Luigi Apolloni (Italian pronunciation: [luˈiːdʒ(i) apolˈloːni]; born 2 May 1967) is an Italian football manager and former player, who played as a centre-back. At club level, Apolloni is mainly remembered for his time with Italian side Parma Calcio 1913, where he won several titles during his 13 seasons with the club. At international level, he was a member of the Italy national football team that reached the final of the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
|Full name||Luigi Apolloni|
|Date of birth||2 May 1967|
|Place of birth||Frascati, Italy|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1999–2000||→ Verona (loan)||28||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Frascati, Apolloni started[according to whom?] his career with Lodigiani in 1983–84 in Serie C2, without ever get off the field in the first team to advance to Pistoiese within two years, where he debuted in professional football.
After another year in Serie C1 to Reggiana, he joined Parma in 1987, became a key member of the squad and a mainstay in the team's defensive lineup alongside Lorenzo Minotti; the two players formed a notable central defensive partnership at the club, helping to guide the team from the Serie B to Serie A, and eventually, to the top levels of European football. Their time at the club included triumphs in the 1991–92 Coppa Italia, a Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 1993, a runners-up medal in their 1993–94 European Cup Winners' Cup campaign, and two UEFA Cups in 1995 and 1999, as well as the Supercoppa Italiana and another Coppa Italia in 1999, a runners-up medal in the 1995 Supercoppa Italiana, and third and second place finishes in Serie A in 1995 and 1997 respectively.
In 1996 a serious injury forced him out, and Apolloni did not manage to win back a place in the starting lineup, ultimately leaving Parma in 1999 to join Hellas Verona, and later ending his career in 2001 with a total of 255 appearances and 7 goals in the Italian top flight.
Following his successes with Parma, Apolloni gained a spot in the Italian squad under head coach Arrigo Sacchi, making his international debut on 27 May 1994, in a 2–0 home win against Finland, coincidentally in Parma. Overall, he made 15 appearances for Italy between 1994 and 1996, and was a member of the azzurri squad that took part at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where they reached the final, in which he appeared, only to lose to Brazil on penalties. He was also a part of their less successful Euro 1996 campaign, appearing in Italy's opening two group matches, a 2–1 win over a Russia, and a 2–1 defeat to eventual runners-up the Czech Republic, in which he was sent off; the Italians were eliminated in the first round of the tournament.
In 2006 Apolloni accepted to follow former Parma teammate Daniele Zoratto, serving as his aide at Modena. He was later sacked together with head coach Zoratto on February 2007, only to return at Modena on April 2008.
On January 2009, Apolloni was appointed as caretaker manager of the canarini after Zoratto left the club by mutual consent. He was then permanently appointed to the role after he managed to guide Modena to escape relegation at the final day of the season. In his first full season in charge of the club, Apolloni guided Modena to a mid-table place in the league despite severe financial issues within the club. On July 2010 he left Modena to join ambitious Serie B club Grosseto. He was however removed by the end of September due to poor results, and replaced by Francesco Moriero.
On 2 April 2012, he was appointed as new head coach of Gubbio in the Italian Serie B league until the end of the season, thus becoming the fourth manager of the season for the small relegation-threatened Umbrian club (after Fabio Pecchia, Luigi Simoni and Marco Alessandrini).
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- "Convocazioni e presenze in campo: Luigi Apolloni" (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "World Cup Usa '94 / The Final : Facts And Figures". The Los Angeles Times. 18 July 1994. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- "Instinctive Casiraghi helps Italy sink Russia". UEFA.com. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- "Bejbl completes Italian job for Czechs". UEFA.com. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- "Italy pay penalty for Germany stalemate". UEFA.com. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- "Modena: via Mutti, torna Zoratto" (in Italian). RAI Sport. 20 April 2008. Archived from the original on 24 April 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
- "Cambia la guida tecnica al Modena F.C." (in Italian). Modena FC. 26 January 2009. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
- "Apolloni incontra la stampa". US Grosseto FC. 6 July 2010. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
- "Ufficializzato l'ingaggio del tecnico Luigi Apolloni" (in Italian). A.S. Gubbio 1910. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- UFFICIALE - Modena Fc, esonerato Luigi Apolloni: il nuovo allenatore è Alberto Bollini!, parlandodisport.it, 10 January 2019
- "Luigi Apolloni" (in Italian). Eurosport. Retrieved 19 December 2015.