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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Emilson Cribari

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

Emílson Cribari was born in Cambará, Paraná, Brazil, on March 6, 1980.

He was formed as a footballer with Londrina in Brazil but at 18 came to Europe and joined Empoli, in Italy. His brother Binho was already with the Tuscans so it was a logical move.

Empoli were in Serie B and Emilson made his debut in 1999-2000 under Silvio Baldini. He played only 2 league games and 3 in the Coppa Italia. Empoli finished 9th.

In 2000-01 he played slightly more, 8 league appearances with his first goal (Ancona). The "Azzurri" finished 5th.

The following year Empoli were promoted to Serie A. Cribari played 32 league games with 1 goal (Ternana) and 3 games in Coppa Italia.

In Serie A, in 2002-03, Empoli held their own and finished 13th. They had Totò Di Natale, Francesco Tavano and Tommaso Rocchi up front and won 9 (including Milan away), drew 11 and lost 14 (including Lazio twice). Cribari played 30 league games and 6 in Coppa Italia.

In the second year in Serie A after 7 games the promotion hero, Silvio Baldini, was replaced by Attilio Perotti and the Tuscans were relegated (despite beating Inter away). Cribari played 31 league games with 1 goal (Udinese).

In 2004 Cribari joined Udinese but a serious injury limited his league games to 8, plus 2 in Coppa Italia and 2 in the UEFA Cup. The Friulani, under Luciano Spalletti finished 4th and qualified for the Champions League. They also reached the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia (Roma 1-1, 1-2).

In 2005 Cribari joined Lazio on loan. He arrived at the same time as new manager Delio Rossi. The first year Lazio had a decent season and finished 6th but were then docked 30 points and demoted to 16th for their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal. Cribari played 28 league games, 4 in Coppa Italia and 3 in the Intertoto Cup.

The following year started with Lazio docked a further three points for the previous season's scandal. Lazio however had an excellent season finishing 3rd and qualifying for a Champions League preliminary round (then passed vs Dinamo Bucharest 4-2 on aggregate). He won his first derby (3-0 and went extremely close to scoring)) and played 23 league games with 1 goal (Cagliari) and 2 games in Coppa Italia. He paired up with either Guglielmo Stendardo or Sebastiano Siviglia.

In 2007-2008 Lazio finished 12th. They reached the semi-finals of Coppa Italia (Inter 0-2 on aggregate) and went out of the Champions League in the group phase (Olympiakos 1-1,1-2, Real Madrid 2-2, 1-3, Werder Bremen 2-1,1-2). Cribari played 31 league games, 5 in Coppa Italia and 6 in the Champions League. He played in the middle with Siviglia, David Rozehnal or Stendardo. He won his second derby 3-2.

In 2008-2009 Lazio finished 10th but won the Coppa Italia beating Sampdoria 7-6 after penalties. This was Cribari's first major trophy. He played 17 league games and 3 in Coppa Italia. He paired up with Siviglia, Modibo Diakité, and Rozehnal over the season. He also won his third derby 4-2.

The next season a new manager arrived and Davide Ballardini took over from Delio Rossi. The season started with silverware as Lazio beat José Mourinho's Inter 2-1 in the Super Coppa played on August 8, in Beijing. The season however went downhill and in February Ballardini was sacked and replaced by Edy Reja. In January Cribari was loaned to Siena. Lazio finished 12th. Cribari, until his departure, played 10 league games, 6 in Coppa Italia and the historic Supercoppa in China. Lazio had bought Giuseppe Biava (Genoa) and André Dias (São Paulo) so there was less playing time possibility.

In Siena he played 18 league games under Alberto Malesani but the "Robur" were relegated to Serie B.

In 2010-11 Cribari joined Napoli. The manager was Walter Mazzarri and Cribari only played 9 league games, 1 in Coppa Italia and 4 in the Europa League. He had a poor season with several mistakes thus limiting his appearances. The regular duo in the middle was Paolo Cannavaro and Hugo Campagnaro. Napoli came 3rd (Champions League).

At this point Cribari decided to return to Brazil. In July 2011 he joined Cruzeiro. He only stayed until December however, playing 5 league games.

In 2012-13 he came back to Europe and joined Rangers in Scotland. The Glasgow club were playing in the 3rd Division (4th tier) due to the club going into liquidation. The Gers were coached by former player Ally McCoist and won the Third Division and Cribari played 26 league games and 8 in the various domestic cups.

The following season in Scottish League 1 he played 7 league games and 1 in the cup. The Teddy Bears were promoted again in 1st place. They also reached the Scottish Cup semi final.

At 34 Cribari then retired.

Cribari had a good club career. He won a "Primavera" Scudetto with Empoli (1999), a Coppa Italia (2009) and a Supercoppa (2009) with Lazio and two promotions with Rangers.

Cribari was a classic central defender. At 1.87 and 79 kilos he was a strong defender and good in the air. His preference was to play in a three-man defence but he could also play on the left or right. He was quick for his height and an excellent man-to-man marker.

He had some good years at Lazio. He stayed four and a half seasons, playing a total of 139 games. He won two trophies and in the Supercoppa triumph against Inter played the last ten minutes plus injury time when more than a football match it was an assault on Fort Apache. Lazio resisted with Cribari's contribution. The Lazio fans will also not forget him playing the Champions League preliminary with a protective mask due to a broken nose nor the fact that he played the return game without, against the doctor's orders.

He is respected and remembered fondly by the club and fans alike.

Lazio Career


Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions Lague

Europa League

Intertoto Cup









25 (1)

23 (1)



















2009-Jan 2010








139 (1)

109 (1)







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