernet. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  48. ^ "Trapattoni to undergo surgery". RTÉ Sport. 11 August 2010.
  49. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni to undergo surgery and will miss Argentina game". The Guardian. 11 August 2010.
  50. ^ "Trapattoni says stroke reports are untrue". RTÉ Sport. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  51. ^ "Working class hero Trap stays close to his roots". The Independent. 8 November 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  52. ^ "Germany Unity Series: When Giovanni Trapattoni Lost It – "Was Erlauben Struuunz?"". 3 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  53. ^ a b "Who Is Giovanni Trapattoni?". The Independent. 13 February 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  54. ^ "Shane Hegarty: Trapattoni has kept faith... and so should we". Irish Independent. 12 September 2011. 
  55. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni". National Football Teams. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  56. ^ "Giovanni Trapattoni – International Appearances". Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  57. ^ "Trapattoni climbs another mountain". FIFA. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  58. ^ Only Carlos Bianchi, Alex Ferguson, and Manuel José de Jesus (all with eight titles) have won more official international titles for clubs in the world. Trapattoni is, alongside Ferguson, the most successful club in Europe for UEFA club competitions titles won with six titles. See also: European Cups – performances by
  59. ^ "A.C. Milan Hall of Fame: Giovanni Trapattoni". Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  60. ^ "La UEFA premia i grandi del Milan" (in Italian). UEFA. 4 April 2006. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  61. ^ "Trapattoni wins manager of the year award". RTE. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  62. ^ "BARESI, CAPELLO AND RIVERA ACCEPTED IN HALL OF FAME". AC Milan. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Joe Fagan
European Cup Winning Coach
Succeeded by
Emerich Jenei