Ciro Ferrara

Ciro Ferrara

Ferrara in 2012
Personal information
Full name Ciro Ferrara
Date of birth (1967-02-11) 11 February 1967
Place of birth Naples, Italy
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Wuhan Zall (manager)
Youth career
1980–1984 Napoli
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1994 Napoli 247 (12)
1994–2005 Juventus 253 (15)
Total 500 (27)
National team
1985–1987 Italy U21 6 (1)
1987–2000 Italy 49 (0)
Teams managed
2005–2006 Italy (assistant)
2008–2009 Italy (assistant)
2009–2010 Juventus
2010–2012 Italy U21
2012 Sampdoria
2016– Wuhan Zall

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

Ciro Ferrara (born 11 February 1967) is a former Italian footballer and manager. His most recent position was as manager of Sampdoria, although he also previously coached Juventus and the Italy national under-21 football team. As an assistant coach to Marcello Lippi, he won the 2006 FIFA World Cup with Italy.

He spent his playing career as a defender initially at Napoli and later on at Juventus, winning seven Serie A titles, as well as other domestic and international trophies. At international level, he represented Italy at the 1988 Summer Olympics, at two UEFA European Championships in 1988 and 2000, and at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

An elegant yet powerful defender, throughout his playing career, he was known for his composure, technical skills, ball playing ability and class, which enabled him to play anywhere along the back-line.[1][2] Regarded as one of the best Italian centre-backs of his generation, Ferrara was a complete, experienced, consistent, cautious, and successful defender, who was quick, strong in the air, and excelled at reading the game, tackling, and man-marking.[1][2][3]

Club career


Ferrara with Napoli during the 1987–88 season

A native of Naples, Ferrara started his career with the youth system of hometown club S.S.C. Napoli in 1980. Ferrara graduated the primavera youth squad in 1984, and began to earn first team call-ups that season. He made 14 total appearances with the club in his first full season. The following season, he became a part of the starting XI, and the Italian soon began to earn national call-ups and was even called up to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He also scored one of Napoli's goals as they won the 1989 UEFA Cup Final. In addition to the UEFA Cup, with Napoli, he won two Serie A titles (during the 1986–87 and 1989–90 seasons), the 1987 Coppa Italia final, and the 1990 Supercoppa Italiana, over his future team, Juventus.[1]


Ferrara playing for Juventus during the 1994–95 season

In the summer of 1994, Ferrara transferred to Turin based club, Juventus F.C., under coach Marcello Lippi, and was quickly introduced into the starting eleven, making over 40 total appearances for the club in all competitions in his first season, scoring 1 goal. He is considered one of the best central defenders of his generation, not giving up his starting position for the club for the next 10 years. He also captained the team from 1995 to 1996 and became one of the most experienced and decorated players of the past two decades, winning eight Serie A championships, six of which were with Juventus, and two with Napoli. Ferrara was also part of two Coppa Italia titles (one with each team), three Supercoppa Italiana titles (two with Juventus, one with Napoli) and several European competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, Intercontinental Cup and European Super Cup). His role as captain, though, was taken over by fellow Italian Alessandro Del Piero in 1996. Throughout his Juventus career Ferrara played an important role in Juventus' backline, with his vast experienced and dominating defensive style. Throughout his 12-year tenure with the club, Ferrara formed impressive defensive partnerships with the likes of Mark Iuliano, Moreno Torricelli, Paolo Montero, Gianluca Pessotto, Lilian Thuram, Alessandro Birindelli, Igor Tudor, Gianluca Zambrotta, Nicola Legrottaglie, and Fabio Cannavaro. Juventus had what was considered as the best defence in the world at this time, and teams strongly regretted ever going down a goal to the club, as they knew how hard it would be to score one back for themselves. In the 1996–1997 season, one of his peak seasons, he scored four goals in 32 Serie A competitions, while also being capped eight times internationally. Ironically, his first professional match, while at Napoli, was played against Juventus in a 0–0 draw. Following the Scudetto winning 2004–05 Serie A season, Ferrara, along with veteran defensive teammates Mark Iuliano and Paolo Montero ended their Juventus careers. While Montero returned to Uruguay, and Iuliano opted to join smaller clubs to conclude his career, Ferrara retired from football in May 2005 at the age of 38. Ferrara made just 4 Serie A appearances in his final season with the club. Following Juventus's involvement in the 2006 Calciopoli Scandal, their 2004–05 title was revoked, however.[1]

