Cristiano Lucarelli (Italian pronunciation: [kriˈstjaːno lukaˈrɛlli]; born 4 October 1975) is an Italian football manager and a former player who played as a striker from 1992 until 2012. He is the manager of Serie C club Ternana.
Lucarelli in 2011
|Date of birth||4 October 1975|
|Place of birth||Livorno, Italy|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2009–2010||→ Livorno (loan)||28||(10)|
|2010–2012||→ Napoli (loan)||12||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Lucarelli was born in Livorno, Italy.
A journeyman striker, he had stints with eight different teams (including a brief run in Spain with Valencia) before signing with hometown A.S. Livorno Calcio in 2003. While playing for Torino F.C. the previous season, he attended a match that saw Livorno emerge victorious and earn promotion to Serie B, and he was among a throng of fans who rushed the pitch afterwards in celebration. He made an immediate impact in Livorno's return to Serie A in the 2003–04 season, scoring 29 goals in 38 matches and instantly winning a place in the hearts of Amaranto fans. He won the Golden Boot Award as Serie A's top goalscorer the following season, with 24 in 35 matches as Livorno finished in eighth place.
A rarity in the football world in terms of club loyalty, he rejected several better-paying offers from other Italian and European clubs (among them a €3 million offer from FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in July 2006) to remain with Livorno. He was once quoted as saying, "Some football players pay a billion for a Ferrari or a yacht; with that money I bought myself Livorno’s shirt. That's all."
Lucarelli's seemingly perfect relationship with the team soured after a conflict with club president Aldo Spinelli arose over the firing of coach Daniele Arrigoni in March 2007, during which he openly stated his desire to leave. It became permanently damaged a month later, when Lucarelli received a frosty reception from supporters after a sluggish 1–1 home draw with Reggina, with many fans going as far as to accuse Livorno of match-fixing. Lucarelli, hurt by the fans' criticism, reiterated his plans to leave Livorno at the end of the season.
In May, he was quick to snuff out rumors of a move to Serie A rivals ACF Fiorentina, and continued to remain ambiguous about his future with Livorno, claiming that he would make a decision on 6 June; five days later, Lucarelli announced that he would be staying home for next season due to a lack of offers from other teams, despite fresh rumors about Palermo, Parma and Sampdoria being interested in his services.
However, on 13 July, Lucarelli agreed to join Shakhtar Donetsk for £6 million, signing a three-year contract worth £2.8 million a season, thus becoming the first Italian to play in Ukraine. 
On 15 January 2008, Lucarelli was sold to Parma F.C. for ₤4 million, and he signed a three-and-a-half year, ₤1.2 million contract. His younger brother, Alessandro, joined him at Parma for the 2008–09 season. His time at Parma did not prove to be particularly successful, as he scored only four goals in 16 matches in the remaining half of the 2007–08 season, with his side being ultimately relegated to Serie B after a long struggle with results. He opted to stay with Parma also for the 2008–09 season, aiming to offer his contribution to bring the team back into the top flight. During the first part of the season, he initially served as the club's captain, and played 19 games, scoring a total eight goals; however, on 5 February, ahead of the team's away fixture against Ancona, he was ultimately left out of the first team after leaving a training session early, and was subsequently featured intermittently throughout the second half of the season. In total, he only made 29 appearances for the club throughout the season (out of a possible 42), scoring 12 goals.
Lucarelli was capped six times for the Italy senior squad between 2005 and 2007, scoring 3 goals; he was also a member of the team that took part in the 1996 Summer Olympics. His aforementioned debut was during a 2005 friendly tournament in the United States and Canada, where he scored his first international goal in a 1–1 draw against Serbia and Montenegro at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on 8 June. He was left off the Italy roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but was recalled by new coach Roberto Donadoni – who had briefly coached Lucarelli at Livorno earlier in the year – for a friendly against Croatia on 16 August 2006.
Due to a rash of injuries among the Azzurri, Lucarelli was summoned for a pair of June Euro 2008 qualifiers against Lithuania and the Faroe Islands. He came on as a substitute for Filippo Inzaghi in the 58th minute of Italy's narrow 2–1 victory over the Faroe Islands on 2 June 2007, but did not play in a 2–0 defeat of Lithuania on 6 June. Lucarelli also substituted for Inzaghi in the 65th minute of a Euro 2008 qualifying match against France on 8 September 2007. He scored his first brace in Italy's 2–0 friendly win over South Africa on 17 October.
Passion, political views and controversyEdit
Lucarelli's passion for his home club often resulted in many questionable incidents. The May 2005 issue of Calcio Italia magazine reported that he had paid for a bus that brought a cadre of traveling Livorno fans back to the city after they had been arrested for rioting. He has the A.S. Livorno logo tattooed on his left forearm, and his jersey number, 99, was an homage to left-wing ultras group Brigate Autonome Livornesi, which was founded in 1999.
