Where are they now? Roberto Donadoni


Roberto Donadoni, a product of the Atalanta youth sector, was Silvio Berlusconi's first signing. He further grew as a cornerstone of the midfield line, a darting winger where he expressed his innate class and extraordinary vision of the game.


In 1982, Donadoni began his career with Atalanta, winning the Serie C1 title and the 1984 Serie B title. In 1986, he joined Milan and in the late 1980s and early-to-mid-1990s he became a mainstay in the legendary team that dominated Italy and Europe. Donadoni was a vital part of Milan's squad under both Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello, typically playing a right-sided wide midfield role, winning six Serie A championships, three European Cups, four Supercoppa Italiana, three European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups during his time in Milan. While Donadoni failed to win the Coppa Italia with Milan, during the 1989–90 and 1997–98 seasons, he reached the final twice. In a match against Red Star Belgrade during the 1988-89 European Cup campaign, Donadoni came close to becoming one of a handful of players who ever died on-field. He had his life saved only by the quick-thinking of the physiotherapist of Red Star, as Roberto fractured his jaw after suffering a bad foul and lying unconscious to allow a passage for oxygen to enter his lungs.


Donadoni trained to become a coach after retiring as a player. His first role was at Lecco and he made his Coppa Italia Lega Pro debut on 12 August 2001. This was followed by roles with Livorno and Genoa. He returned in mid-season to head Livorno in 2005 and later on resigned. In 2006 he was appointed the role of new Italian Head Coach and was tasked to successfully lead Italy through qualification for UEFA Euro 2008. Despite reaching the qualification, he was dismissed from the role following the poor performances during the tournament. Following that, he managed several teams in the Serie A such as Napoli, Cagliari, Bologna and most notably Parma. Under Donadoni, Parma's results improved immediately and went from being close to the relegation zone to ending the season in the eighth position, winning seven Serie A matches in a row, a new club record. Lastly, Donadoni was appointed manager of Chinese club Shenzhen on 30 July 2019 and stayed there for one season.