Ivano Bonetti

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Ivano Bonetti
Personal information
Date of birth (1964-08-01) 1 August 1964 (age 56)
Place of birth Brescia, Italy
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position(s) Left midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1984 Brescia 70 (3)
1984–1985 Genoa 31 (1)
1985–1988 Juventus 18 (2)
1987–1988 Atalanta 26 (2)
1988–1990 Bologna 62 (3)
1990–1993 Sampdoria 61 (0)
1993–1994 Bologna 18 (2)
1994–1995 Brescia 16 (0)
1994–1995 Torino 5 (0)
1995–1996 Grimsby Town 19 (3)
1996–1997 Tranmere Rovers 13 (1)
1997 Crystal Palace 2 (0)
1997–1999 Genoa 55 (1)
1999–2000 Sestrese 19 (0)
2000–2002 Dundee 18 (2)
Total 433 (20)
Teams managed
2000–2002 Dundee
2004–2010 Pescina Valle del Giovenco
(director of football)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ivano Bonetti (born 1 August 1964) is an Italian football manager and former midfielder. He made appearances for several clubs in Italy in both Serie A and Serie B and also appeared for English clubs Grimsby Town, Tranmere Rovers F.C. and Crystal Palace. He is the son of Aldo Bonetti who played for Brescia until the Second World War. His brother Mario played for Atalanta and brother Dario played over 100 games for Roma and won two caps for Italy.[1]

Former director of football of Lega Pro Prima Divisione club A.S. Pescina Valle del Giovenco.[2]



Born in Brescia, Bonetti made his debut for his hometown club, Brescia (1981–84), before moving to Serie B side Genoa (1984–85), and subsequently defending European Champions Juventus (1985–88), where he won the 1985 Intercontinental Cup, and the 1985–86 Serie A title; he made his Serie A debut on 10 November 1985, coming on as a late substitute in a 3–1 home win over Roma, the club for which his brother Dario was playing at the time. During Ivano's time at the Turin club, he was also sent on loan to Atalanta for the 1987–88 Serie B season, helping the club to obtain a fourth-place finish and Serie A promotion. He later played for Bologna (1988–90), and Sampdoria (1990–93), where he won his second Serie A title in 1991, also reaching the European Cup final the following year, playing alongside his brother Dario once again. He later returned to Bologna (1993–94) in Serie C1, before briefly returning to Brescia the following season (1994–95), and spending the second half of the 1994–95 Serie A season with Torino, before moving to England later in 1995.[1]

Grimsby Town[edit]

Initial impact[edit]

When Bonetti signed for Grimsby Town in 1995; it brought massive national attention to the club and he became an instant fans' favourite. The loyalty of the fans was tested when it was announced that £100,000 was needed to hire Bonetti from the American management company that held the rights to his "services and image"; this was raised by £50,000 from the fans and £50,000 from Bonetti himself, further increasing his appeal. Grimsby, under FIFA regulations, were not allowed to deal with the company and probably could not have afforded the money anyway.[3]

The love affair was completed when he scored the winning goal against West Brom, then managed by former Grimsby boss Alan Buckley and featuring several former Grimsby players.

The "plate of chicken" incident[edit]

On 10 February 1996, an incident after a 3–2 defeat away to Luton Town led to the departure of Bonetti from Blundell Park.[4] Just a month before, Grimsby had beaten them 7–1 in the FA Cup third round. Apparently Brian Laws, angry after the defeat, threw a plate of chicken wings at Bonetti, who he felt did not try hard enough, leaving him with a fractured cheekbone.[5] At the end of the season Bonetti left for Tranmere Rovers on a free transfer; Laws lasted until November of the next season. At Tranmere, Bonetti scored twice, including a late winner in a 4–3 win over Portsmouth.[6] At the start of the 1997–98 season, Bonetti turned up at Crystal Palace, making two substitute appearances in the Premier League, shortly before returning to Italy to join Genoa.


In 1998, a consortium looking to take over Grimsby Town were planning to install Bonetti as manager, though this later fell through.[7]

Dundee FC[edit]

Ivano, along with brother Dario, enjoyed a stint as a coach, serving as a player-manager of the Scottish club Dundee, replacing Jocky Scott. During his first season at Dundee, he signed in several foreign players such as Fabián Caballero, Georgi Nemsadze and, most notably, Argentine superstar Claudio Caniggia, the latter being signed by Rangers only one year later following an impressive season with the club. Despite this, he made only a sixth place in his first season, but was however publicly backed by the club. Further top signings such as Temuri Ketsbaia, Zurab Khizanishvili and Fan Zhiyi failed to make an improvement to the team results, and Dundee ended the 2001–02 season in a disappointing ninth place. He was sacked on 2 July 2002 by the club management.[8] A few months later he claimed back £800,000 from Dundee, declaring he had loaned the money to his former club in order to perform the signing of Fabián Caballero.[9]





  1. ^ a b c d Stefano Bedeschi (4 August 2014). "Gli eroi in bianconero: Ivano BONETTI" (in Italian). Tutto Juve. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Juventus legend Rossi back in football at Pescina". Tribalfootball.com. 6 August 2009. Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  3. ^ Moore, Glenn (2 December 1995). "Bonetti discovers paradise after Juventus". Independent, The (London). Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  4. ^ "Bonetti walks out on Grimsby". The Independent. 13 February 1996. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  5. ^ BBC Sport (17 February 2003). "When managers attack". BBC. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  6. ^ "The Curious Case of Ivano Bonetti, A Tranmere Legend". fanzinecolumns.wordpress.com. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  7. ^ Ault, Richard (16 March 2005). "Where are they now? – Ivano Bonetti". roversrearguard.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  8. ^ BBC Sport (2 July 2002). "The Bonetti years". BBC News. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  9. ^ BBC Sport (18 May 2003). "Bonetti to sue Dundee". BBC News. Retrieved 30 June 2011.

External links[edit]