|Birth Day:||March 17, 1939|
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From 1953-1959, he was part of Milan's youth career.
Trapattoni is also remembered for his performance in Italy's 3–0 friendly victory over Brazil at the San Siro stadium in Milan on 12 May 1963; during the match, he was able to nullify Pelé's impact on the game through his man-marking ability, with the latter asking to be substituted for Quarentinha in the 26th minute of the second half, whom Trapattoni also successfully defended. However, Pelé later stated in 2000 that his performance was due to stomach pains, and that he was forced to play due to contractual obligations; Trapattoni himself also frequently downplayed his performance during the match, even prior to Pelé's comments, stating: "the truth is that on that day he was half-injured. Tired. I was a good footballer, but let's leave Pelé alone. He was a martian."
Born in Cusano Milanino near Milan, Trapattoni had a successful career as a player with A.C. Milan, playing either as a central defender or as a defensive midfielder with the main task of passing the ball to more creative players such as Giovanni Lodetti and Gianni Rivera. He won two Serie A titles (1961–62, 1967–68) and two European Cups (1962–63, 1968–69) during his time with Milan, and was one of the stars of the 1963 European Cup Final against Benfica, successfully man-marking Eusébio in the second half. Similarly, in the team's 4–1 victory in the 1969 European Cup Final against Ajax, he drew praise in the Italian media for his defending and ability to nullify the offensive threat of Johann Cruyff.
Trapattoni began coaching at Milan as a youth team coach, before becoming caretaker coach. Trapattoni was caretaker coach from 9 April 1974 to 30 June 1974. His first match was the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi–final first leg against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Milan won the match 2–0. They got to the final after only losing the second leg 1–0. Milan lost the final 2–0 to East German club 1. FC Magdeburg. Milan finished seventh in Serie A. He was appointed first team coach in 1975.
He won the Serie A league title six times (1976–77, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1985–86), the Coppa Italia twice (1978–79 and 1982–83), the European Cup in 1984–85 (in a final against then-reigning champions Liverpool marked by the Heysel disaster), the Intercontinental Cup in 1985, the Cup Winners' Cup in 1983–84, the European Super Cup in 1984, and the UEFA Cup in 1976–77.
Trapattoni coached Inter Milan from 1 July 1986 to 30 June 1991. While in charge of the nerazzurri, he won the Serie A in 1988–89, the Supercoppa Italiana in 1989 and the UEFA Cup in 1990–91.
Trapattoni coached Cagliari in the 1995–96 season. His first match was a 1–0 loss to Udinese on 26 August 1995. The club's board of directors decided to dismiss him in February 1996, after a string of bad results; Trapattoni was thus fired for the first time in his career. His final match was a 4–1 loss to Juventus. Cagliari were in 13th place at the time of his sacking.
Trapattoni returned to manage Bayern again in July 1996. He is well remembered by German fans for an emotional outburst in broken German during a press conference on 10 March 1998 ("Was erlauben Strunz?" ... Ich habe fertig! [German uses the verb sein(am) and not habe(have) to express "I have finished"]" − How dare Strunz? ... I have finished) where he criticised the attitude of Mehmet Scholl and Mario Basler ("Diese Spieler waren schwach wie eine Flasche leer!" − These players were weak like a bottle empty). In a 2011 interview, Trapattoni himself explained his famous outburst thus:
As Bayern manager Trapattoni won the German Bundesliga in 1996–97, the German Cup (DFB-Pokal) in 1997–98 and the German League Cup (DFB-Ligapokal) in 1997. He left Bayern at the end of the 1997–98 season and was replaced by Ottmar Hitzfeld.
In July 2000, Trapattoni took charge of the Italy national football team after the resignation of Dino Zoff. He led the team to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, qualifying undefeated to that tournament.
Marcello Lippi replaced Trapattoni on 15 July 2004.
On 5 July 2004, Trapattoni was named as new coach of Benfica. He led them to the 2004–05 Portuguese league title, which was the club's first in 11 years. Benfica also reached the Portuguese Cup final that season, but lost to Vitória de Setúbal. Trapattoni resigned after the end of the 2004–05 season, saying he wanted to be closer to his family (in the north of Italy).
Trapattoni returned to management in the German Bundesliga in June 2005, by signing at VfB Stuttgart. However, during his 20 games at the helm, Stuttgart produced poor results. Denmark internationals Jon Dahl Tomasson and Jesper Grønkjær openly criticised their coach, claiming he was afraid to attack. Trapattoni immediately responded by dropping both players to the bench. With the atmosphere in the team worsening, he was sacked after just seven months, on 9 February 2006, reportedly for "not fulfilling the ambitions of the club". He was replaced as manager by Armin Veh.
In May 2006, Red Bull Salzburg announced they had signed Trapattoni as their new manager and Director of Football, along with one of his former players, Lothar Matthäus, who was to serve as Trapattoni's co-manager. Trapattoni initially cast doubt on this report, claiming he had not signed any contract. But three days later, both he and Matthäus signed and made their hirings official. As he had done with Benfica in Portugal two years before, Trapattoni managed to deliver instantly, winning the league title after a long period of failures for the club; he secured the 2006–07 Austrian Bundesliga, which was Salzburg's first in 10 years. At the end of the season, the club's board of directors unanimously decided to dismiss Matthäus, and Thorsten Fink became Trapattoni's assistant manager.
