Walter Mazzarri

Walter Mazzarri

Mazzarri in 2012
Personal information
Full name Walter Mazzarri
Date of birth (1961-10-01) 1 October 1961
Place of birth San Vincenzo, Italy
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Watford (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1982 Pescara 26 (4)
1982 Cagliari 4 (0)
1982–1983 Reggiana 12 (1)
1983 Fiorentina 0 (0)
1983–1988 Empoli 91 (4)
1988–1989 Licata 8 (0)
1989–1990 Modena 21 (0)
1990–1991 Nola 30 (3)
1991–1992 Viareggio 11 (0)
1992–1994 Acireale 32 (1)
1994–1995 Torres 9 (0)
Total 244 (13)
Teams managed
2001–2002 Acireale
2002–2003 Pistoiese
2003–2004 Livorno
2004–2007 Reggina
2007–2009 Sampdoria
2009–2013 Napoli
2013–2014 Internazionale
2016– Watford

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

Walter Mazzarri (Italian pronunciation: [ˈvalter madˈdzarri]; born 1 October 1961) is an Italian former footballer and the current head coach of English side Watford as of 2016.

After coaching several smaller Italian sides, Mazzarri took up a managerial position with Sampdoria in 2007; with the help of the attacking partnership of Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini, he led the team to qualify for the UEFA Cup in his first season, and subsequently reached the Coppa Italia final the next year. In 2009, he joined Napoli, where he implemented a 3–4–3 formation with which he later became associated. With the offensive trio of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamšík, he helped the team qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club's history in 2011; he subsequently won the Coppa Italia the following season, the club's first trophy in over 20 years, and the first since the time of club legend Diego Maradona, and led the team to the second round of the Champions League, only to be eliminated by eventual champions Chelsea. In his final season with the team, he managed a second-place finish in Serie A, the club's best league finish in over 20 years. In 2013, he moved to Internazionale, but was later sacked half-way through his second season with the club.

Playing career

Mazzarri, a midfielder and a product of Fiorentina's youth system, made his professional debut in 1981 for Pescara of Serie B, and played a short Serie A stint in Cagliari the following season, before being sold to Reggiana. He had his longest period at Empoli, who won promotion to Serie A for the first time during his time with the Tuscan side. After several spells with mostly minor teams, including a two-year stint with Acireale where he was part of the team who won a historic first promotion to Serie B, and then playing in the Italian second tier in 1993–94, Mazzarri ended his playing career in 1995 with Sassari Torres.

Managerial career

Early years

Mazzarri started his coaching career as Renzo Ulivieri's assistant at Napoli in 1998. His first spell in charge came in 2001–02 for Sicilian Serie C2 team Acireale, where he had been a player from 1992 to 1994. Subsequently, he returned to his native Tuscany to coach Pistoiese of Serie C1 in 2002–03 and Livorno of Serie B in 2003–04, bringing the amaranto led by Cristiano Lucarelli back to Serie A. He was coach of Reggina from 2004 to 2007, leading the Calabrian side to Serie A survival in three consecutive seasons, the last obtained on the final day of the season despite an 11-point deduction.


On 31 May 2007 he was announced as new Sampdoria coach.[1] He served as Sampdoria boss for two seasons, overseeing a considerable improvement in results, thanks to the likes of the attacking duo of Antonio Cassano, who publicly praised Mazzarri's coaching abilities, and Giampaolo Pazzini. Sampdoria's 2007–08 campaign ended in an impressive sixth place, which ensured qualification for the UEFA Cup. Mazzarri's fortunes declined slightly in 2008–09, as the blucerchiati ended their campaign in 13th place; despite this, he managed to guide his team into the Coppa Italia Final, notably defeating champions Inter 3–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals, before losing on penalties to Lazio in the final. Mazzarri left Sampdoria by mutual consent at the end of the 2008–09 season.


