|Date of birth||March 31, 1969|
|Place of birth||Lecce, Italy|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Playing position||Right Winger|
|Catania (head coach)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Francesco "Checco" Moriero (born 31 March 1969 in Lecce) is a retired Italian association football player and current manager, who played as a winger on the right flank. Throughout his career, he played for several Italian clubs: U.S. Lecce, Cagliari, A.S. Roma, Inter Milan, and S.S.C. Napoli, winning an UEFA Cup title with Inter in 1998. A former Italy international, he took part at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Francesco Moriero played for several Italian clubs throughout his career, including U.S. Lecce (1986–1992), Cagliari (1992–94), A.S. Roma (1994–97), Inter Milan (1997–2000), and S.S.C. Napoli (2000–2002).
Originally from Lecce, he began his career with the local club's youth side, making his professional debut with the senior Lecce side during the 1986–87 Serie B season. The following season, he made 35 appearances, scoring 3 goals, helping the team to gain promotion to Serie A. He played two seasons in Serie A with Lecce, making 86 appearances and scoring 4 goals, before Lecce were relegated to Serie B once again. During the 1991–92 Serie B season, he set a personal best of 6 goals in 34 appearances, before moving to Cagliari in 1992, where he made his debut in European competitions, notably helping the team to reach the semi-final of the 1993–94 UEFA Cup.
In 1994, he moved to Roma for 8.5 billion Lit. He spent 3 seasons with the club, becoming an important figure, making 75 appearances in Serie A, and scoring 8 goals. In May 1997, he had initially made a deal to sign for Milan, but in July, he signed with Inter for 1 million Lit. in an exchange between the two Milan clubs involving André Cruz, who was initially about to sign a contract with Inter.
He made his debut with Inter on the first matchday of the 1997–98 Serie A season, on 31 August 1997, against Brescia, at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. His most notable and successful career spell came with the Milan club, and in his first season, he won the 1997–98 UEFA Cup, notably scoring a goal from a bicycle kick against the Swiss team Neuchatel Xamax. Inter also narrowly missed out on the Serie A title to Juventus that season, as Moriero made 28 league appearances that season, scoring 3 goals. Although he made fewer appearances during the next two seasons due to injury (making 28 appearances in Serie A in total, scoring 3 goals), he also later reached the 2000 Coppa Italia final with the club, under Marcello Lippi, before moving to Napoli in 2000. During the 2000–01 Serie A season, he made 14 appearances with Napoli, scoring a goal, although he was unable to save the club from relegation. He ended his career with the club in 2002, in Serie B. In total he made 287 appearances in Serie A, scoring 21 goals. Moriero was also known for pretending to polish his team-mates' football boots whenever they scored a goal.
After making an appearance with the Italy national under-21 football team in a 1–0 win over Greece on 7 February 1990, under manager Cesare Maldini, Moriero also played for the senior Italian national team; in total, he scored two goals in eight matches for Italy between 1998 and 1999. He made his senior international debut on 28 January 1998, in a 3–0 home win over Slovakia, and in his next appearance, in an international friendly against Paraguay on 22 April 1998, he scored his only two goals for Italy, one from a bicycle kick, as they won the match 3–1 at home. Moriero was a participant for Italy at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, under Cesare Maldini once again, where Italy were eliminated in the quarterfinals to hosts and eventual champions France on penalties. He appeared in all five of Italy's matches, and during the World Cup, he assisted Vieri's first goal in Italy's 3–0 win against Cameroon in their second group stage match, also starting the play for his second goal of the match. He also initiated the play which led to Baggio's match winning goal against Austria in Italy's final group match, as Italy won 2–1 to top their group.
In 2006, soon after having successfully ended his studies at the Coverciano football coaching school, Moriero was appointed head coach of Ivorian club Africa Sports
On July 27, 2007 Africa Sports announced that they have sacked Moriero, appointing his assistant Salvatore Nobile as new boss. On August 7, Moriero signed for Serie C1's Lanciano, guiding the club under massive financial issues that successively led to bankrupt, an auction-regulated sale and point deductions throughout the season. He successively guided F.C. Crotone to win the Lega Pro Prima Divisione playoffs and achieve promotion to Serie B in the 2008–09 season.
He then served as head coach of Serie B club Frosinone from July 2009 to April 2010.
In September 2010 he was named new head coach of Grosseto in the Italian Serie B, replacing Luigi Apolloni, but was dismissed later in January 2011 due to poor results. In the season 2012–13 he was again named head coach of Grosseto, but on 1 October 2012 he was sacked.
On 30 June 2013, Moriero signed with his former club, Lecce, although he was dismissed 24 September. On 1 July 2014, he was hired by Catanzaro, although he was later sacked once again by the club on 9 November.
Style of play
Moriero was a right-footed, quick, energetic, and highly technical player, who was predominantly used as right winger; although he was an offensive minded player, he was also known for his work-rate and defensive contribution. He was primarily known for his acceleration, pace, dribbling skills, agility, creativity, and crossing ability. He also had good vision and distribution, and was also capable of scoring spectacular goals from distance on occasion, as well as having a penchant for scoring acrobatic goals from volleys and bicycle kicks.
- UEFA Cup: 1997–98
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- "PRESENTATO IL NUOVO TECNICO FRANCESCO MORIERO". uscatanzaro1929.com (in Italian). 1 July 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
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- "Ronaldo tra Pele' e Moriero" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 13 January 1998. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- "Francesco Moriero" (in French). Eurosport. Retrieved 19 December 2015.