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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Christian Manfredini

Christian José Manfredini Sisostri was born in Port-Bouet, Ivory Coast, on May 1, 1979. When he was five, he was adopted by an Italian family in Battipaglia (Salerno). He has dual nationality, Ivorian and Italian.

He grew up in the Juventus youth sector (1988-93). In 1993-94 he joined the first team while still appearing for the "Primavera" (U19's). In fact, the youth team won the league title and the prestigious Viareggio tournament, also with the help of a young Alessandro Del Piero.


In 1994 he started the first of his many loan spells. He spent a year each at Pistoiese (promotion to Serie B- 19 games and 2 goals), Viterbese (C2, 35 games and 3 goals), Avezzano (C2, 34 games and 4 goals), Fermana (C1, 29 games and 4 goals), Cosenza (Serie B, 39 games and 4 goals).


In 1999-2000 he signed for Genoa in Serie B. He was coached by Delio Rossi (1-22) and Bruno Bolchi (23-38) and played 25 league games with 2 goals (Empoli, Ravenna) and 2 games in Coppa Italia. The "Grifone"(The Griffin) finished 6th.


In 2000-01 he signed for Chievo Verona in Serie B. He was coached by Luigi Delneri and stayed two seasons. These were possibly the best years of his career and the "Clivensi" first got promoted and then finished 5th in Serie A (UEFA Cup qualification). The "Mussi Volanti" beat Inter, Lazio and Atalanta amongst others. In his first year Manfredini played 38 games with 7 goals and in his second 31 games with 2 goals (Piacenza, Torino) and countless assists. Chievo were the talk of Italian football in those years.


In the summer of 2002 he joined Sergio Cragnotti's Lazio, coached by Roberto Mancini. Manfredini had problems breaking into the team and only played 3 league games, 3 in Coppa Italia and 6 in the UEFA Cup with 1 goal (Skoda Xanthi) and so in January went out on loan. Lazio had a good season and finished 4th (Champions League qualification).


In January 2003 he moved to Pamplona and joined Osasuna in La Liga. He played 11 league games with 1 goal and 3 in Copa del Rey with 2 goals. The "Navarros" finished 11th.


In 2003-04 he was loaned to Fiorentina in Serie B. Under manager Alberto Cavasin he played 10 league games with 1 goal (Ternana) but in January was loaned to Perugia in Serie A. He played 14 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal, under manager Serse Cosmi. The "Grifoni" got relegated after a playoff, against Fiorentina ironically. In Florence Emiliano Mondonico had taken over after 26 games and he and the "Gigliati" won promotion beating Perugia (2-1 on aggregate).


In the summer of 2004, he returned to Lazio. Mancini had left along with a lot of the stars. New owner Claudio Lotito had chosen former player Domenico Caso as manager but he was then replaced after 16 games by Giuseppe Papadopulo. Lazio had a difficult season but ultimately finished 13th and won a derby 3-1. Manfredini played 16 league games with 1 goal (Messina), 1 in Coppa Italia and 4 in the UEFA Cup.


In 2005 Delio Rossi arrived at Lazio. The Biancocelesti finished 6th but were then docked 30 points (for match fixing scandal) and ended up 16th. Manfredini played 26 league games with 2 goals (Palermo, Messina), 3 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Inter) and 4 games in the Intertoto Cup.


In 2006 Lazio started with a three point docking but had a great season and finished 3rd (Champions League preliminary). Manfredini played 25 league games with 2 goals (Reggina, Empoli) and 2 in Coppa Italia. Lazio won the first derby 3-0 and drew the second 0-0.


In 2007 Lazio passed the CL preliminary (Dinamo Bucharest 4-1 on aggregate) so Manfredini made his debut in the top European Cup. They were then eliminated in a group with Olympiakos, Real Madrid and Werder Bremen after 1 win, 2 draws and 3 defeats. In the league the Biancocelesti finished 12th and reached the Coppa Italia semi-final. Manfredini played 23 league games, 4 in Coppa Italia and 5 in the Champions League with 1 goal (Werder Bremen). Lazio lost one derby (2-3) but won the second (3-2).


In 2008-09 he played less. He made 8 league appearances and 3 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Benevento). Lazio came 10th in the league but triumphed in the Coppa Italia beating Sampdoria on penalties. They lost one derby (0-1) but won the second (4-2).


In 2009-10 Lazio had a new manager, Davide Ballardini. He won the Italian Supercoppa (Inter 2-1 in Beijing) but was replaced by Edy Reja in February. Lazio finished 12th but Manfredini was often injured, never played and was left out of the squad


The 2010-11 season again saw Manfredini failing to get any games under Edy Reja. Lazio had a good season and finished 5th. This was Manfredini's last season with Lazio.


In 2011 he went to play for Sambonifacese from San Bonifacio near Verona. The "Sambo" played in Lega Pro 2 and he played 14 games. The Rossoblu got relegated to Serie D.


In 2012 he joined Agropoli (Salerno) in Serie D but only played 3 games before leaving in January. He joined Picciola (Salerno) at amateur level but never played.


He retired at 33.


At international level he won two caps for Ivory Coast with one goal (Spain).


Since retiring he has worked as a coach at amateur level with Valdiano (Salerno) and at youth level with Spezzano Albanese (Cosenza). In 2020 he became head of Bassano's (Vicenza) youth sector.


Manfredini was a midfielder. He is 1.80 and 73 kilos. He played mainly on the left, being left footed, but could play with both feet. He was a quick and agile player and had a good footballing brain. He was a quick thinking player and, with Chievo especially, specialized in setting up goals.


At Lazio he had some good years, in particular from 2004-2008. He played 132 games and scored 9 goals. He won a Coppa Italia and an Italian Supercup and played and scored in the Champions League. He may not have lived up to his Chievo levels but under Delio Rossi he played regularly and put in good performances.


Lazio Career

Season

Total apperances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

UEFA Cup

Intertoto Cup

2002-Jan 2003

12 (1)

3

3

-

6 (1)

-

2004-05

21 (1)

16 (1)

1

-

4

-

2005-06

29 (3)

26 (2)

3 (1)

-

-

4

2006-07

27 (2)

25 (2)

2

-

-

-

2007-08

32 (1)

23

4

5 (1)

-

-

2008-09

11 (1)

8

3 (1)

-

-

-

Total

132 (9)

101 (5)

16 (2)

5 (1)

10 (1)

4

Sources



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