He was also of an increasingly rare breed of Italian footballer who openly brought his politics onto the pitch; his goal celebration consisted of a dual clenched-fist salute, a gesture made famous by the Communist party. He has openly stated that he is a supporter of communism. One of his cell phone ringtones was Bandiera Rossa, and he once declared, “We Livorno get no favors from the referees because we are Communists!” but later retracted this statement.
He is a staunch admirer of Che Guevara, whose face is frequently displayed on Livorno fans' banners and T-shirts during matches. This first came to the fore in 1997, when, after scoring for Italy's Under-21 side, he celebrated by pulling his jersey over his face to reveal a shirt bearing Che Guevara's image. Despite his insisting that it was not a political gesture, he was consequently blackballed from the national team for several years until Marcello Lippi called him up as a starter for a friendly in 2005.
Lucarelli met Guevara's daughter, Aleida Guevara, after the 2004–05 Serie A season; one subject of discussion was the possibility of Livorno travelling to Cuba to play a charity match, but it never came to fruition.
Lucarelli became a youth coach at Parma for the 2012–13 season. Charge of the club's second most senior youth side (the Allievi Nazionale), which is composed of players aged between 15 and 17 years. He left Parma in June 2013 to accept an offer to become the new head coach of ambitious Lega Pro Prima Divisione club Perugia, only to be sacked before the season begin due to disagreements with the board. He then returned into management in October 2013, to become the new head coach of Viareggio, still in Lega Pro Prima Divisione. He then left the club in June 2014 to accept an offer from newly promoted Lega Pro club Pistoiese.
In October 2016 he was named new head coach of ailing Lega Pro club Messina. After guiding the club to safety during a period of serious financial struggles followed by a club takeover, Lucarelli and Messina mutually parted company by the end of the season. A few days later, he was announced as new head coach of fellow Sicilian Lega Pro club Catania.
In July 2018 he was appointed new coach of Catania. He left the club after one season in charge to become the manager of Livorno, but was sacked on 7 November due to a poor start in the 2018–19 Serie B season.
Outside of footballEdit
Cristiano's younger brother, Alessandro, is also a former footballer, who played as a defender in the Serie A league (also sharing a few seasons together with Cristiano while at Livorno), and most notably captaining Parma.
|Cuoiopelli Cappiano Romaiano||1992–93||Nazionale Dilettanti||28||5||0||0||28||5|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||2007–08||Premier League||12||4||0||0||9||4||21||8|
|Italy national team|
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- Jonathan Wilson (18 September 2007). "Shakhtar Donetsk are hoping money talks in Europe". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
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- "Lucarelli ready for Napoli comeback". Football Italia. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
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- "Modric al Real, Nesta a Montreal El Kaddouri, alleanza Milan-Juve" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
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- Dan Silver (2 April 2013). "Political footballers: Paolo Di Canio and 10 other players who have nailed their colours to the mast". The Mirror. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Livorno Fans see Red – all the Time by Ian Hawkey, The National, February 5, 2010
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- "Cristiano Lucarelli è il nuovo allenatore del Viareggio". La Nazione. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "SECONDO COLPO GROSSO DELLA PISTOIESE. CRISTIANO LUCARELLI NUOVO ALLENATORE". US Pistoiese 1921. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "Messina, Cristiano Lucarelli sarà il nuovo tecnico" (in Italian). Gazzamercato. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
- "Calciomercato Messina-Lucarelli: è ufficiale l'addio" (in Italian). Tuttosport. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
- "Serie C, Cristiano Lucarelli è il nuovo allenatore del Catania" (in Italian). La Sicilia. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
- "Cristiano Lucarelli nuovamente alla guida del Catania" (Press release) (in Italian). Catania. 22 October 2019.
- "Cristiano Lucarelli si congeda dal Catania: "Con amore per il club e nel rispetto dei suoi sforzi"" (Press release) (in Italian). Catania. 29 July 2020.
- "Cristiano Lucarelli è il nuovo allenatore della Ternana Calcio" (in Italian). Ternana. 8 August 2020.
- "Finalmente, accordo fatto: si parte" (in Italian). Il Tirreno. 17 July 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "Alessandro Lucarelli: Difensore con i fiocchi" (in Italian). Calciomercato.com. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
- "Cristiano Lucarelli » Club matches". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
- "Cristiano Lucarelli". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
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- Cristiano Lucarelli at National-Football-Teams.com
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- Roberto Di Maggio; Igor Kramarsic; Alberto Novello (11 June 2015). "Italy - Serie A Top Scorers". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 31 October 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
| Serie A top scorer