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Luigi "Gigi" De Canio (born 26 September 1957) is an Italian football manager, currently in charge of Ternana, and a former player who played as a full-back.

Luigi De Canio
Luigi de canio.JPG
Personal information
Date of birth (1957-09-26) 26 September 1957 (age 61)
Place of birth Matera, Italy
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Playing position Full-back
Club information
Current team
Ternana (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975–1977 Matera 46 (0)
1977–1978 Brindisi 32 (1)
1978–1979 Matera 32 (0)
1979–1981 Chieti 61 (0)
1981 Salernitana 3 (0)
1981–1986 Matera 141 (2)
1986 Livorno 5 (1)
1986–1987 Galatina Pro Italia 8 (0)
1987–1989 Pisticci
Teams managed
1988–1993 Pisticci
1993–1995 Savoia
1995–1996 Siena
1996–1997 Carpi
1997–1998 Lucchese
1998–1999 Pescara
1999–2001 Udinese
2001–2002 Napoli
2002–2003 Reggina
2004 Genoa
2005–2006 Siena
2007–2008 Queens Park Rangers
2009–2011 Lecce
2012 Genoa
2013–2014 Catania
2016 Udinese
2018– Ternana
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only




De Canio, a full back, played mostly with Serie C1 and Serie C2 teams, his lone season in Serie B being 1979–80 with Matera, marking his debut in the division on 16 September 1979 against Genoa.[2] He retired in 1989 with amateur team Pisticci, of which he successively became head coach.


De Canio started his coaching career in 1989 with Promozione team Pisticci, immediately winning the league, being thus promoted to Serie D. He served as Pisticci boss for four more seasons before joining Serie C2 team Savoia during the 1993–94 season, and winning the promotion playoffs the following season. In 1995–96 he coached Siena of Serie C1, leading the Robur to an eighth place. In 1996–97 he signed for Serie C1 minnows Carpi, a team which featured a young Marco Materazzi among their players,[3] and led the Emilia-Romagna side to a surprising fourth place which allowed them to play the promotion playoffs. In 1997–98 he moved to Serie B club Lucchese, hardly saving them from relegation with a final 16th place. Initially with no club for the following season, De Canio was then signed by Pescara, where he narrowly missed a surprising promotion to the top flight.

De Canio took charge of a Pescara side that had slumped to 13th place in 1997–98 and lost two of its opening three matches in 1998–99. He guided i biancoazzuri to 63 points, finishing fifth, just one point from fourth, and only missed out on promotion due to the incredible, much-discussed victory of Reggina at Torino on the last day of the season (13 June 1999), which was called a few minutes early due to a pitch invasion.[4] Following his departure from Pescara, it finished 13th again the next season.

His impressive coaching performance with Pescara caused interest by Serie A club Udinese, which appointed him for the 1999–2000 season. His first Serie A campaign ended in an eighth place for the bianconeri and a place in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, which they successively won, thus ensuring a place in the UEFA Cup 2000–01.[5] In 2000–01, after a very impressive start, Udinese entered into a long result crisis which brought to De Canio being sacked on 19 March 2001 following a home loss to Parma and his replacement with Luciano Spalletti, who managed to save the club from relegation.[5][6]

In 2001–02, De Canio was appointed as Napoli boss with the goal to lead the azzurri back to Serie A; however he failed to do so, as Napoli ended their Serie B campaign in fifth place, six points shy of the fourth Serie A spot. He consequently left Napoli and was appointed at the helm of Reggina during the 2002–03 season, maintaining their place in the Italian top flight after winning a tie-breaking playoff to Atalanta. During the 2003–04, De Canio was called to replace Roberto Donadoni at the helm of Serie B club Genoa, which were fighting to escape relegation despite their initial promotion claims, leading the club to a final 16th place in the league table. He was later sacked by Genoa only a handful days before their Serie B 2004–05 debut to appoint Serse Cosmi at his place. He was then appointed on January 2005 by Serie A minnows Siena, a team which he already coached some years earlier, to replace Luigi Simoni, leading his side to escape relegation for two consecutive seasons.

