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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Manager Series: Luigi Allemandi

Source Lazio Wiki

Luigi Allemandi was born on November 8 1903 in San Damiano Macra near Cuneo.

At a young age his family moved to Legnano and that is where he started playing football, first for Giovani Calciatori Legnanesi and then in 1921 for Legnano where he stayed until 1925. The club almost reached the finals of the Northern League on many occasions, and he was noticed by Juventus. He signed for the Turin club in 1925 and became one of the best defenders of the campionato and in the club's history. As a matter of fact, together with defender Virginio Rosetta and goalkeeper Gianpiero Combi, they established the record for not conceding goals with Juventus at 934 minutes. This record resisted for 90 years, until Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini went slightly better with 974 minutes.

In 1927 he was involved in the first Italian match fixing scandal. It involved three Juve players who were allegedly paid to let Torino win the derby. It was a very controversial case. The Torino accountant, Guido Nani, and a student who knew many of the players, Francesco Gaudioso, approached Luigi Allemandi to try to get him and other players to “help” Torino win the derby. Toro not only won the match coming from behind, but also won the scudetto.


Apparently, the deal between Nani and Gaudioso was an upfront payment first, and the remainder of the money if Torino won the championship. When the Granata became champions, Gaudioso wanted his part of the deal but for unknown reasons Nani refused. At this point the student leaked the story to the press and the case exploded.


In the sporting investigation that followed, the whole story came out. Gaudioso had bribed Allemandi, Federico Munerati and Pietro Pastore, the latter two the worst players on the pitch (Pastore had even been sent off for a retaliatory foul). Allemandi was paid in cash, Munerati in booze and Pastore betted on Juventus losing.


Torino’s title was revoked, Allemandi got a life ban and the other two had an official warning. Allemandi too proclaimed his innocence and the life ban was revoked in 1928.


He had already left Juventus and had signed for Ambrosiana Inter. He stayed in Milan until 1935, making 193 league appearances and winning a scudetto in 1929-30. In 1935 he signed for Roma and played in the capital for two years. He then played a year for Venezia in Serie B and ended his career with Lazio in the 1938-39 season as a backup player. He made just two appearances.

In Nazionale he played 24 games (9 as captain) and was one of the players who won the 1934 World Cup where he played all the games including the final victory against Czechoslovakia 2-1 after extra time. With Italy he also won the 1933-35 Central European International Cup (a round robin tournament between five teams – Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland) and played two games for the Nazionale B.

In the 1938-39 season, Lazio’s manager was Jozef Violak and they did not start too badly. After the end of the first half of the season they were fifth together with Genova and had won the “away” derby. After four games of the second round of fixtures, the club gave Violak permission to leave and coach Milano. The new manager became Luigi Allemandi, who hence became player-manager, with Alfredo Di Franco. At the end of the season Lazio arrived 10th, a comfortable four points above the relegation zone. Perhaps a little more was expected, but worse had  also been feared.

After that experience he quit the football world. In 1955 he became technical director of Alessandria for just one game (Livorno Alessandria 2-1).

He died on September 25, 1978 in Pietra Ligure near Savona.

Allemandi was one of the best defenders Italy has ever had and the obvious highlight of his career was becoming World Champion in 1934. His career as a manager was brief, and only with Lazio, but he came in to help out when called for and for this there can be only appreciation.

Lazio Career


Serie A Appearances





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