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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Manager Series: Giuseppe Bigogno

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Giuseppe Bigogno was Lazio manager for the 1951-52 season (fourth place) and in 1952-53 for 25 matches.

Source Wikipedia

Bigogno was born in Albizzate, near Varese, on July 22 1909. He had a long football career as midfielder starting with Legnano from 1925 where he played 101 league games (two goals) in six years. In 1931 he signed for Fiorentina in Serie A and stayed for five years playing 134 games (five goals). In 1936 he moved to Genova 1893 (the Italianization of Genoa Football and Cricket Club) where he stayed for three years, winning the Coppa Italia in 1937. He won another national cup when he went back to Florence in 1939 playing his last year of active football in 1941-42.

After World War II he began his career as a manager where he left off as a footballer, that is, Fiorentina. In the second group of the first post war competition Fiorentina came fifth just missing out on the second phase. In 1946 he became manager for Milan and stayed for three years reaching 4th, 2nd and 3rd places. In 1949 he took over what remained of the Great Torino team following the Superga tragedy. The great Torino who had won 5 consecutive scudetto titles between 1942-43 and 1948-49 died in an air crash on May 4 1949. Returning from a friendly against Benfica in Lisbon, the plane carrying the whole team crashed into the wall at the back of the Basilica of Superga which is on a hill near Turin. All 31 people on the flight died. These included the players, coaching staff, a few journalists and the flight crew. Together with the technical director Roberto Copernico, Bigogno led the team to sixth place in first year but in the second, the Granata only just avoided relegation.

In the summer of 1951 Remo Zenobi called him to manage Lazio. The Biancocelesti had come from two consecutive excellent fourth places so it was a difficult heritage. But Bigogno equalled the work of his predecessor, Mario Sperone, and Lazio came again fourth. After some initial difficulties, the team started winning and reached third place with Inter and Spal at the end of the first half of the season. Lazio lost a bit of momentum but then regained strength finishing behind Juventus, Milan and Inter and together with Fiorentina.

The 1952-53 season was more complicated. The first half of the campionato was relatively positive but then in the second half there were many home defeats and Bigogno was sacked in the 25th match and replaced by Alfredo Notti.

In 1953 he became manager at Udinese. In his first year the team avoided relegation after a playoff with Spal and Palermo (they had all finished on 26 points). Palermo joined Legnano down to Serie B. In 1954-55 Udinese achieved the best result in their history, a second place behind Milan. But a player, Rinaldo Settembrino, confessed that in the 1952-53 season, some Bianconeri players had offered money to Pro Patria players to lose the match. Udinese were relegated. They only stayed a year in Serie B and were promptly promoted back to Serie A for the 1956-57 season where they came fourth. The next season they came ninth, on a par with Milan and Inter. During his stint at Udine, Bigogno was also head coach of the Italy B team.

He became manager of the Nerazzurri for the 1958-59 season but was sacked after 22 games with Inter fourth (they finished third). The team had been playing very badly and both the fans and club wanted a change. He was replaced by Frank Pedersen. The year after he went back to Udine as assistant to manager Severino Feruglio for a year. He returned to Udine in 1967-68 as technical director. Udinese had dropped to Serie C a few years earlier but again they missed out on promotion.

Bignono died in Florence on June 22, 1978.



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