Cesare Prandelli

Cesare Prandelli

Prandelli managing Italy in 2012
Personal information
Full name Cesare Claudio Prandelli
Date of birth (1957-08-19) 19 August 1957
Place of birth Orzinuovi, Brescia, Italy
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Valencia (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1978 Cremonese 88 (7)
1978–1979 Atalanta 27 (3)
1979–1985 Juventus 89 (0)
1985–1990 Atalanta 119 (7)
Total 323 (17)
Teams managed
1990–1997 Atalanta (youth)
1993–1994 Atalanta (caretaker)
1997–1998 Lecce
1998–2000 Verona
2000–2001 Venezia
2002–2004 Parma
2004 Roma
2005–2010 Fiorentina
2010–2014 Italy
2014 Galatasaray
2016– Valencia

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Cesare Claudio Prandelli (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtʃeːzare pranˈdɛlli]; born 19 August 1957) is an Italian football coach and former player. He is the current manager of Spanish club Valencia.



Prandelli was a midfielder who moved from Atalanta to Juventus in 1979. His first game for Juventus was in the 1979–80 European Cup Winners' Cup against Raba ETO Gyor. He played six seasons with Juventus, with his final game in the 1984–85 Coppa Italia against Milan.[1]

In total, Prandelli played in 197 Serie A matches.[1]



Prandelli started his managing career as youth team coach for Atalanta. He coached Atalanta's youth squad with excellent results from 1990 to 1997, except for a seven-months parenthesis, from November 1993 to June 1994, in which he served as caretaker for the first team, then relegated to Serie B. After a poor 1997–98 Serie A campaign as Lecce head coach ended in a sacking in January 1998, Prandelli headed Hellas Verona for two seasons, leading the gialloblu to an immediate promotion to Serie A, and then to a very good ninth place the next year. He later spent two years with Parma,[2][3] where he fully reached national glory.

Starting the 2004–05 season for Roma, he left the team because of personal problems involving his wife, with her being seriously ill.

Prandelli joined Fiorentina as manager in the summer of 2005. His first season in Tuscany proved to be a huge success, as Prandelli transformed Fiorentina from relegation strugglers into a team worthy of a UEFA Champions League spot, finishing the season in fourth place. Unfortunately for Fiorentina and Prandelli however, as a result of the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal, Fiorentina were stripped of their Champions League spot and started the 2006–07 season in Serie A with a 15-point deduction.[4]

The next year, despite the points deduction, Prandelli was able to guide Fiorentina to a sixth-place finish in Serie A (with the same point tally as fifth placed Palermo), securing UEFA Cup qualification for the 2007–08 season. The team did very well in the competition, losing the penalty shootout against Rangers in the semi-final. In Serie A, the team finished fourth after winning a long race against Milan, earning a ticket to participate in the UEFA Champions League. His wife died during the season, making Prandelli's efforts all the more impressive.

For his work in the 2007–08 season, Prandelli was awarded the Serie A Coach of the Year at the "Oscar del calcio" awards in early 2009. He later managed to get Fiorentina into the group phase, after defeating Slavia Prague in the third qualifying round, and also guided Fiorentina to another fourth place spot, this time just pipping Genoa (who ended the season with the same points as Fiorentina, but were classified at fifth due to head-to-head results) and a second consecutive participation in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds. After the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, Prandelli's tenure as Fiorentina became the longest of all incumbent Serie A managers.

In 2009, Prandelli surpassed Fulvio Bernardini as the longest serving manager in Fiorentina history, and guided the viola to a historic qualification in the round of 16 of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Bayern Munich (who later went on to qualify to the final) through the away goals rule. However, Prandelli did not manage to repeat such successes at the domestic stage, with things being made even more complex by his key player Adrian Mutu being suspended due to doping-related issues. Fiorentina ended the 2009–10 Serie A in eleventh place, far removed from the top sides in the league.

