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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Manager Series: Umberto Mannocci

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Umberto Mannocci was manager at Lazio for the 1964-65, 1965-66 and the beginning of the 1966-67 season. Under Mannocci, Lazio came 14th and 12th respectively, but the team was not very strong.

Umberto Mannocci is first from left standing. Source Wikipedia

Mannocci was born in Livorno on April 24 1922. He was a good midfielder and started his career at Pisa where he stayed for four years in Serie B from 1939 to 1943. After the Second World War he moved to Livorno where from 1945 to 1949 played four seasons in Serie A, the last three as a regular first team player. His last season in the top tier was in 1949-50 in Genoa for Sampdoria. After that experience he played for a number of Serie B and C teams (Cremonese, Reggiana, Messina and Siracusa) to then end his active football career in the fourth tier with Cecina. He played 97 games (two goals) in Serie A during his entire career and 220 league games (22 goals) in Serie B.

Once he stopped playing, he became a manager. His first experience was with Pisa from 1956 to 1960 where he took them from the fifth tier to Serie C. Here he was also suspended for six months following a brawl in the derby against Livorno. After a year at Arezzo in 1960, he became head coach at Messina and in 1962-63 guided them to an historic promotion to Serie A. They then managed to stay in the top tier the following season.

Source Wikipedia

In 1964-65 he was chosen by Lazio President Angelo Miceli to substitute the traitor Juan Carlos Lorenzo, who had joined the other team from Rome. In his first year Lazio reached 14th place, avoiding relegation one game from the end of the season. It was a very disappointing year, but Lazio were in a deep financial crisis and could not really ask for much more.

In his second season Lazio arrived 12th. They started very well and did not lose for the first 9 games, even beating Roma “away”. The second half was not so great and in the last 5 games Lazio only earned one point.

He was confirmed by the new President Umberto Lenzini for the 1966-67 season but was sacked after just 7 games. Maino Neri became the new manager but Lazio could not avoid relegation to Serie B.

After Lazio, he returned to Messina for a year and then he went on a tour of the country (Mantova, Potenza, Pisa, Frosinone, Marsala, Cosenza) but never had a chance to coach a top team again. He was also Sports Director at Frosinone for a while. His last years as manager were in even lower tiers with Pro Italia, Galatina and Colleferro.

He was a very pragmatic and wise manager. At Lazio he did not have much material to play with so he used what he had. Lazio were always on the defensive but used the counter attack as a weapon so he was always looking for fast players. The club did not have much money and really could not afford anything flamboyant, so Mannocci used what he had and moulded the team to the best of their possibilities.

He died in Rome on November 9 2004.



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