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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Simone Del Nero

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Simone Del Nero played for Lazio from 2007 to 2012.

Simone Del Nero was born in Carrara, on August 4, 1981.


He spent his youth career at Empoli. He then played 4 games for the "Azzurri" between 1998 and 2000. The first year in Serie A and the second in B.


He then spent the 2000-2001 season at Brescia in Serie B, playing 3 games.


In 2001 he made a strange career move and was loaned to Livingston, in the Scottish Premier League. He only played 1 league game and 5 in the domestic cups with 1 goal. In January 2002 he returned to Brescia in Serie A and played 5 games (3 in league and 2 in Coppa Italia) before being loaned to Palermo in Serie B until June but he never played for the Rosaneri.


In 2003-04 he was back at Brescia playing alongside Roberto Baggio and future Lazio Stefano Mauri and Francelino Matuzalem. He played 21 league games with 1 goal (Inter in a 3-1 away win) and 2 games in Coppa Italia under Gianni De Biasi and the" Rondinelle "(Little Swallows) finished 11th.


The following year without Baggio but, with a young Marek Hamsik and Marco Del Vecchio, Brescia were relegated. First under De Biasi and then Alberto Cavasin, Del Nero played 21 league games again with 1 goal (Bologna in 2-1 away win) and 2 games in Coppa Italia with 1 goal ( Fiorentina).


In 2005-06 in Serie B he played 34 league games with 4 goals plus 4 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal. Brescia finished 10th under first Rolando Maran and then former Lazio Zdenek Zeman.


In 2006-07 Brescia did slightly better and finished 6th. Del Nero played 23 league games, with 1 goal, and 5 in Coppa Italia, with 1 goal. After a total of 125 games and 10 goals for the Biancazzurri it was time to move on.


In the summer of 2007 he joined Lazio. He was immediately important in Lazio's Champions League preliminary round. In the return leg against Dinamo Bucharest, after a 1-1 home draw, Del Nero was decisive in the 3-1 away victory winning a penalty and getting an assist for Lazio's second. In the league he was not so lucky and only played 5 league games while he was used more by Delio Rossi in the Champions League, getting 6 appearances. He suffered from injuries and had to undergo surgery on his foot at the end of the season.


The following season he played 6 league games but won his first silverware, the Coppa Italia, coming on in the 80th minute in the final won on penalties against Sampdoria.


In 2009-10 he won his second trophy, the Italian Supercoppa, in a 2-1 triumph over Mourinho's Inter in Beijing. In the league he started to be used at full-back first by Davide Ballardini and then by Edy Reja. He made 7 league appearances and 2 in Coppa Italia.


The next season was particularly unlucky as he got injured in the first match of the season and then with Reja's tactical change to a 4-man backline he played even less. He made 2 league appearances but did get his first goal for Lazio in a 3-0 win over Albinoleffe in Coppa Italia.


The 2011-12 season would be his last in Rome. After playing 2 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia, in January he was loaned to Cesena in Serie A. He played 11 league games with 2 goals (Parma, Roma). Cesena tried 3 different managers but got relegated.


That was his last experience in the big time. He went to Malaysia for a year and played for Johor Darul Ta'zim. He then played three years for Massese in Lega Pro (third tier) with 46 games and 16 goals, and a year for his hometown team Carrarese, 19 games and 4 goals, before returning to Massese in Serie D, 26 games and 5 goals. His last team was Rivasamba (Sestri Levante) in the 5th tier where he played for two years under his father Davide and alongside his younger brother Manuele.


At international level he was called up by the Italy U-18's but without caps, then played 13 games for the U21's winning the European Championship in 2004. For this feat the whole squad was made "Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" (a Knight Order of Merit). He also played 6 games for the Italian Olympic team and won a bronze medal at Athens 2004.


Del Nero was a talented player but his career was hindered by injuries and, as he has admitted himself, a fragile character. He could play in midfield but also at full-back. He had good technique and stamina but was a little weak physically.


At Lazio he played a total of 35 games with 1 goal. He won two trophies but will best be remembered for his excellent display in Bucharest which helped Lazio into the Champions League group stage.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

2007-08

11

5

-

6

2008-09

7

6

1

-

2009-10

9

7

2

-

2010-11

4 (1)

2

2 (1)

-

2011-Jan 2012

4

2

2

-

Total

35 (1)

22

7 (1)

6

Sources


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