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Delio Rossi (born 26 January 1960) is an Italian football manager and former footballer who played as a midfielder.

Delio Rossi
Delio Rossi.jpg
Personal information
Full name Delio Rossi
Date of birth (1960-01-26) 26 January 1960 (age 59)[1]
Place of birth Rimini, Italy
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1980 Forlimpopoli 54 (2)
1980–1981 Cattolica 29 (3)
1981–1987 Foggia 127 (3)
1987–1988 Vis Pesaro 22 (0)
1988–1989 Fidelis Andria 15 (0)
Total 247 (8)
Teams managed
1990–1991 Torremaggiore
1991–1993 Foggia (youth team)
1993–1995 Salernitana
1995–1996 Foggia
1996–1997 Pescara
1997–1999 Salernitana
1999–2000 Genoa
2000 Pescara
2001 Pescara
2002–2004 Lecce
2004–2005 Atalanta
2005–2009 Lazio
2009–2011 Palermo
2011 Palermo
2011–2012 Fiorentina
2012–2013 Sampdoria
2015 Bologna
2017–2018 Levski Sofia
2019 Palermo
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing careerEdit

Rossi was born in Rimini. His playing career was not a bright one, as he reached his personal top from 1981 to 1983, playing in the Serie B with U.S. Foggia, where he spent most of his footballing time. He retired in 1989, after a season played with Fidelis Andria of Serie C2.

Managerial careerEdit

Early years and Serie A debut with SalernitanaEdit

Rossi, a sports science graduate with honours, took his first coaching job in 1990, aged 29, at Torremaggiore, of Promozione league, immediately winning the championship. The next year he joined Foggia as youth coach. In 1993, Rossi signed for Salernitana of Serie C1, and led the team to a Serie B promotion. After an unlucky comeback to Foggia, and a sixth place in Pescara, Rossi returned to coach Salernitana in 1997, leading the team to its second Serie A promotion in history. Rossi guided the team in Serie A too, but was fired in March 1999, as he was unable to lead Salernitana out of the relegation positions.

Minor teams in Serie A and Serie BEdit

A troubled year in Genoa and a poor comeback to Pescara were followed by three seasons with Lecce. Rossi, appointed as Lecce's coach in February 2002, was not able to avoid relegation to Serie B, but led the team back to Serie A just the next season, and maintained a place in the division the next year. He left Lecce in 2004 to be replaced by his maestro Zděnek Zeman, who was head coach at Foggia during Rossi's times in leading its youth team.

In December 2004, Rossi replaced Andrea Mandorlini at the helm of Atalanta B.C., last-placed in Serie A. Despite all his efforts and numerous praises, Rossi was not able to let his team escape from relegation.


Despite not saving Atalanta, his good efforts at the helm of the Dea club gained interest from Lazio, who appointed him as replacement for Giuseppe Papadopulo.

His time at Lazio has been a remarkable success for which he has aroused interest from many top Serie A clubs. Rossi guided Lazio to a surprising UEFA Cup place in the 2005–2006 season, only for the place to be lost as part of the Calciopoli scandal that rocked the country in the summer of 2006. Even more remarkable, however, was Rossi's feat the following season. Despite an initial 11-point points deduction (which was subsequently reduced to 3 on appeal), Rossi guided the biancocelesti to an unlikely third place Serie A finish and a place in the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League. However, during the 2007–08 season, he led Lazio to a disappointing 12th-place finish.

On 13 May 2009, Rossi led Lazio to their first trophy since the Coppa Italia triumph in 2004. It was also a Coppa Italia victory, which came after a successful penalty shootout against Sampdoria. On 8 June 2009, Delio Rossi was announced to have left Lazio because of personal reasons allegedly linked to an unstable working relationship with chairman Claudio Lotito. He was replaced by Davide Ballardini.


On 23 November 2009, Rossi returned into management as new head coach of Palermo, replacing Walter Zenga at the helm of the rosanero.[2] He immediately managed to turn the fortunes of Palermo, guiding the Sicilians to quickly rise up the Serie A league table also thanks to surprise results such as two 2–0 away win against teams such as AC Milan and Juventus, and ending the season in fifth place with only one point behind fourth-placed Sampdoria who were admitted to the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round at the rosanero's expense. He was consequently confirmed as head coach of Palermo for the 2010–11 season, during which he also guided the club in its 2010–11 UEFA Europa League campaign. Impressive results in the new season included another impressive win at Juventus' home, as well as his abilities in launching youngsters as Javier Pastore, Ezequiel Muñoz, Josip Iličić and Armin Bačinović.

Rossi was sacked on 28 February 2011 by club president Maurizio Zamparini following a record 0–7 home loss to Udinese; he was replaced by Serse Cosmi.[3] However, Rossi returned at Palermo only four weeks later, after Cosmi's Palermo side was soundly defeated by Catania in the Sicilian derby later on 3 April.[4] Following a surprising comeback, he led the club to the Coppa Italia final which the 3–1 defeat by Internazionale. During the pre-season, on 1 June 2011, Rossi resigned as Palermo manager by mutual consent with president Zamparini.


On 7 November 2011, Rossi returned into management as new head coach of Serie A club Fiorentina, replacing Siniša Mihajlović, dismissed because of poor results. Rossi's debut match as Fiorentina boss ended in a 0–0 home draw against incumbent champions Milan. Afterwards, Fiorentina lost 2–0 to Delio's former club Palermo. He later beat Empoli 2–1 in the Coppa Italia. In the following weeks, he put Fiorentina up to 10th place in Seria A after they beat Roma 3–0. The following games however saw Fiorentina dropping into the table down to 17th place at some point, and thus involved in the fight to escape relegation.