Italy national team

Mario Balotelli (left) and Cesare Prandelli (centre) meeting the then Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (right) in November 2011

On 20 May 2010, Fiorentina confirmed that Prandelli was given permission to hold talks with F.I.G.C. president Giancarlo Abete to replace Marcello Lippi as head coach of the Italian national team after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[5][6] On 30 May, the Italian Football Federation publicly announced that Prandelli will take over from Lippi at the head of the Azzurri after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[7] His official debut arrived on 10 August 2010, in a friendly match against Ivory Coast at the Boleyn Ground, finishing in a 0–1 defeat.[8]

Then, during the 2012 Euro Qualifiers, Italy came back from behind to defeat Estonia 2–1. Italy's match against Serbia was plagued by crowd trouble and UEFA subsequently awarded Italy a 3–0 victory, putting them in pole position of their group. On 25 March. 2011, Italy recorded a 1–0 win over Slovenia to secure their spot at the top of the qualification table. Before the Slovenia game, Prandelli said: “The moment has come for us to have faith in the former greats of our football and learn from them ... My instruction is to work, work, work and I sincerely believe in rebuilding."[9] Although preparations for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine were affected by domestic match-rigging scandals, Prandelli succeeded in restoring honour to the national team after six years of relative famine by unexpectedly guiding it to the final.[10] After coming second in the group stage (with 1–1 draws against Spain and Croatia and a 2–0 win over the Republic of Ireland), the team dominated a goalless encounter against England won by a penalty shoot out, and then contrived a striking 2–1 defeat of Germany in which Prandelli's special protegé Mario Balotelli scored twice. Despite losing 4–0 to Spain in the final, Prandelli was able to bring the team back to Italy amid popular applause to receive the personal compliments of President Giorgio Napolitano at an official reception in the Quirinal Palace.[11]

After comfortably guiding the Italian team to qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, on March 2014 it was revealed Prandelli had agreed a two-year contract extension that would keep him in charge until the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.[12] On 24 June 2014 he resigned as the Italian National manager after a 1–0 defeat against Uruguay, which eliminated Italy from the World Cup in the group stage.[13][14]


On 3 July 2014, Prandelli became the manager of Galatasaray taking over from the previous fellow Italian coach Roberto Mancini, signing a two-year contract.[15] He could only spend 147 days as the manager of Galatasaray, as he was sacked on 28 November 2014. His league performance was certainly not bad: in 10 weeks his team managed to get 6 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses, landing at 3rd place in Turkish League, 1 point behind Fenerbahce and Besiktas. However. the team under Prandelli had one of its worst seasons in the Champions League with two 4–1 losses to Arsenal, a 4–0 and a 4–1 loss to Borussia Dortmund, ending the team with 1 points and −12 goal difference in 6 games.[16] Prandelli's statement that "the Turkish league is our priority" was not well received by the fans and the club board, as Galatasaray is often seen as the "European team" of Turkey, being the most successful club in European tournaments. Prandelli's tactics and player choices have also been heavily criticized in the media, as he has tried different lineups in 16 games that he managed. His successor, Hamza Hamzaoglu, led the team to both league and cup titles. Players declared their discontent about working with Prandelli several times on the media.[17]


On 28 September 2016, Prandelli was appointed manager of Spanish club Valencia.[18]

Career statistics


As of 29 November 2016
Team From To Record
Italy Lecce 1997 1998 16 3 2 11 18.75
Italy Verona 1998 2000 59 21 19 19 35.59
Italy Venezia 2000 2001 43 19 12 12 44.19
Italy Parma 2002 2004 83 37 24 22 44.58
Italy Roma 2004 2004 0 0 0 0 !
Italy Fiorentina 2005 2010 241 119 54 68 49.38
Italy Italy 2010 2014 56 25 17 14 44.64
Turkey Galatasaray 2014 2014 16 6 3 7 37.50
Spain Valencia 2016 7 2 2 3 28.57
Total 521 232 133 156 44.53

Personal life

Prandelli is a widower who was married to Manuela Caffi, a woman he had met in his hometown of Orzinuovi when he was 18 and she was 15. They married in 1982, with footballers Antonio Cabrini and Domenico Pezzolla witnessing the event, and they had two children named Carolina and Nicolò. In 2001, Prandelli's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer; her worsening health conditions led Prandelli to resign from his coaching post at Roma only days after his signing.[19] After a short recovery, her conditions worsened and she died on 26 November 2007 in Florence. On 29 November Fiorentina travelled to Athens to play Greek side AEK Athens, with Prandelli's assistant Gabriele Pin deputizing for him. The Fiorentina team attended Prandelli's wife's funeral along with her personal friends. The team was shaken by the turn of events.

