Gianni De Biasi

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Gianni De Biasi
Personal information
Full name Giovanni De Biasi
Date of birth (1956-06-16) 16 June 1956 (age 64)
Place of birth Sarmede, Italy
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Azerbaijan (head coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1975 Treviso 25 (5)
1975–1976 Inter Milan 10 (0)
1976–1977Reggiana (loan) 24 (0)
1977–1978Pescara (loan) 24 (0)
1978–1983 Brescia 161 (14)
1983–1986 Palermo 105 (9)
1986–1987 Vicenza 19 (0)
1987–1989 Treviso 51 (3)
1989–1990 Bassano Virtus 55
Teams managed
1990–1991 Bassano Virtus 55 (youth team)
1991–1992 Vicenza (youth team)
1992–1993 Vastese
1993–1996 Carpi
1996–1997 Cosenza
1997–1999 SPAL
1999–2003 Modena
2003–2005 Brescia
2005–2006 Torino
2007 Torino
2007–2008 Levante
2008 Torino
2009–2010 Udinese
2011–2017 Albania
2017 Alavés
2020– Azerbaijan
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Giovanni "Gianni" De Biasi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒanni de ˈbjaːzi]; born 16 June 1956) is an Italian football coach and former player. He holds dual Italian and Albanian citizenship. De Biasi was the first coach of the Albania national team to lead the team to qualify for a major tournament, namely UEFA Euro 2016.

Playing career[edit]

De Biasi was born in Sarmede, Treviso, Italy. A midfielder, he started his professional playing career for Inter Milan; he was part of the first team squad but, despite this, never played for the nerazzurri and was then loaned to Serie C team Reggiana in 1975 and newly promoted Serie A club Pescara Calcio one year later. He was sold to Brescia in 1977 as partial compensation for the signing of Evaristo Beccalossi by Inter. De Biasi played in Brescia for five seasons, only one of them in Serie A. He then moved to Palermo in 1983, but abruptly left it three years later following the cancellation of the Sicilian club in the summer of 1986. This was followed by a single season with Vicenza and two Serie C2 seasons for Treviso. De Biasi retired from active football in 1990, after a Serie D season with Bassano.

Coaching career[edit]

Clubs in Italy[edit]

In 1990, De Biasi became youth team coach for Bassano; in 1991, he was appointed by Vicenza to coach the allievi nazionali youth squad. In 1992, De Biasi made his debut as first team coach, being boss of Serie C2 club Vastese (now Pro Vasto); this was followed by three seasons as Carpi boss. In 1996, De Biasi was appointed coach of Serie B club Cosenza, but was fired on Christmas' eve day. After a two-year spell at SPAL, De Biasi was contacted and hired by Serie C1 club Modena on 2000; with the canarini, De Biasi obtained two consecutive promotions that brought Modena back in Serie A after 38 years. For his achievements with Modena, he was the awarded the Silver Bench award in 2002.[1] He left Modena in 2003, after having led his club to safety, achieving an impressive 13th-place finish in the Serie A table, and signed for Brescia, where he had the opportunity to coach Roberto Baggio in his last playing season of his career. He was sacked during the 2004–05 season.

In 2005, Torino of Serie B appointed De Biasi as head coach, offering him a squad quickly built in a very few days following the cancellation of the old Torino Calcio club and the forming of a new society, owned by Urbano Cairo. Under De Biasi, Torino obtained immediate Serie A promotion, after having defeated Mantova on play-offs. De Biasi, initially confirmed as head coach also for the 2006–07 Serie A campaign, was however sacked three days before the first matchday and replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni. On 26 February 2007 Torino FC chairman Cairo decided to sack Zaccheroni too and recall De Biasi at the helm of the granata, leading them to avoid relegation.

After several rumours regarding a possible move to La Liga side Levante UD, he was announced on 9 October 2007 to have reached an agreement with the Spanish side, where he will join fellow Italians Damiano Tommasi, Christian Riganò, Marco Storari and Bruno Cirillo.[2] He did not manage to save the club from relegation, mainly because of financial struggles which questioned the club's own survival and led to sell several key players during the January transfer window. Despite the lack of top-quality players and as the risk of bankruptcy loomed, he led the team to some unexpected victories, displaying linearity and tactical discipline that gained him the love of the Spanish fans and esteem of the critics: in one of its editions, the popular sports daily “As” declared him the best coach in the championship

On 16 April 2008, he was announced by Torino to replace Walter Novellino for the five final matchdays, with the aim to save the club from relegation once again. Once again, De Biasi saved the team.[3] On 8 December 2008 he was sacked after fifteen matches, blamed by the team's manager for the fact that Torino was once again struggling to avoid relegation. However, despite hiring and then dismissing a second and then a third coach, the team was still relegated at the end of the championship.[4]

On 22 December 2009, Udinese dismissed manager Pasquale Marino and appointed De Biasi to take charge of the struggling team from North-Eastern Italy. However, results did not particularly improve under his tenure as head coach, and De Biasi himself was removed from his post on 21 February 2010 with Marino being named back at the helm of the club.[5]