International career

For Italy, Ferrara was capped 49 times and played one game each at the 1990 FIFA World Cup on home soil (where Italy finished in third place after a semi-final penalty shootout defeat to Argentina) and at Euro 2000 (where Italy reached the final, losing to France on a golden goal). Ferrara took part at the 1988 UEFA European Championship, where Italy reached the semi-finals, although he did not appear during the tournament; the same year, he was a member of the Italy team that finished in fourth place at the 1988 Summer Olympics after reaching the semi-final. His brilliance, however, was never truly realised at international level despite his impressive tally of caps. During this time, Italy had a plethora of top-class defenders such as Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassotti, Pietro Vierchowod, Riccardo Ferri, Giuseppe Bergomi, Gianluca Pessotto, Paolo Maldini, and in latter years, stars like Fabio Cannavaro, and Alessandro Nesta. He was also unfortunate with untimely injuries. This was most notable in the buildup to the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Ferrara, aged 31 at the time, was at the peak of his career, and had just finished 3 superb seasons at Juventus. During the 1996–97 and 1997–98, he established himself as one of the best defenders in Italy, and was a regular in his national side's line-up. However, Ferrara suffered a serious injury a few weeks before the 1998 World Cup and missed the tournament; he was replaced by Nesta, who would go on to take his place in Italy's starting line-up alongside Cannavaro. From this time on, Ferrara was a reserve for Italy. Had Ferrara not suffered this injury, many believe he would have been one of the stars of France '98, as he was at the peak of his career. For this reason, he is not so well known outside his native country, but within Italy he is regarded as yet another illustrious defender in a long line of world class Italian defenders.[1][4]

Player statistics


Club performance League Cup Continental Other Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1984–85NapoliSerie A2000----20
Total Napoli 247124622811032215
1994–95JuventusSerie A3317091--492
Total Juventus 253152627226135820
Total 5002772410037168035


Italy national team

Coaching career

Ferrara was part of the Italian technical staff for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. After winning the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he became part of Juventus' staff joining former club and national teammate Gianluca Pessotto, with Ferrara being named youth system chief (responsabile settore giovanile), dealing mostly with organisational aspects of the Juve academy. In July 2008 Ferrara took the UEFA Pro License coaching badges following training at Coverciano, Florence.[7] After Juventus fired Claudio Ranieri following a string of seven league games without a win in the 2008–09 season, Ferrara was named interim head coach of Juventus on 18 May 2009 for the remaining two weeks of the season, with the goal of maintaining second place in the league table, and the possibility of being appointed on a full-time basis for a longer period. In his two games as caretaker manager, he led Juventus to 3–0 and 2–0 wins over Siena and Lazio respectively, thus ensuring a second-place finish over rivals Milan. Following these results, he emerged as a strong candidate for to take the job permanently for the next season. On 5 June 2009, Juventus formally announced his appointment as manager for 2009–10 season.[8][9]

