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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Manager Series: Giulio Corsini

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Giulio Corsini was manager at Lazio very briefly in the 1975-76 season. He was sacked after seven games following great difficulty in managing Giorgio Chinaglia.

Source Wikipedia

Corsini was born in Bergamo on September 23, 1933. His football career was a successful one. He played left back for Atalanta, Roma and Mantova. He debuted in Serie A with Atalanta at just 20 years of age after having played in the Neroazzurri’s youth sector. He stayed in his hometown club for five years before joining the team from the wrong side of the Tiber. He played for seven years in Rome forming a formidable defensive trio with goalkeeper Fabio Cudicini, father of Carlo, and Alfio Fontana, right back. He won a Coppa Italia in 1963-64 and the Intercities Fairs Cup in 1960-61. He finished his career with Mantova which he joined in 1964 and stayed for four years.

When he stopped active football he became a manager. He started as assistant at Mantova to Gustavo Giagnoni, who was called to the rescue after a disastrous beginning under former Lazio manager Umberto Mannocci in 1969. In his second year, Mantova arrived fourth in Serie B and just missed out on promotion.

In 1970-71 Atalanta President Achille Bortolotti offered him the job as head coach. In his first season he took the club back to Serie A. The following year Atalanta managed to avoid relegation too but not in 1972-73. With three games to the end of the season, the Bergamaschi had a five-point lead over Vicenza who were 14th. And all they needed was a point. But Atalanta lost the next two games and Vicenza won. The last game was against their direct rivals who won in Bergamo and the Nerazzurri were relegated on goal difference. Despite the debacle, Corsini was confirmed but the 1973-74 season in Serie B would prove to be a tough one and Atalanta even risked relegation. Corsini was sacked and replaced by Heriberto Herrera.

In 1974-75 he was chosen as manager for Sampdoria. The previous season the Blucerchiati had been relegated but towards the end of the campionato the “telephone scandal” broke out. The Verona President, Saverio Garonzi, had called Brazilian Sergio Clerici, who was playing for Napoli at the time (and would join Lazio a few years later), offering to help him open a FIAT car dealership in Brazil once he stopped playing football. Foggia asked for an enquiry but they too were involved in a corruption scandal after having offered referee Gino Menicucci and the linesmen an expensive watch before the last game of the season. The referee refused and notified the sport authorities. Verona were relegated to last place in the Serie A table and Foggia docked six points. Sampdoria were back in Serie A

The Genoese had planned to play in Serie B so the first tier was a welcomed shock. Corsini was successful in avoiding relegation. This attracted the attention of Lazio President Umberto Lenzini who had to substitute Tommaso Maestrelli, who was fighting a battle against cancer.

Corsini was named Lazio manager for the 1975-76 season and he made a real mess of things. The players and fans worshipped the Maestro and his gentle ways. Corsini decided to use the iron fist. The first disaster was the sale of Mario Frustalupi and Giancarlo Oddi to Cesena in exchange for Paolo Ammoniaci and Francesco Brignani. Oddi was probably one of the best central defenders in Italy and Frustalupi, despite his age, one of the best playmakers. The two former Cesena players were decent players but not champions. Cesena then did so well that year that they qualified for the UEFA Cup.

Corsini’s next mistake was to go for a confrontation with Giorgio Chinaglia. Long John had spent the summer in the USA with his family and had tried to get Lenzini to sell him to New York Cosmos. Lenzini refused and threatened him with fines and suspension if he did not come back and in the end Giorgio returned. The Lazio President had made a deal with the centre forward, Chinaglia was allowed to go to the States once a month to see his family. Corsini was not happy and did not agree.

Lazio started the season well, winning their Coppa Italia group thanks to two home wins and two goalless draws away. In the first game of the season against Sampdoria in Genoa, he partnered Chinaglia with young Bruno Giordano and the kid scored the winning goal in the dying minutes. After five games however Lazio were already involved in the relegation battle. Match six was the derby. In the interval, Chinaglia announced that the next day he was going to go to the US, as agreed with the President. Corsini told Long John that as long as he was manager, Giorgio would never go to the States. The manager and Chinaglia came to blows in the changing rooms. The players took Chinaglia’s side. In the second half Lazio fell behind but Chinaglia equalised. After the game he took the plane to the US.

Corsini’s job with Lazio was doomed. A week later, after Lazio lost 2-1 at Ascoli, Lenzini fired him. Maestrelli, feeling much better, took his place. A huge opportunity missed by the Bergamo coach, all he needed was a little more understanding of the delicate situation.

Corsini’s next job was with Cesena for the 1976-77 season but he was sacked after only three games. He returned to Bergamo and was head coach of the youth teams for the 1977-78 season. He was called to Bari during the following season in Serie B, replacing Mario Santececca, but he was fired towards the end of the season. His last job as manager was in 1981 again at Atalanta in Serie B but could not avoid the Dea's relegation to Serie C.

It looks like he never recovered from his time at Lazio. The only thing we can be grateful for was that he launched the careers of Bruno Giordano, Lionello Manfredonia and Andrea Agostinelli.

He died in Bergamo on December 31, 2009.



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