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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Paolo Franzoni

Paolo Franzoni was born in Livorno, on January 15, 1948.


Source Wikipedia

He started playing football with local G.S Rosignano Solvay and then at 17 joined Reggiana in Serie B. He only played one league game under Romolo Bizzotto and the Granata finished 15th.

In 1966 he changed team but not colours as he joined Torino in Serie A. The manager was Marino Bergamasco (with Nereo Rocco as T.D) but Franzoni never made his debut for Toro who finished 7th. His teammates included future Lazio, Carlo Facchin and Giambattista Moschino.

In 1967 he went home and joined Livorno on loan in Serie B. He played 4 league games under Leandro Remondini and the Amaranto finished 7th.

In 1968 he joined Como, again on loan, in Serie B. The manager was Franco Viviani and Franzoni played 17 league games with 2 goals (Monza, SPAL). The Lariani finished 6th.

In 1969 he signed for Piacenza in Serie B. In his first year the "Lupi" were relegated while in his second they finished 15th in C1. Franzoni played 78 league games and scored 10 goals.

In 1971 he joined Sorrento in Serie B. The manager was first Nicola D'Alessio and then Pasquale Atripaldi and the Rossoneri were relegated. Franzoni played 28 league games with 5 goals.

In 1972 he changed coast and joined Brindisi in Serie B. The manager of the "Messapici" was future Lazio, Luis Vinicio and they finished 7th. Franzoni played 37 league games and scored 6 goals.

In 1973 came his big chance and he joined Lazio in Serie A. The manager was legendary Tommaso Maestrelli. The Biancocelesti had gone close to the Scudetto the previous year and were now giving it another shot. It turned out to be a triumphant season and Lazio won their first ever Italian title. Franzoni made a good contribution with 10 league appearances with 1 goal (Roma) and 6 games in Coppa Italia.

The following year Lazio finished 4th. Their season was affected by Maestrelli's deteriorating health, in fact April for the last six matches he was replaced by Roberto Lovati so he could undergo treatment. Lazio's best results were beating Juventus 1-0 and Milan 3-0, both at home. Franzoni again played 10 league games with 2 goals (Bologna, Vicenza, both winners) and 3 games in Coppa Italia. The Biancocelesti were unable to play in the European Cup as they had been banned for a year (originally it had been three) following the ugly scenes after the home game against Ipswich the previous season.

The following season in 1975-76 Franzoni joined Avellino in Serie B. The manager was first Antonio Gianmarinaro (1-13) and then Corrado Viciani (14-38) and the Irpini finished 9th. Franzoni played 29 league games with 4 goals. One of his teammates was former Lazio, Rino Gritti.

In 1976-77 he signed for Ternana in Serie B. He played under three different managers: Edmondo Fabbri (1-11), Cesare Maldini (12-24) and Omero Andreani (25-38). The Rossoverdi finished 14th and Franzoni played 21 league games with 1 goal.

In 1977-78 he joined Piacenza on loan in Serie C. The "Piace" managers were Ezio Galbiati (1-29) and Sergio Montanari (30-38) and they finished 4th allowing them to participate in the following year's new C1 league. Franzoni played 25 league games with 5 goals.

Franzoni's last club was Frosinone in 1978-79. The Ciocari, under Adelmo Eufemi and then former Lazio Umberto Mannocci, finished 18th in C2 and were relegated to Serie D. Franzoni played 20 league games with 2 goals.

Franzoni then retired at 31.

He then became a manager starting where he had played in the early 70's, Sorrento. In 1981-82 he took the Rossoneri to 12th place in C2.

In 1982-83 he was back at another old haunt, Gioventù Brindisi in C2. The Biancazzurri were relegated and then folded in 1985.

In 1983-84 he was at Sant'Elena (Quartucciu- Cagliari) in C2. It was an unfortunate season and the Sardinians were kicked out of the league halfway through for bankruptcy (the first case in Italy).

In 1984-85 he was back on the mainland with Civitavecchia (a port north of Rome) in C2. "La Vecchia" finished 12th.

In 1985-86 he returned to Sardinia but to the north-west and was in charge at Alghero in Interregionale (regional amateur level). The "Catalani" (The Catalans) finished 7th.

After a few years break in 1991-92 he reappeared at Bolzano in Interregionale and the Eagles finished 6th. That was his last direct involvement in football.

Franzoni was a forward who played more for the centre forwards than for himself. He was the classic "spalla" (side kick /partner). He had a nomadic career up and down the country but his peak was at Lazio.

At Lazio he stayed two years with 29 appearances and 3 goals.

He will forever be remembered as Italian champion at Lazio. He was a reserve in the Scudetto winning team of 1973-74 but a reserve who got 10 league games and scored a crucial goal the first of the two winning derbies of that incredible season. An integral part of Maestrelli's squad and deservedly “Campione d'Italia".


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1973-74

16 (1)

10 (1)

6

1974-75

13 (2)

10 (2)

3

Total

29 (3)

20 (3)

9

Sources


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