Rossi's time with Fiorentina ended in shocking fashion. On 2 May 2012, during a home game against 19th-placed Novara, Rossi decided to substitute Serbian striker Adem Ljajić in the 32nd minute with Fiorentina losing 0–2. The player sarcastically applauded the substitution as he left the pitch and further gave the coach a sarcastic thumbs up from the dugout, to which Rossi reacted by physically assaulting Ljajić, pushing the youngster from above, then jumping after him into the dugout while attempting to punch him.[5] After the game (ended in a 2–2 draw), the club board announced to have immediately removed Rossi from his position due to his actions, with two games still to go in the league season.[6] The incident also cost him a three-month ban from Italian football, effective from 3 May 2012.[7]


Rossi was appointed head coach of Sampdoria in December 2012 to replace Ciro Ferrara, becoming the seventh coach to work with both Genoa and Sampdoria. During his coaching tenure with the club, Rossi helped the Blucerchiati avoid relegation at the end of the 2012–13 Serie A season. On 11 November 2013, Rossi was sacked from his post, with Sampdoria in 18th position in the Serie A table having earned just 9 points and won only twice in 12 Serie A matches during the 2013–14 Serie A season.[8] Sampdoria had lost its last three Serie A matches, including a 2–1 defeat at Fiorentina on the day of Rossi's dismissal. Rossi hinted after the Fiorentina defeat that ‘trust’ between himself and the club was becoming an issue. “If there is a time where you do not feel that the trust is there, you should not wait to see how things unfold. I am a man of the world and I think that if the confidence is there, then it is normal that one continues, but if it is not, then it is better to end the rapport regardless of the results,” he said. [9]


On 4 May 2015, Rossi was named the new manager of Bologna in Serie B replacing Diego López.[10] He guided Bologna to win the promotion playoffs, defeating Pescara in the finals, and was confirmed for the club's successive Serie A campaign.

He was sacked by Bologna on 28 October 2015 after a string of negative results.[11]


On 4 August 2017, Rossi was announced as the new head coach of Bulgarian club Levski Sofia. He was presented at a press conference a few days later, on 8 August 2017.[12] After a string of 6 matches without victory, losing the final of the Bulgarian Cup and also a shock exit from Europa League at the hands of FC Vaduz, Rossi was released by mutual consent on 25 July 2018.[13]

Return to PalermoEdit

On 24 April 2019, he was appointed Palermo manager for his second time.[14] After failing to win automatic promotion to Lecce in his four games in charge, Palermo was subsequently excluded from the subsequent promotion playoffs due to financial irregularities, and he was later not confirmed by the new ownership.

Managerial statisticsEdit

As of 1 May 2019
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Salernitana   1 July 1993 1 July 1995 85 39 33 13 045.88
Foggia   1 July 1995 5 March 1996 26 6 8 12 023.08
Pescara   1 July 1996 17 June 1997 41 16 12 13 039.02
Salernitana   20 June 1997 22 March 1999 68 25 22 21 036.76
Genoa   1 July 1999 14 February 2000 30 10 7 13 033.33
Pescara   1 July 2000 3 November 2000 12 1 6 5 008.33
Pescara   18 February 2001 12 June 2001 15 2 3 10 013.33
Lecce   28 January 2002 22 May 2004 92 29 31 32 031.52
Atalanta   6 December 2004 30 May 2005 26 8 5 13 030.77
Lazio   10 June 2005 8 June 2009 184 74 54 56 040.22
Palermo   23 November 2009 28 February 2011 64 31 12 21 048.44
Palermo   3 April 2011 1 June 2011 10 5 2 3 050.00
Fiorentina   7 November 2011 3 May 2012 28 8 9 11 028.57
Sampdoria   17 December 2012 11 November 2013 34 9 10 15 026.47
Bologna   4 May 2015 28 October 2015 18 4 4 10 022.22
Levski Sofia   8 August 2017 19 July 2018 42 23 11 8 054.76
Palermo   24 April 2019 30 June 2019 4 1 3 0 025.00
Total 779 291 232 256 037.36


Coppa Italia:


Bulgarian Cup:

Levski Sofia


  1. ^ Gravela, Lorenzo (2012). Soccer World 2011/12. ISBN 9781471004384.
  2. ^ "Walter Zenga sollevato dall'incarico" (in Italian). US Città di Palermo. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  3. ^ "ROSSI SOLLEVATO DALL'INCARICO" (in Italian). US Città di Palermo. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Fiorentina fire manager Delio Rossi for attacking Adem Ljajic". Guardian. London. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Andrea Della Valle: "Esonerato Delio Rossi"". ACF Fiorentina (in Italian). 2 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Sacked boss Rossi hit with three-month ban after crazed attack on his OWN player Ljajic". Daily Mail. London. 3 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Struggling Sampdoria cut Rossi adrift". 11 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Sampdoria sack Delio Rossi". ESPN. 12 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Bologna, esonerato Diego Lopez: arriva Delio Rossi" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Nota della Società" (in Italian). Bologna FC. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Официално представяне на Делио Роси като старши треньор на ПФК ЛЕВСКИ" (in Bulgarian). 8 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Промени в треньорския щаб на клуба" (in Bulgarian). 25 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Official: Rossi returns to Palermo". Football Italia. 24 April 2019.