Walter Sabatini, football’s visionary manager

A former mid-level footballer who featured in some matches in Serie B, C1 and Serie A, the volcanic Umbria manager has now become a true icon of Italian sport thanks to his truly unique style. Let’s discover its history and secrets.

Miracle man Walter Sabati

Daniele De Rossi, who told an anecdote about Walter Sabatini when he was the sports director of Rome some time ago, explained how he had a brotherly relationship with his sports director. He never came to talk to us in his office. Because the Giallorossi’s current coach explained that entering that room was like opening the door to the smoking area at the airport. For this reason, De Rossi preferred to meet Sabatini outdoors, talking to him while walking.

The cigarette issue is not a detail because it has been around for years. Walter Sabatini smoked up to sixty cigarettes a dayuntil he got sick and had to stop. In his best-known photographs we see him constantly wrapped in a blanket of smoke; This definition also perfectly fits the lonely, romantic, angry ideal, which is always a kind of acrobatic manager and the highest representative of the idea of ​​u200bu200b”. “take it or leave it”: no compromises.

Table with contract and cigarette pack

Walter Sabatini today: between football and illness

Sabatini had a career that transformed him into a football player explorer of small categories. He changed nine clubs in eleven years and eventually retired before his thirtieth birthday, again due to injuries. After unsuccessfully trying a career as a manager between Perugia and Gubbio, he discovered the budding managerial profession in Lazio’s youth teams in the mid-nineties, before taking up his first job as sporting director at Triestina. In 1994.

The first important experience occurred four years later, in ’98. He was called up by Arezzo in C1 with Serse Cosmi on the bench. Even with few resources, many good ideas come up with an idea The team that achieved salvation in its first year and in the second he manages to gain promotion to Serie B with almost no credit. He leaves in 2000, spends a turbulent few years at Gaucci’s Perugia (where he brings Gattuso to the Primavera team, who then leaves for Rangers) and so finally gets his big chance at Lotito’s Lazio.

There would be four years of important experiences with the Biancocelesti, culminating in qualification for the Champions League in 2007 with Delio Rossi on the bench. It is then moved to Palermo from the Lazio side of Rome. Volcanic relationship with President Zamparini points Some of the most iconic shots in historyHe signed with Roma before leaving in the winter of 2010 and then again in the summer of 2011.

The story between Sabatini and Rome deserves a separate article. walter really Lives the Giallorossi experience sensually, Total. In his five years in Rome, the team had seasons where they were top of the championship with two second and third places, but did not win anything.

Also due to this lack of victories Sabatini will leave and then move to much less deep positions in terms of relations with Sampdoria, Inter, Bologna until an incredible rise of 7%. Although there is actually only a 7% chance of being rescued in January 2022 Sabatini to rebuild Salernitana squadand coach Davide Nicola will then manage to stay in Serie A. It was precisely because of this experience that Sabatini returned to Salerno last December, this time to achieve redemption that seemed even more complicated.

Sabatini’s best and worst shots, from Salah to Iturbe

The list of talents that Walter Sabatini has brought to the teams he has managed is truly endless. In our first experiences as DS, we saw some of the most famous names that went fishing, such as a twenty-one year old Riccardo ZampagnaHe was then brought to Trieste, where he would have an excellent career between A and B, and was taken over by Umbrian amateur team Pontevecchio.

Or again Fabio Bazzani, coach from 2003 to 2004 He even scored three goals for the national team and scored 20 goals in 31 games for Arezzo. After an anonymous season in Serie C1, Sabatini took him as an unknown from Varese, where he scored just 3 goals.

Of course, these are not remembered frames, but rather Masterpieces like Javier Pastore’s. The Argentine attacking midfielder was brought to Palermo by Sabatini in 2009, paid 7 million for Huracán and after two outstanding seasons was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for around 45 million euros. then new Qatari owners.

And then we could go on for pages talking about the many players that Allison, Kolarov, Pjanic, Salah, Lamela, Marquinhos, Ilicic, Kjaer, Sabatini bought, almost unknown players who were then resold for very high prices, making extraordinary capital gains. Up to Maybe a more resounding flop.What never went well with Sabatini: The 24 million paid to snatch Iturbe from Verona beat Juventus’ rival.

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