Queens Park RangersEdit

De Canio was announced as first team coach of English Championship team Queens Park Rangers on 29 October 2007, succeeding the recently sacked John Gregory.[7] He started his QPR experience with a 2–0 home win to Hull City on 3 November.[8] Rangers signed several players during the January transfer window: Ákos Buzsáky who had previously been on loan from Plymouth Argyle, Hogan Ephraim from West Ham, Kieran Lee on loan from Manchester United, Gavin Mahon on loan from Watford, Matthew Connolly from Arsenal, Patrick Agyemang from Preston and Fitz Hall from Wigan. Early in January QPR also managed to secure striker Rowan Vine in a permanent move following his brief loan spell which had ended in December. During his period in charge of the club, De Canio became a very popular figure among the QPR faithful, due to the style and flair he brought back to their game. As a result he was, along with the club's owners, immortalised in the supporters' song "Gigi De Canio, Bernie and Flavio" (to the tune of La donna è mobile).[9]

De Canio left the club by "mutual consent" after the end of the season in May 2008, having guided them to fourteenth place in the Championship.[10] His record at the club comprised 12 wins, 12 losses and 11 draws in 35 games. It has reported that his return to Italy was partly due to a bid to save his marriage.[11]

Back to ItalyEdit

On 9 March 2009 De Canio signed a contract to become head coach of Serie A relegation battlers Lecce, replacing Mario Beretta at the helm of the salentini,[12] but did not manage to save the side from relegation. On 31 May 2009 US Lecce announced De Canio had refused to extend his contract with the club; however, on 6 June the club officially confirmed to have reached an agreement with the former QPR manager, who guided the giallorossi back to the top flight, as league runners-up, in their 2009–10 Serie B campaign.[13] He was sacked on 22 May 2011 as Lecce finished 17th at the end of the 2010–11 season.

On 22 April 2012 he was hired again as Genoa head coach, in a desperate attempt to save the team from relegation,[14] until 22 October 2012 when he was sacked.

On 20 October 2013, De Canio returned into management as he accepted to take over from Rolando Maran at the head of endangered Serie A club Catania.[15]

On 15 March 2016, he was appointed manager of Udinese.[16] He was let go at the end of the season on 19 May.[17]

On 21 February 2018, he was appointed manager of Serie B club Ternana.[18]

In April 2018 he was one of 77 applicants for the vacant Cameroon national team job.[19]

Name spellingEdit

Some sections of the media, particularly the English language media commonly misspell his surname as Di Canio, instead of the correct De Canio.[20]


  1. ^ "Luigi De Canio". Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Tabellini Genoa 1979–80" (in Italian). Akaiaoi. Archived from the original on 21 December 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  3. ^ "Accidental heroes". Football Italia. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  4. ^ "Se non siete di Reggio Calabria non sapete cosa vi perdete". Francesco Biacca.
  5. ^ a b "LA SOCIETA' BIANCONERA MODELLO ISPIRATORE" (in Italian). Udinese Calcio. Archived from the original on 12 August 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  6. ^ "De Canio esonerato" (in Italian). RAI Sport. 19 March 2001. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  7. ^ "Former Napoli boss takes QPR role". BBC News. 29 October 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
  8. ^ "QPR 2–0 Hull". BBC Sport. 3 November 2007. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Changes are vital for QPR". London: Daily Telegraph blog. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  10. ^ "De Canio parts company with QPR". BBC News. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Di Canio set for return". London Informer. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  12. ^ "Luigi De Canio è il nuovo allenatore" (in Italian). US Lecce. 9 March 2009. Archived from the original on 12 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  13. ^ "De Canio nuovo tecnico Lecce" (in Italian). Corriere dello Sport – Stadio. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Incubo Genoa/ Malesani nuovamente esonerato. Squadra a Gigi De Canio". Città di Genova. 22 April 2012. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  15. ^ "Rolando Maran sollevato dall'incarico. Luigi De Canio è il nuovo allenatore della prima squadra" [Rolando Maran dismissed from managerial role. Luigi De Canio is the new first team head coach] (in Italian). Calcio Catania. 20 October 2013. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Luigi De Canio è il nuovo allenatore, domani la presentazione ufficiale" (in Italian). Ternana Calcio. 21 February 2018.
  19. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (23 April 2018). "77 applicants for vacant Cameroon coaching position". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Sporting digest: Football". The London Independent. 25 October 2007. Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2007.

External linksEdit