Albania national team[edit]

On 14 December 2011, following Josip Kuže's dismissal, the Albanian Football Association announced to have agreed a two-year deal with De Biasi as new head coach of the national team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.[6][7] His first match as Albania manager was a 2–1 defeat to Georgia, during which Edgar Çani, one of his innovations, scored after three minutes for the Red and Blacks.[8]

In May 2012, in two friendlies against Qatar and Iran, De Biasi launched new players such as Mërgim Mavraj, Mërgim Brahimi, and Etrit Berisha, whereas in the friendly against Moldova, scheduled on 16 August 2012, he convocated three young players, Erjon Dushku, Erjon Vuçaj, and Renato Arapi.[9] Albania won narrowly against Iran and Qatar, but was held by Moldova at home.[10][11]

De Biasi won his first competitive match on 7 September 2012, defeating Cyprus 2–0 in their opening 2014 World Cup Qualifying match, in Tirana, with goals by Sadiku, Çani and Bogdani.[12] This match saw two newcomers to the Albania's midfield, Alban Meha and Burim Kukeli, who played for the entire match.[13] On 22 March 2013, he led Albania with his schemes and defensive tactical to a 1–0 historic win against Norway at Oslo, moving Albania into joint 2nd place in the group 9 points, ahead of Norway who were left on 7 points.[14][15]

De Biasi started UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier with a 1–0 win over group favorites Portugal.[16] This victory was described as historic by Albanian and international medias,[17] and caused the resignation of Portugal's coach, Paulo Bento.[18] In the next qualifying match against Denmark at the newly renovated Elbasan Arena, Albania was on lead until 81st minute when Lasse Vibe levelled the score to 1–1.[19] The Albanian goal was scored by Ermir Lenjani, another player brought by De Biasi in 2013.[20]

On 29 March 2015, in the fourth qualifying match against Armenia, Albania was behind after only four minutes, but with the clever substitutes of De Biasi, Albania come back and won the match 2–1 thanks to goals from Mërgim Mavraj and Shkëlzen Gashi, a player who came on in the 46th minute.[21] This match caused the resignation of Armenia's coach, Bernard Challandes.[22]

On 13 June 2015, Albania beat one-time World Champions France at Elbasan Arena for the first time in history thanks to a free-kick from Ergys Kaçe.[23] For this match, De Biasi left some of the starter players out, in order to rest. The victory subsequently allowed Albania to climb 15 positions to 36th place in the July 2015 FIFA world rankings for the first time in history.[24]

Gianni De Biasi became the first coach of the Albanian national side to lead the team to qualify for the UEFA European Championship, when the team sealed qualification for UEFA Euro 2016 on 10 October 2015.[25][26] For this achievement De Biasi, as well as the entire team were bestowed the Honor of Nation Order by Albania's President Bujar Nishani.[27]

At the end of 2015, De Biasi was included for the first time in the top ten IFFHS National Coaches of the World, ranking sixth.[28] On 9 January 2016, he agreed a contract extension with Albania, signing until 2017, also his new salary was increased by 60% of his former salary.[29] On 7 March 2016, he was awarded by FIGC with the Special Golden Bench award for "spreading the values of the Italian school coaches in the world".[30][31]

In UEFA Euro 2016, Albania was pitted against France, Switzerland and Romania in Group A.[32] After losing narrowly to Switzerland in their opening game,[33] Albania held hosts and favourites France scoreless until the 89th minute before conceding two late goals.[34] In their final group game, a 43rd minute headed goal by Sadiku was the only goal in a 1–0 win and gave them a historic first victory in the European Championships, helping them to a third-place finish in the group.[35][36]

Following the elimination of Albania from UEFA Euro 2016, De Biasi confirmed himself that he would stay at Albania for the qualifiers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[37][38]

On 14 June 2017, De Biasi announced his resignation in a joint press conference with the President of the Albanian Football Federation, where he departed as the best manager in Albanian football history.[39]

Deportivo Alavés[edit]

On 22 September 2017, De Biasi was appointed manager of Spanish club Deportivo Alavés.[40] He was later sacked on 27 November of the same year.[41]

Azerbaijan national team[edit]

On 11 July 2020, Veteran Italian coach Gianni De Biasi was confirmed as the new coach of Azerbaijan.

ANSA reported that he has signed a two-year contract with the Azerbaijani FA, taking him through qualification for the 2022 World Cup.

