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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Diego Zanetti

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Diego Zanetti was born in Invorio (Novara), on 22 January, 1939.

Source Wikipedia

He started his football with local club Gozzano and then Novara. He then made his debut for Novara, in Serie B, in 1959. He played two seasons for the" Gaudenziani" (The Gaudentians), making 44 appearances with 2 goals.


In 1961 he arrived at Lazio. His first two seasons in the capital were spent in Serie B and he played regularly under several managers, including Bob Lovati of course: 38 and 39 appearances. Lazio went close to Serie A in 1962 but were successful the following year under Lovati-Juan Carlos Lorenzo.


After the promotion of 1963 he played his first year in Serie A with 30 games and 1 goal (Bari). Lazio had a good season and finished 8th. They drew both derbies and beat Milan and Juventus away from home.


In 1964-65 Lazio did not do as well and came 14th under Umberto Mannocci. Zanetti however was consistent and played 32 games plus 2 in Coppa Italia. Both derbies were drawn 0-0.


The following year things went slightly better and Lazio came 12th again under Mannocci. Zanetti played every single league game (34) plus 2 in Coppa Italia. The highlight of the season was "probably" beating Roma 1-0 (the second derby ended 0-0).


In 1966-67 unfortunately Lazio were relegated with a 15th place finish under Mannocci and from November Maino Neri. Zanetti due to injury played less, 17 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia.


In Serie B in 1967-68 Lazio had a disappointing season under Renato Gei and then, from February after 24 games, with Bob Lovati. The Biancocelesti finished 11th and Zanetti played 31 games and scored 1 goal (Modena).


The 1968-69 season would be Zanetti's last in the capital but he ended in style. Lazio won the Serie B championship and were promoted back to the top flight, under Lorenzo/Lovati. In his last year Zanetti was as regular as ever and played 31 league games.


In the summer of 1969 he joined L.R. Vicenza in Serie A but only played 5 league games.


After only a year he joined Borgomanero nearer to home, in Serie D. He stayed two seasons as player-manager playing 54 games.


At the end of the 1972 season he retired at the age of 33.


After hanging up his boots he spent some years as a manager in the lower divisions in Piedmont. From Borgomanero he stayed in his home region and had experiences at Omegna (two spells), Arona and Juventus Duomo. Today he runs a bar/ tobacconist in Novara.


Diego Zanetti was a pillar of 1960's Lazio. He played 260 games over 8 seasons. He was a strong, physical full-back and in his number 2 jersey held his own against all forwards. He was humble and dedicated, spending hours improving his control and left foot against the wall. He was a reserved character but was a popular, reliable and ever-present player in 1960's Lazio history.


Total appearances and goals for Lazio

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

1961-62

38

-

35

3

-

1962-63

39

-

38

1

-

1963-64

31 (1)

30 (1)

-

1

-

1964-65

34

32

-

2

-

1965-66

35

34

-

1

1966-67

21

17

-

2

2

1967-68

31 (1)

-

31 (1)

-

-

1968-69

31

-

31

-

-

Total

260 (2)

113 (1)

135 (1)

10

2

Sources


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