On 6 October 2009 he was appointed manager of Napoli, replacing Roberto Donadoni.[2] Mazzarri inspired his new charges to finish his debut season in sixth place in Serie A, and was handed a new three-year contract at the end of the campaign. The 2010–11 season proved even more successful as, buoyed by the arrival from Palermo of prolific Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, Mazzarri's men finished third in the league and qualified directly for the group phase of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League. Under Mazzarri, Napoli become renowned for their counter-attacking at pace, courtesy of a 3–4–3 formation in which Cavani was supported by Argentine winger Ezequiel Lavezzi and creative Slovakian star Marek Hamšík. They finished second in their Champions League group, behind Germany's Bayern Munich and ahead of Manchester City of England and Villareal of Spain, to earn a spot in the last-16. In the second round tie against another English side, Chelsea, Napoli won 3–1 at home in the first leg; they were subsequently beaten 4–1 at Stamford Bridge after extra time, being eliminated from the Champions League, while Chelsea went on to win the title. Napoli ended the season on a high-note, however, as they won the 2012 Coppa Italia Final over undefeated 2011–12 Serie A champions Juventus on 20 May; this was Juventus's only loss of the season, and Napoli's first title in over 20 years, when club legend Diego Maradona played for the club.[3] The following season, Napoli suffered a controversial 4–2 extra-time defeat to Juventus in the 2012 Supercoppa Italiana, on 11 August, which saw two Napoli players sent off, as well as Mazzarri.[4] Mazzarri left the Azzurri on 19 May 2013, after leading the team to a 2nd place finish and a spot in the Champions League at the end of the 2012–13 Serie A season; this was the club's best league finish in over 20 years.


Mazzarri was officially appointed as the Inter manager on 24 May 2013,[5] after Andrea Stramaccioni was dismissed after a poor performance in the 2012–13 season. On 2 July 2014, FC Internazionale and Mazzarri agreed to a one-year extension to the current coach’s contract keeping him at the team until 30 June 2016. He was sacked by Inter after a series of disappointing results on 14 November 2014, leaving the club in ninth place.[6][7][8][9] He parted with the club before the 12th matchday, whilst they were five points below their season objective of the third position.[10]


On 21 May 2016, Watford confirmed they had reached an agreement with Mazzarri to become Head Coach from 1 July 2016 on a three-year contract.[11]

Managerial statistics

As of 3 December 2016
Team Nat From To Record
Acireale Italy 1 July 2001 30 June 2002 31 10 10 11 32.26
Pistoiese Italy 1 July 2002 30 June 2003 39 12 11 16 30.77
Livorno Italy 1 July 2003 30 June 2004 47 20 20 7 42.55
Reggina Italy 1 July 2004 28 May 2007 123 37 39 47 30.08
Sampdoria Italy 1 July 2007 30 June 2009 99 38 29 32 38.38
Napoli Italy 6 October 2009 20 May 2013 182 109 30 43 59.89
Internazionale Italy 24 May 2013 14 November 2014 56 35 10 11 62.50
Watford England 1 July 2016 Present 15 5 3 7 33.33
Total 592 236 182 174 39.86





  1. "Mazzarri named Samp boss". Football Italia. 31 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2 June 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2007.
  2. "È Walter Mazzarri il nuovo allenatore" (in Italian). SSC Napoli. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  3. Paolo Bandini (21 May 2012). "Napoli ruin Del Piero's final farewell with Coppa Italia win over Juventus". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  4. "Juventus 4-2 Napoli". ESPN. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  5. "FC Internazionale club statement". 24 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  6. "FC INTERNAZIONALE CLUB STATEMENT". FC Internazionale Milano. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  7. "Internazionale sack head coach Walter Mazzarri after 17 months in charge". The Guardian. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  8. "Walter Mazzarri sacked as Inter Milan coach with Roberto Mancini offered the chance to return to the San Siro". Daily Mail. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  9. "Inter Milan: Head coach Walter Mazzarri sacked". BBC Sport. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  10. "Serie A TIM - Spieltag / Tabelle". 9 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  11. "OFFICIAL: Walter Mazzarri Appointed Head Coach At Watford". 21 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  12. 1 2 "W. Mazzarri". Soccerway. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  13. "Mazzarri vince il Premio Bearzot" (in Italian). 28 March 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
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