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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Cristiano Bergodi

Cristiano Bergodi was born in Bracciano (Rome), on October 14, 1964.


Source Wikipedia

He is from a family of ardent Lazio fans and at 11 he entered the Lazio youth sector. He then joined Casalotti for a year at 14 and then at 15 joined the Pescara youth team set up.


He then made his professional debut for the "Delfini" (The Dolphins) in 1984 in Serie B. He stayed five seasons with a 7th, 17th (avoided relegation to C as Palermo went bust), 1st in B, 14th in Serie A and finally 16th in A with relegation. His managers were Enrico Catuzzi for two years and Giovanni Galeone for three years. Bergodi played 97 league games and 11 in Coppa Italia. He played in squads with Lazio connections Claudio Vagheggi, Franco Marchegiani, Antonio Elia Acerbis plus future Atalanta manager Gianpiero Gasperini.


In 1989 he came home to Lazio. The Biancocelesti were coached by Giuseppe Materazzi and finished 9th, their best result being an away win against Milan (it would not happen in the league for another 30 years...), Inter 2-1 and especially eventual champions, Maradona's Napoli 3-0. Bergodi played 32 league games with 1 goal (Cremonese) and 2 in Coppa Italia.


The following year Dino Zoff arrived as manager and Lazio finished 11th. The Biancocelesti drew both derbies and beat Juventus but did not improve as much as one had hoped. Bergodi played 33 league games and two in Coppa Italia.


In the 1991-92 season Lazio finished 10th but it would see the arrival of ambitious Roman entrepreneur Sergio Cragnotti as owner. Lazio again drew both derbies. Bergodi played 26 league games with 1 goal (Ascoli) and 3 in Coppa Italia.


The 1992-93 finally saw a more competitive Lazio with the arrival of Paul Gascoigne, Aron Winter, Beppe Signori, Beppe Favalli and Roberto Cravero amongst others. Lazio finished 5th and qualified for the UEFA Cup. They again drew both derbies but one with an epic dying minutes Gascoigne equaliser. Bergodi played 16 league games with 1 goal (86th minute equaliser against Milan) and 1 in Coppa Italia.


The 1993-94 season would be Zoff's last for now. Lazio did one better and finished 4th. Their best result was beating Juventus 3-1at home and Inter 2-1 away plus they won a derby after five years (1-0 Signori). Bergodi played 14 league games, 1 in Coppa Italia and 3 in the UEFA Cup.


In I994-95 Zdenek Zeman took over and Lazio's style of play changed drastically. Lazio finished 2nd, albeit ten points behind champions Juventus. The Biancocelesti had some great victories; a derby 2-0, Inter home and away 4-1 and 2-0, Milan 4-0, Napoli 5-1, Foggia 7-1, Fiorentina 8-2, Genoa 4-0, Juventus 3-0. They also reached the UEFA Cup quarter finals (Borussia Dortmund 1-2 on aggregate) and the Coppa Italia semi-finals (Juventus 1-3 on aggressive). Bergodi played 24 league games with 1 goal (94th minute equaliser in Florence), 5 in Coppa Italia and 3 in the UEFA Cup. He was a protagonist in Lazio's derby win as, apart from his defending, he set up the second goal by Gigi Casiraghi with a bicycle kick assist.


In 1995-96 Lazio had another solid season finishing 3rd. Standout results were a 4-0 thrashing of Juventus, Sampdoria 6-3, Atalanta 5-1, Cagliari and Fiorentina 4-0. Lazio drew the first derby and won the second 1-0. Bergodi's playing time was limited by the emergence of world-class centre back Alessandro Nesta. Bergodi played 15 league games, 3 in Coppa Italia and 3 in the UEFA Cup.


At this point Bergodi left Lazio and joined Padova (his mother's birthplace) in Serie B. He stayed three seasons; 11th, 19th (relegated) and 14th in C1 (relegated after playoffs). Bergodi played 43 league games with 1 goal for the Biancoscudati.


In 1999 he went for a foreign experience, it was not Saudi time yet so he went to Malta and joined Sliema Wanderers in the Premier League Malti. The Blues finished 2nd but won their 18th Maltese Cup (he would later become a bit of a cup specialist). Bergodi played 18 league games with 1 goal.


