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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Umberto Busani

Umberto Busani was born in Naples, on February 1, 1915.

Umberto Busani first from the left standing. Source Wikipedia

He started his football career in Verona with OND Chievo in 1931. The Clivensi at the time played in Veneto regional leagues. He played for two years with 22 appearances and 13 goals.

In 1933 he changed club but not town and joined Verona in Serie B. He only made 2 league appearances and the "Mastini" (The Mastiffs) finished 11th.

In 1934 he moved to play for Giovani Calciatori Vigevanesi (modern day ASD Vigevano) in Serie B. The Biancocelesti finished 5th and Busani played 29 league games with 6 goals.

In 1935 he moved to Piedmont and Alessandria. The "Orso Grigio" (The Grey Bear) was in Serie A. The two managers over the season were both Austrian, first Rudolf Soutschek and then Karl Stürmer. The Grigi had a good season finishing 8th (wins included Roma, Lazio, Milan 6-1, Juventus). They reached the final of Coppa Italia (beating Cremonese, Modena, Lazio 1-0, Milan) but lost to Torino 1-5. Busani played 28 league games with 7 goals (Como, Bologna, Milan, Genova 1893, Bologna, Bari, Juventus) and 4 in Coppa Italia.

In 1936 he moved to the capital and joined Lazio. The manager was Hungarian József Viola, Lazio finished 2nd and reached the final of the important Central European Cup (lost 6-9 on aggregate to Ferencváros). Busani played 29 league games with 15 goals (Triestina, Roma, Torino, Napoli x4, Genova 1893, Fiorentina, Juventus, Liguria, Alessandria x2, Bari), 1 game in Coppa Italia and 6 in the CEC with 3 goals (Grasshoppers x2, Ferencváros).

The following year Lazio finished 8th. Busani played 30 league games with 12 goals (Bologna, Livorno, Inter, Torino, Fiorentina,Triestina, Lucchese, Bologna x2, Bari, Inter, Liguria) and 1 game in Coppa Italia (out in first round to Brescia).

In 1938-39 Viola started but was replaced after 19 games by Luigi Allemandi. The Biancocelesti finished 10th. They beat Roma 2-0 away and Busani got the second goal. He played 23 league games with 6 goals (Genova 1893, Modena, Roma, Livorno, Bologna, Torino).

The 1939-40 would be his last in Rome. It was a better season for Lazio and the Biancocelesti finished 4th under Hungarian manager Géza Kertész. Lazio won the return derby 1-0 and also beat Juventus 4-0 at home and Milan 2-0 away). Busani played 24 league games with 5 goals (Fiorentina, Novara, Juventus, Bari x2) and 2 games in Coppa Italia.

In 1940 he left Lazio and joined Napoli. He would stay 8 years on the bay of Naples (including the war). The Partenopei finished 7th, 15th (relegated), 3rd in B, then got promoted after the war (during which he had played for Frattese), 8th and 21st (relegated again). His managers included Antonio Vojak, Paolo Innocenti, Raffaele Sansone and Arnaldo Sentimenti II. Busani played 171 league games with 46 goals plus 4 games in Coppa Italia. In Naples he played alongside former Lazio Michele Andreolo, Maximiliano Faotto and Giacomo Blason.

In 1948 he joined Casertana in nearby Caserta in Serie D. In his first year the "Falchetti" (The Hawks) finished 2nd and the following were promoted to Serie C.

He played 3 games for Italy B but never won a full national cap.

He then retired at 34. After his playing days he stayed on in the Naples area and opened a sports shop. He also coached a few minor teams such as Ischiaterme in the 1950's.

Busani was a winger who set up but also scored goals. He was extremely quick and very talented, one of the best wingers of his generation.

At Lazio he was a success. His first season was especially good. His debut came in a 3-0 win over Milan and he scored 15 league goals with Lazio going close to the Scudetto. He scored four goals in one game away at Napoli. In his four seasons he scored 41 league goals. In his final year he was a key player in Lazio's epic derby win, played with four reserves and without Silvio Piola. He was a regular starter with 116 appearances only missing a few games through injury such as breaking his collarbone in January 1939.

Umberto Busani died prematurely at the age of 42 in Naples from Asiatic flu.

Lazio Career


Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup


34 (17)

29 (15)


4 (2)


33 (13)

30 (12)


2 (1)


23 (6)

23 (6)




26 (5)

24 (5)




116 (41)

106 (38)


6 (3)



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