Personal life[edit]

On 28 March 2015, De Biasi obtained Albanian citizenship.[42]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 17 November 2020
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Italy Bassano U19 1 July 1990 30 June 1991
Italy Vicenza Calcio U17 1 July 1991 30 June 1992
Italy Vastese Calcio 1 July 1992 30 June 1993
Italy Carpi 1 July 1993 30 June 1996
Italy Cosenza Calcio 1 July 1996 30 June 1997 28 7 12 9 25.00
Italy SPAL 1 July 1997 30 June 1999 34 11 14 9 32.35
Italy Modena 1 November 1999 30 June 2003 139 63 43 33 45.32
Italy Brescia Calcio 1 July 2003 9 February 2005 61 14 21 26 22.95
Italy Torino 1 September 2005 7 September 2006 48 24 14 10 50.00
Italy Torino 26 February 2007 30 June 2007 14 5 3 6 35.71
Spain Levante UD 10 October 2007 15 April 2008 30 8 4 18 26.67
Italy Torino 16 April 2008 8 December 2008 22 7 3 12 31.82
Italy Udinese Calcio 22 December 2009 21 February 2010 11 3 3 5 27.27
 Albania 14 December 2011 14 June 2017 54 21 12 21 38.89
Spain Deportivo Alavés 22 September 2017 27 November 2017 10 4 0 6 40.00
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 11 July 2020 present 7 1 4 2 14.29
Total 458 168 133 157 36.68


  1. ^ "Capello d'oro, De Biasi d'argento" (in Italian). 23 April 2002. Archived from the original on 20 June 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  2. ^ "El Levante UD y el técnico Giovanni De Biasi llegan a un acuerdo verbal" (in Spanish). Levante UD. 9 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2007.
  3. ^ "Torino sack Novellino". SKY Sports. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2008.
  4. ^ "De Biasi esonerato dal suo incarico" (in Italian). Torino FC. 8 December 2008. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  5. ^ "L'Udinese riaffida la guida tecnica della Prima Squadra al Signor Pasquale Marino" (in Italian). Udinese Calcio. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2010.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Kush është trajneri i ri i kombëtares shqiptare!" (in Albanian). Panorama. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Albania name De Biasi coach". 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Shqipëria mposhtet fal gjyqtarit nga Moldavia" (in Albanian). Malë 29 February 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Portali me popullor ne Shqiperi" (in Albanian). InfoAlbania. Retrieved 14 October 2015.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Qatar vs. Albania 1 – 2". Soccerway. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Albania vs. Iran 1 – 2". Soccerway. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Albania leave it late against Cyprus". 8 September 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Zyrtare: Alban Meha e Burim Kukeli marrin pasaportat shqiptare (Foto)". 4 September 2012. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Albania beat the freeze in Norway". 22 March 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Norway stunned by Albania". Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Cristiano Ronaldo-Less Portugal Stunned by Albania in Euro 2016 Qualifiers". NDTV. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Albania shock Portugal, Germany edge Scotland". 7 September 2014. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Portugal coach Paulo Bento leaves role after shock Albania defeat". 11 September 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Denmark's Vibe scores late equaliser in Albania". 11 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Ekskluzive: Ermir Lenjani "blerja" e re e De Biazit kundër Armenisë" (in Albanian). 7 August 2013. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Albania head off Armenia threat". 29 March 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  22. ^ Khachik Chakhoyan (30 March 2015). "Challandes quits Armenia helm after another loss". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Kaçe free-kick gives Albania win against France". 13 June 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Rekord historik, Shqipëria renditet e 36 në botë" (in Albanian). 9 July 2015. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  25. ^ "De Biasi: 'Albania lives a dream'". Football Italia. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  26. ^ Manlio Gasparotto (13 October 2015). "De Biasi esalta la sua Albania: "Proveremo ancora a stupire"" [De Biasi praises his Albania: "We will try to keep surprising everyone"] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  27. ^ Ora News (11 October 2015). "Shqipëria kualifikohet, Presidenti Nishani vlerëson kombëtaren me dekoratën "Nderi i Kombit"". Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  28. ^ "THE WORLD'S BEST NATIONAL COACH 2015". 6 January 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Gianni De Biasi rinovon kontratën me Kombëtaren Shqiptare". Albania Today. 9 January 2016. Archived from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  30. ^ "De Biasi fiton "Pankina e Artë Speciale"". 7 March 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  31. ^ "De Biasi fiton "Pankina e Artë" nga Federata italiane". 7 March 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Shorti "Euro 2016". Shqipëria në grupin A, me Francën". 12 December 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  33. ^ Tweedale, Alistair; Liew, Jonathan (11 June 2016). "Switerzland down 10-man Albania as Xhaka derby is settled by Fabian Schar header". Telegraph. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  34. ^ "France 2-0 Albania: Late double breaks Albanian hearts - 5 things we learned". 16 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  35. ^ Andy Hunter (19 June 2016). "Armando Sadiku winner makes Albania history in win over Romania". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  36. ^ "UEFA Euro 2016 Group A". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  37. ^ ""De Biasi qëndron te Shqipëria për të sfiduar për Botëror"". Kosova Sot. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  38. ^ "Mediat italiane: De Biasi qëndron te Shqipëria për të na sfiduar për Botëror". 24 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  39. ^ "De Biasi leaves Albania". Football Italia. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  40. ^ "Official: De Biasi moves to Spain". Football Italia. 22 September 2017.
  41. ^ "Alavés sack coach De Biasi after two months". 27 November 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  42. ^ Lajme Flash (8 October 2015). "De Biazi merr pasaportën shqiptare: Dua të rinovoj, dëshiroj të qëndroj gjatë". Archived from the original on 14 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.

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