At almost 36 he then retired and reappeared as a manager in 2002.


His first job was with Imolese in serie C when he took over from Salvatore Bianchetti and kept the Rossoblu up through the playouts. His next job was with Sassuolo in 2003 in C2, replacing Gianni Balugani. The Sasôl avoided relegation via the playouts.


In 2004 he came back to Lazio as assistant manager to Domenico Caso with new owner Claudio Lotito. It was a difficult season with a myriad of new players, some of dubious quality, and the duo were replaced by Giuseppe Papadopulo after 16 matches.


He was then assistant to former Lazio Angelo Gregucci at Lecce in Serie B but the experience only lasted five games. The Salentini were eventually relegated.


In 2005 he started his first Romanian spell when he joined National Bucharest in Division A (2nd tier) in November for a season, finishing 7th and runners up in the Romanian Cup. From October 2006 he was at CFR Cluj finishing 3rd (UEFA qualification). In July 2007 to October he had a stint at Rapid Bucharest, winning the Romanian Super Cup defeating FCU Poli Timişoara 2-0. From January until June 2009 he was with Politehnica and from June until September with Steaua Bucharest.


In 2010 he returned to Italy and was manager of Modena in Serie B. The "Canarini" (The Canaries) finished 10th but the following season he was sacked in November.


He immediately went back to Pescara taking over from former Lazio teammate Giovanni Stroppa. Bergodi was then replaced himself in March and the Adriatici were eventually relegated to Serie B. In his five months in Abruzzo he coached former Lazio Luciano Zauri and Giuseppe Sculli.


In September 2013-14 he had a period at Brescia in Serie B. He was manager from the 8th fixture to the 27th. The"Leonessa" (The Lioness) came 11th.


In April 2015 he returned to Romania for the second time. From April he spent the last few months of the league season with Rapid Bucharest but the "Feroviari" (The Railway Men) were relegated.


He was then coach at Târgu Mureş in L1 (top flight) between September and December. The team was doing well but due to financial problems at the club, he resigned. He then returned to Modena in Serie B (taking over from Hernan Crespo) from March but was unable to avoid relegation to Lega Pro.


After a break in November 2018 he was back in Romania for the third time joining Voluntari in L1. His first season was positive but he was sacked in January of his second, after a string of bad results.


He stayed in Romania and in May 2020 took over at CSU Craiova in L1. He had a good impact with 6 wins and a draw with the "Leii din Bănie (The Lions of Bănie). His second season was going well with 8 wins and 2 losses but he left in November.


In October 2021 he reappeared, still in Romania in Transylvania, with Sepsi in L1. The club from Sfântu Gheorge qualified for Europe and won the Romanian Cup defeating Voluntari 2-1. He stayed on the following season and finished 6th but won the Supercupa României (The Romanian Super Cup) defeating CFR Cluj 2-1.


In 2023-2004, so in the current season, he is back with Rapid Bucharest in L1 for his third spell with the Cherry and Whites.


Cristiano Bergodi was a defender, he could play in all the defensive roles. He is 1.88 and 82 kilos, so strong physically. He was a solid man to man marker but with Galeone and Zeman played in their zonal 4-3-3 formations. He was a hardworking player, a strong tackler and good in the air.


At Lazio he fulfilled his childhood dream of playing for his club. He wore his heart on his sleeve and in derbies especially was a fan in a Lazio jersey. His verbal and physical battles with Roma's Giuseppe Giannini are epic. He played 185 games for the Biancocelesti with 4 goals, the late equalisers against Fiorentina and Milan are memorable. He did not win any trophies for Lazio but won three derbies and was a fan favourite. He played with Alessandro Nesta, Paul Gascoigne, Beppe Signori and other greats, any Lazio fan's dream.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

1989-90

34 (1)

32 (1)

2

-

1990-91

34

33

1

-

1991-92

29 (1)

26 (1)

3

-

1992-93

17 (1)

16 (1)

1

-

1993-94

18

14

1

3

1994-95

32 (1)

24 (1)

5

3

1995-96

21

15

3

3

Total

185 (4)

160 (4)

16

9

Sources


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