On 11 February 2008, Trapattoni "agreed in principle" to take over the Republic of Ireland manager's job, but finished the season with Red Bull before taking up the Irish position on 1 May. Former Ireland midfielder Liam Brady was expected to be part of the Italian's backroom staff, while Marco Tardelli was confirmed as Trapattoni's assistant manager. Trapattoni signed Brady back in 1980 for Juventus from Arsenal for just over £500,000. Red Bull Salzburg confirmed, on 13 February 2008, that at the end of the 2007–08 season, Trapattoni would be leaving the club to take over as the Republic of Ireland manager. Manuela Spinelli became Trapattoni's interpreter. Because of her ability to speak both Italian and English, she became a familiar sight alongside him during most interviews. She has also appeared on The Late Late Show without Trapattoni.
Trapattoni's first game in charge, a friendly against Serbia on 24 May 2008, ended in a 1–1 draw. His second, another friendly, against Colombia five days later, meant his first victory with the national side, 1–0. This was followed by a 1–1 draw with Norway, his first competitive win against Georgia and a draw with Montenegro in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification.
Trapattoni's first defeat came in a friendly against Poland on 19 November 2008, a 3–2 loss at Croke Park. He also managed to claim a 1–1 away draw against 2006 FIFA World Cup champions Italy, that he had managed himself from 2000 to 2004, thanks to a late equaliser from Robbie Keane. He finished the qualifying campaign unbeaten, becoming only the third Irish manager to do so, qualifying for a playoff place for the 2010 World Cup.
In September 2009, he signed a new contract with Ireland that would have seen him continue as manager until UEFA Euro 2012. In the first leg of the World Cup playoff in Croke Park on 14 November 2009, France won 1–0 with a goal by Nicolas Anelka. In the second leg in Paris, on 18 November 2009, a goal from Robbie Keane levelled the aggregate scores at 1–1 in the first half. In extra time, however, a William Gallas equaliser put France through 2–1 on aggregate. Replays of the French goal showed that Thierry Henry had twice used his hand to control the ball and was in an offside position before crossing for Gallas to head home.
Trapattoni has managed the Vatican City national football team which is a member of neither FIFA nor UEFA. His first match as manager was played on 23 October 2010 when Vatican City faced a team composed of Italian financial police. Previously, at the age of 71 Trapattoni was quoted as saying, "When I retire, I would like to become coach of the Vatican."
In August 2010, Trapattoni was admitted to a hospital in Dublin, one-day before Ireland's friendly with Argentina. It was initially believed that the shellfish he had eaten before arriving in the country was to blame for him feeling unwell. He underwent surgery in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin on 11 August. He missed the Argentina game due to his surgery. In January 2011, reports in the Italian media, claimed that he was at home recovering from a mild stroke he suffered during surgery on 28 December 2010. The reports claimed that the stroke had caused partial paralysis on the right side of his body. In a statement released through the FAI, Trapattoni said that while he did have scheduled surgery in Italy over Christmas, he had not suffered a stroke.
In May 2011, he managed Ireland as they won the Nations Cup, after a 1–0 win against Scotland. Later that year he managed the Ireland national team to UEFA Euro 2012 qualification, following a 5–1 aggregate play-off win against Estonia. Trapattoni was rewarded with a new two-year contract by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). His success was praised by, among others, Dietmar Hamann.
Trapattoni later said: "Sweden against Denmark, I remember the game. Do you know what Johansson [the then UEFA president Lennart Johansson] said? 'If this game finishes in a draw, we will open an investigation' Do you know if he made the investigation? I'm still waiting for the investigation." These comments came eight years later, in 2012.
Ireland exited UEFA Euro 2012 at the group stage, after losing to eventual finalists Spain and Italy. Early in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, Ireland suffered a 6–1 defeat to Germany at home with a severely depleted team available. On 29 May 2013, Trapattoni's Ireland side faced off against England for the first time in eighteen years at the Wembley Stadium in a match which ended 1–1. Trapattoni parted ways with the Republic of Ireland national team on 11 September 2013 by mutual consent, after a defeat by Austria effectively ended their chances of qualification for the 2014 World Cup.
Although Trapattoni was known for his defensive minded approach as a manager, his teams often made use of a ball–playing sweeper or libero – with good technique, vision, and an ability to read the game –, who was responsible both for defending and starting attacking plays from the back, as well as a creative and skilful offensive playmaker in midfield behind the forwards. As such, his teams were known for their defensive strength and playing style, as well as their ability to score from counter-attacks. In 2014, Trapattoni attributed his success and tactical intelligence as a manager to his time playing in midfield throughout his playing career, which allowed him to understand both the offensive and defensive phases of the game. Throughout his career, he used several different formations, including a 4–4–2, a 4–3–1–2, 4–2–3–1, 3–4–1–2, and a 3–5–2, as well as his fluid zona mista system; the latter system made use of a sweeper, a man-marking centre-back – or stopper –, two full-backs, a defensive midfielder, a regista or attacking midfielder, a second striker, and two wingers behind a lone striker or centre-forward, although players would often switch positions in this system, with only the stopper having a fixed role.
Currently, Giovanni Trapattoni is 84 years, 2 months and 19 days old. Giovanni Trapattoni will celebrate 85th birthday on a Sunday 17th of March 2024.
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