During the summer the team was then massively strengthened with high-profile signings such as Brazilian internationals Diego and Felipe Melo, 2006 FIFA World Cup champions Fabio Cannavaro and Fabio Grosso in defence, as well as young Uruguayan international Martin Caceres, on a loan deal. After winning all the initial four league games, Ferrara's fortunes changed after Juve failed to make the knockout stage of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League following a 4–1 defeat by Bayern Munich at home in a game where a draw would have awarded Juve the qualification to the following phase despite a promising start to the campaign. Despite a win over Derby d'Italia rivals Internazionale, Juve embarked on a losing streak over the winter, notably against minor teams such as Sicilian side Catania and recently promoted Bari. He came under intense scrutiny from the media and there was much speculation about who would succeed him as manager, especially after he was absent at the traditional meeting of all Serie A managers, coaches and referees in Rome during mid-season and was instead represented by then Director of Sport Alessio Secco and 23-year-old homegrown midfielder Claudio Marchisio at the press conference.[10]

Six days later, Juventus were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Internazionale 2–1 at Stadio San Siro, leading the board of directors to ultimately sack Ferrara after weeks of speculation regarding his position, replacing him with Alberto Zaccheroni until the end of the season.[11]

On 22 October 2010 Ciro Ferrara was announced as new head coach of the Italy U21 team, with former teammate Angelo Peruzzi as assistant.[12] Under Ferrara, the Azzurrini remain unbeaten in the 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifiers as of June 2012. On 2 July 2012, he left the country's U21 to coach newly promoted Serie A side U.C. Sampdoria for the 2012–13 season. Ciro Ferrara was sacked as manager of Sampdoria on 17 December 2012.[13][14]

Coaching statistics

Team Nat From To Record
Juventus Italy 2009 2010 30 15 5 10 50.00
Total 30 15 5 10 50.00
Team Nat From To Record
Sampdoria Italy 2012 15 5 3 7 33.33
Total 15 5 3 7 33.33









5th Class/Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 1991[21]
4th Class/Officer: Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 2000[22]

Assistant coach



Personal life

With his fellow Neapolitan friend and former defensive team-mate Fabio Cannavaro, Ferrara has helped establish a charity foundation, Fondazione Cannavaro Ferrara, specialising in the procurement of cancer research equipment and surgery for special cases of cancer for a hospital in their native Naples; the foundation also aims to help at risk youth in Naples.[23]


  1. This title was revoked through the courts following the Calciopoli scandal.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Eroi Bianconeri: Ciro Ferrara". Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Euro 2000 Profiles: Ciro Ferrara". Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  3. "KEY MEN". The Daily Star. 28 May 2003. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  4. "Nazionale in cifre: Ferrara, Ciro" (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  5. Ciro Ferrara at
  7. "Ferrara e Costacurta promossi a Coverciano" (in Italian). TuttoMercatoWeb. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
  8. "Ciro Ferrara è il nuovo allenatore della Juventus" (in Italian). Juventus FC. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  9. "Juventus unveil Ferrara as new manager". ESPN. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  10. "Juve, Ferrara in bilico La Russia libera Hiddink" (in Italian). Il Giornale. 12 January 2010.
  11. "Zaccheroni nuovo allenatore della Juventus" (in Italian). Juventus FC. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  12. "Ferrara è il nuovo tecnico, Peruzzi vice: lunedì in Figc la presentazione" (in Italian). 22 October 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  13. "Rossi in for Ferrara at struggling Sampdoria". 17 December 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  14. "Sampdoria sack Ferrara – report". Football Italia. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  15. "Ciro Ferrara". Eurosport. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  16. "C. Ferrara". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  17. "ESM XI". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  18. "A Florenzi il "Pallone d'Argento" Coppa Giaimè Fiumano" (in Italian). 8 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  19. "FIFA XI´s Matches - Full Info". RSSSF. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  20. "Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare "Gaetano Scirea": Alba d'Oro" (in Italian). Comune Cinisello. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  21. "Ferrara Sig. Ciro - Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana". (in Italian). 30 September 1991. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  22. "Ferrara Sig. Ciro - Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana". (in Italian). 12 July 2000. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  23. "Founders: Fabio Cannavaro & Ciro Ferrara". Fondazione Cannavaro-Ferrara. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
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