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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Norberto Höfling

Norberto Höfling was a Romanian Jew born in Chernivtsi (modern day Ukraine), on June 24, 1924.

Norberto Höfling is the first on the right standing. Source WIkipedia

He started playing football for local teams Dinamo Chernivtsi, Carmen Bucharest, Ciocanul (former Maccabi Bucharest) and then in Hungary for MTK Budapest.

He scored a lot of goals and was signed by Lazio in January 1949. He made 10 appearances with one goal (Torino) and the Biancocelesti came 13th. The manager was Mario Sperone who had substituted Orlando Tognotti after 10 games. In his second season the Lazio finished 4th and won one derby 3-1 and drew the other 0-0. Höfling played 29 games and scored 13 goals (Bari x2, Novara x3, Lucchese x2, Como x3, Bologna x2, Torino) and 1 game in the Latin Cup.

In 1950-51 Lazio came 4th again. They won both derbies and away to Milan. Höfling played 33 league games and scored 11 goals (Pro Patria, Torino, Udinese, Fiorentina, Novara, Padova, Udinese, Lucchese, Palermo, Bologna x2). A positive two seasons at Lazio cut short by his bad relationship with fellow striker Dionisio Arce, Lazio resolved it by selling them both.

In 1951 he joined Pro Patria and Lelio Antoniotti came the other way. Höfling stayed four seasons, the first two in Serie A, the third in B and the fourth in A. His managers were Mario Varglien, Cesare Pellegatta, Giacinto Ellena (1-31) and Luigi Rossetto (32-34 plus the playoff) in his third year and Rossetto again (1-14) and Imre Senkey (15-34) in his last season. With the "Tigrotti" (The Little Tigers) from Busto Arsizio he scored 20 goals in Serie A (including 1 against Lazio and Roma) and 11 in B in a total of 119 league games.

In 1955 he left and joined Vicenza in Serie A. Hofling only played 9 league games with 1 goal, under first Béla Guttman and then Piero Andreoli. The "Lane" finished 13th.

At 32 he retired and at 33 he was already coaching in Belgium at Club Bruges. He stayed with the "Blauw en Zwart (The Blue and Blacks) for six seasons. In 1959 he got them promoted to the top flight, where they have been ever since.

In 1963 he spent a season in Holland with Feyenoord. "De club van het folk" (The people's club) finished 4th.

He then returned to Belgium and was with Racing White Molenbeek for three seasons from 1964-67. In his first "Les Coalisés" (The Coalitions - with Racing Club de Bruxelles in 1963) won promotion and then finished 11th and 13th.

In 1967 he was back at Club Bruges for a season and finished 2nd but won the Belgian Cup defeating Beerschot on penalties.

In 1968 he moved to Brussels and joined Anderlecht but was soon sacked. In the end "Les Mauves et Blanc" (The Violet and Whites) finished 4th.

In 1969 he stayed in the capital but joined Daring Brussels in Division 2. "Les Daringmen" finished 3rd and reached the final of the Belgian Cup but lost 1-6 to Club Bruges.

In 1970 Daring merged and became Royal Daring Club Molenbeek and finished 10th in Division 2.

In 1972 he moved to Oostende. He took them from the Derde Klasse (third tier) to Division 1 over three seasons but then fell out with their directors and left.

In 1975 he moved to Gent in Division 2 but left after a year and a 12th position.

After a few years break he took on the job at Pro Patria in C2. The Biancoblu finished 13th but he laid the foundations for the following year's promotion. He then spent a year as Sporting Director before returning to Belgium.

An interesting and long career as player and then manager. Hofling was a striker and always scored goals wherever he went. He proved himself in Serie A with Lazio and Pro Patria scoring 45 goals in the top flight.

At Lazio he was a success and was their top scorer for two consecutive seasons in a positive period for the Romans with two 4th places.

Hofling died in Bruges on April 18, 2005.

Lazio Career


Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Latin Cup


10 (1)

10 (1)



30 (13)

29 (13)



33 (11)

33 (1)



73 (25)

72 (25)




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