His son, Nicolò, has also embarked on an off-pitch football career, having been chosen as a fitness coach, by Parma F.C. in 2009,[20] and then by the Italian national team during the buildup to the 2012 Euro finals.[21][22]

Prandelli is a devout catholic.[23] As of 2010, he has been in a relationship with Novella Benini.[24] Prandelli has spoken out against homophobia and racism in football;[25] in 2012, he wrote a preface to a new book on homosexuality in sport by Alessandro Cecchi Paone and Flavio Pagano which stated: "Homophobia is racism and it is indispensable that we make further steps to look after all aspects of individuals living their own lives, including sporting figures, ... In the world of football and of sport in general there is still a taboo around homosexuality. Everyone ought to live freely with themselves, their desires and their sentiments. We must all work for a sporting culture that respects the individual in every manifestation of his truth and freedom. Hopefully soon some players will come out."[26]








  1. 1 2 "Cesare Claudio Prandelli". Players. Myjuve.it. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  2. "Parma turn to Prandelli". UEFA.com. 16 May 2002. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  3. "Prandelli extends Parma deal". UEFA.com. 12 December 2002. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  4. "WORLD CUP 2010: Marcello Lippi to be replaced by Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli". Mail. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  5. "COMUNICATO STAMPA". Viola Channel (in Italian). ACF Fiorentina. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  6. "Fiorentina manager Prandelli offered Italy job". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  7. "Dopo i Campionati del Mondo Cesare Prandelli sulla panchina azzurra". figc.it (in Italian). Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  8. "Italy 0–1 Ivory Coast". ESPNsoccernet. ESPN. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  9. "Italy coach Cesare Prandelli claims he is prepared to help Mario Balotelli fulfill his potential.". SportsYour. SportsYour. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
  10. Hayward, Paul (29 June 2012). "Euro 2012: Cesare Prandelli gets Italy playing with as much heart as head to reach final against Spain". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  11. "Napolitano a Prandelli "Se andava via mi sarei arrabbiato" –" (in Italian). La Repubblica online, www.repubblica.it. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  12. "Prandelli set to sign two-year extension". AFP. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  13. "Italy coach Prandelli quits after World Cup exit". UEFA.com. 24 June 2014.
  14. "World Cup 2014: Italy boss Cesare Prandelli to resign". BBC Sport. 24 June 2014.
  15. http://www.galatasaray.org/futbol/futbol_as/haber/20600.php
  16. "Prandelli'nin Galatasaray karnesi". Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  17. Goz, Evren. "Siyah ile beyaz gibiydi". NTVspor. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  18. "Struggling Valencia appoint Cesare Prandelli as new coach". As.com. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  19. "La mia vita senza Manuela tra il calcio, i figli e Dio" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  20. "Parma, il figlio di Prandelli nello staff di Marino". CalcioNews24. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  21. Condio, Roberto (15 May 2012). "Anche il figlio di Prandelli nello staff "Che male c'è? Se lo merita"" (in Italian). La Stampa. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  22. Sardelli, Giovanni (14 May 2012). "Prandelli: "Di Natale picked on merit, Cassano back, Mario to blossom"". La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
  23. Sam Wallace (29 June 2012). "Prandelli praised for an Italy built on positivity". The Independent.
  24. Adam Shergold (12 June 2014). "Cesare Prandelli's girlfriend Novella Benini watches Italy training as Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo and Co gear up for World Cup opener against England". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  25. Richard Williams (13 June 2012). "Euro 2012: Italy's Antonio Cassano must pay for homophobic remarks". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  26. "Prandelli: 'Homophobia is racism'". Football Italia. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  27. "Cesare Prandelli". Eurosport. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  28. 1 2 "C. Prandelli". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  29. "Soccer: Italy satisfied with Confederations Cup campaign". La Gazzetta del Sud. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  30. "Ibra re del calcio italiano Lo segue a ruota Del Piero" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  31. "Panchina d'Oro a Prandelli" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  32. "Il Premio Facchetti a Prandelli "Spero di essere all'altezza"" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  33. "Italia: a Prandelli il premio Bearzot" (in Italian). sport.nanopress.it. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  34. Matteo Magrini (23 August 2016). "Festa al Franchi, presenti e assenti. No eccellenti da Rui Costa, Baggio e Batistuta" (in Italian). Fiorentina.it. Retrieved 24 August 2016.

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