Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

David Schiavone On March - 4 - 2011

Who Exactly Is Serse Cosmi?

On the 1st March 2011 Palermo released a statement that said, 
”Palermo announces the appointment of Serse Cosmi as coach of the first team,” after Delio Rossi was relieved of his duties following the Rosanero’s third straight defeat of the season.

But who is the new man at the helm of Maurizio Zamparini’s side? We all know him from Perugia and often liken him to a screaming madman on the side of the pitch but there is a lot more to the ‘L’uomo del Fiume’ – Man of the River, as he is affectionately nicknamed.

Born in Ponte San Giovanni, a small village near Perugia in Umbria. He is named after the cyclist Serse Coppi, brother of the more famous Fausto, by his father, a keen cycling fan.

During his early years he was with the Ternana youth side, but unable to make it there he played mainly at amateur level as a midfield creator, and instead had a career in the amateur leagues with the likes of Deruta, Cannara, Spello and hometown club Pontevecchio, though he was eventually forced to give up playing because of injury.

Thus starting his coaching career at the age of 32 with Ellera, as coach of the under-18 youth side. He then moved onto Pontevecchio, where he got his first taste of life as the number one.

At the amateur side he had great success, taking them from the fourth level of the amateur leagues to the top division in only five years. The fans of Pontevecchio often had a banner which read, Con Serse Cosmi fino a Tokyo, – With Cosmi as far as Tokyo (the then venue of the Intercontinental Cup final).

This success did not go unnoticed and he was snapped up by lowly Arezzo and in five his five successful years with them, took the club from Serie D to Serie C1, the third tier of Italian football. He was widely regarded as one of the countries up and coming coaches winning the ‘Silver Bench’ award, given to the best coach in Serie C, after leading Arezzo to an impressive fifth position in 1999/2000.

During the same year he also won the Premio Nestore, an award given to the best sportsman from Umbria, presented to him by Giovanni Trapattoni and with a previous winner of the award being Fabrizio Ravanelli.

Cosmi got his first crack at the big time when Luciano Gaucci appointed him as coach of Serie A side Perugia in 2000 and it was with the Grifoni that he first achieved notoriety as a very passionate coach and eccentric coach, almost always seen sporting a baseball cap with the clubs logo, or sometimes even one with his signature emblazoned on the front.

In Perugia he won the Intertoto Cup, qualified the team for the UEFA Cup and introduced a more attacking style of play primarily focused on a 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation.

Converting Fabio Grosso from a left-winger to a left-back can considered a fantastic achievement by Cosmi considering what the player went on to achieve, he also moulded the early careers of Fabrizio Miccoli and Fabio Liverani, both of whom are currently at Palermo. It can also be noted that Marco Materazzi scored a career high of 12 goals in a single season under Cosmi’s tenure at Perugia.

Unfortunately for Cosmi and Perugia, the team were relegated in 2004 and he left the club.

His career since then has taken something of a nomadic turn. In 2004, he was appointed coach of Genoa and led them to first place in Serie B after the 2004/2005 season, though he left soon after because of disagreements with Genoa chairman Enrico Preziosi.

For the following season he was in charge at Udinese, who had qualified for the Champions League, but after a disappointing showing in that competition and Serie A, he was relieved of his duties in February 2006.

After a year out the game he took the top job at Brescia in Serie B, but was again let go after poor results, before his next job came along at Livorno who were languishing at the foot of Serie A on October 20, 2021 when he was appointed.

Though after an initial improvement in results, Cosmi resigned from his post on 24th January 2010, in the wake of a 2–0 home loss to fourth-placed Napoli and subsequent disagreements with club chairman Aldo Spinelli.
Supporter pressure and a meeting between the two resulting in the resignation being rejected only two days later, however Cosmi was dismissed in April after a results meant Livorno once more occupied last place in Serie A.

Serse Cosmi is the emblem of football that is more close to the heart than the money, made of the strong passions that he had known and imposed as a coach in the youth leagues and amateurs of Pontevecchio, up to the professionals at Arezzo. With such passion and determination he has won many admirers, and has a recipe that works well in Serie A too.

Serie A is glad to have you back Serse!

  • Ted

    Lost his first game. Palermo were pathetic if I’m being honest.

    I really want Zamparini to be the manager, since he’s a genius. He’d probably fire himself!

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