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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Alfredo Foni

Alfredo Foni was born in Udine, on January 20, 1911.


Source Lazio Wiki

At 16 he started playing for his hometown team Udinese. He made 3 appearances before being bought by Lazio in 1929.


In Rome, despite his young age, he did well. In his first year he was coached first by Ferenc Molnar, then Pietro Piselli and then Molnar again. It was the first single national Serie A and Foni made 19 appearances with one goal. Lazio finished 15th.


The following year Molnar stayed until May, then came Cesare Migliorini and finally, for the last three matches, Brazilian Amílcar. Foni played 20 league matches and scored 2 goals (Legnano, Roma). Yes, Foni scored in a 1-1 draw in Roma's Testaccio den. This was only the second season with derbies (Roma recently formed in 1927) and Lazio’s first unbeaten. Lazio had a better season in general too and came 8th. Unfortunately this was also Foni's last with Lazio as he joined Padova.


He stayed three seasons with the Patavini. The first was in Serie B and the "Biancoscudati" (The White- Shielded) were promoted. Foni had an excellent season playing 30 games with 15 goals (as a defender). In Serie A, over the following two seasons, he played 66 games with 4 goals (Juventus, Palermo Triestina x2) and Padova came 14th and 16th (relegated) under Hungarian János Vanicsek. By this point he had been noticed by the big teams and with Padova's relegation he moved to Turin.


In 1934 Foni joined Juventus. He would stay with the "Old Lady" for thirteen years. Between 1934 and 1942 he did not miss a single match. He ended up playing 266 league games for the Bianconeri with 5 goals. Along with fellow full-back Pietro Rava he made up one of the best defences in Italian history. In Turin he won a Scudetto (1935) and 2 Coppa Italia (1938, 1942).


In 1948 he joined Chiasso in Switzerland but only played 3 games before retiring.

At international level Foni won 23 Italy caps. He won an Olympic gold medal in Berlin 1936 as captain. He then won the biggest prize of all, the World Cup in France 1936. Foni played the quarterfinal, semi-final and the final where Italy defeated Hungary 4-2 (with 2 goals by Lazio’s Silvio Piola).


After retiring, Foni became a manager. He was successful there too. He started at Venezia (B) then Casale (C), Pavia (C), Sampdoria (A). In 1952 he joined Inter for three years and won 2 Scudetti in 1953 and 1954. He worked for the national team commission between 1954 (for one year had a double job) until1958. In 1957 he was the "Azzurri" manager but they failed to qualify for the Sweden 1958 World Cup, also due to the "disastro di Belfast'' (The Belfast disaster) when Italy lost to Northern Ireland (one of Italy's lowest points with North Korea in 1966 and North Macedonia in 2022).


In 1958 Foni returned to club football and joined Bologna for a year as technical director. He then returned to Rome for two years, but as manager on the Giallorosso side of town. In 1961 he won the Fairs Cup. He then had a season at home at Udinese (A but relegated). In 1963 he returned to Roma but was sacked after 8 games. He then became manager of Switzerland for three years (1964-67). The Swiss got to England 1966 but lost 3 out of 3.


He returned to club football again in 1968 and went back to Inter finishing 4th. His last coaching experiences between 1970 and 1977 were with Bellinzona (Swiss A, relegated), Mantova (A, relegated) and Lugano (Swiss A, 1974, 12th and Swiss B, 1977, 4th).


At 66 Foni also retired as a manager. He died at Breganzona, near Lugano, in Switzerland on January 28, 1985.


Foni was an excellent full-back. One of the best of his generation. He played in Serie A for 16 years. He won a Scudetto as a player and two as a manager. He played for his country and managed his country. He won a World Cup as a player and was included in the tournament's best XI.


At Lazio he only played two seasons between the ages of 18 and 20. He performed well and it was obvious he was destined for an illustrious career. His winning the World Cup in 1938 alongside Silvio Piola would have made all Lazio fans proud at the time. Alfredo Foni, a name to remember.


Lazio career

Season

Serie A Appearances

Serie A Goals

1929-30

19

1

1930-31

20

2

Total

39

3

Sources


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