Di Canio Paolo

Paolo Di Canio is an Italian former professional footballer. During his playing career he made over 500 league appearances and scored over one hundred goals appearing primarily as a deep-lying forward but could also play as an attacking midfielder, or as a winger. A talented yet controversial player, Di Canio was known for his creativity, technical ability, and dribbling skills, as well as his temperamental character, tenacity and aggression on the pitch.  Di Canio began his career in the Italian Serie A, playing for Lazio, Juventus, Napoli and A.C. Milan, before a brief spell with the Scottish club Celtic. He subsequently spent seven years in the English Premier League with Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United and Charlton Athletic. He returned to Italy in 2004, playing for Lazio and Cisco Romabefore retiring in 2008. He played for the Italian under-21s, making 9 appearances and scoring 2 goals, and was notably a member of the squad that finished in third place at the 1990 UEFA European Under-21 Championshipunder manager Cesare Maldini, but was never capped for the senior team.


LAZIO S.S.


2005-2006


Match Worn Shirt


Did you Know?

Paolo Di Canio during his whole career was almost always wearing size Small shirts. This is something not easy to manage for its teams as such a big small were not usually carried but them. S.S. Lazio for example was getting Size Small shirts for him only as no one else was wearing this size.

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Even though he had already signed an extension to his Charlton contract, in August 2004 Di Canio returned to his home team of Lazio taking a massive paycut in order to return to the economically stretched Roman team. Lazio fans were happy to have a Rome-bred Lazio supporter in the team again, something missing since the departure of Alessandro Nesta in 2002. He scored in the Rome derby, just as he had in 1989, leading the team to a 3–1 victory over A.S. Roma in January (6 January 2005). However the negative publicity that Di Canio generated for Lazio, including his intimate relationship with club’s ultras and their increased influence thanks to his presence in the team, coupled with problems with some teammates and coaches, exasperated club president and majority shareholder, Claudio Lotito, with whom he already had a difficult relationship. As a result, Di Canio’s contract was not renewed in the summer of 2006

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During several of his games for Lazio, Di Canio made a fascist salute to their right-wing fan. His use of the Roman salute toward Lazio supporters, a gesture adopted by Italian fascists in the 20th century, has created controversy. Documented uses of the salute include in matches against arch-rivals Roma and Livorno, a club inclined to left-wing politics. Di Canio received a one-match ban after the second event and was fined €7,000. He was later quoted as saying, “I will always salute as I did because it gives me a sense of belonging to my people … I saluted my people with what for me is a sign of belonging to a group that holds true values, values of civility against the standardisation that this society imposes upon us.” His salute has been featured on unofficial merchandise sold outside Stadio Olimpico after the ban.

Did you Know?

Di Canio signed for Lazio in 1985 and remained there until 1990. Lazio won promotion to Serie A in 1988, having narrowly escaped relegation to Serie C1 the year before. He finally made his first-team debut in October 1988 and went on to play 30 games during the 1988–89 season Di Canio scored the winner in the first Rome derby of the season, a goal which contributed to Lazio’s survival in Serie A that season and earning him hero status. In 1990, he was sold to another of Italy’s biggest clubs, Juventus; although he won the UEFA Cup with the Turin side in 1993, he struggled to gain playing time during his tenure with the club, due to the presence of other forwards and creative midfielders in the team, such as Roberto Baggio, Salvatore Schillaci, Pierluigi Casiraghi, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Gianluca Vialli, and Andreas Möller. He left Juventus after an “animated exchange” with then manager Giovanni Trapattoni and spent the 1993–94 season with Napoli. Two seasons followed at A.C. Milan, where, despite winning the Serie A title in 1996, he once again struggled to gain playing time due to heavy competition from his team-mates, culminating in another row, this time with Fabio Capello.


Match Worn Boots


Sheffield Wednesday F.C.


Things to Know:

On 6 August 1997, Di Canio moved to the English Premiership as he joined Sheffield Wednesday in a transfer deal valued at around £4.2 million. Whilst in Sheffield, Di Canio was the club’s leading goal scorer for the 1997–98 season with 14 goals and he became a favourite of the fans.

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In September 1998, Di Canio pushed referee Paul Alcock to the ground after being sent off while playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal at Hillsborough, which resulted in an extended ban of 11 matches and him being fined £10,000.

Did you Know?

Paolo Di Canio was usual to play for most of his career with a hole on his left boot’s heel.

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Di Canio was almost awarded with the FIFA Fair Play Award. In December 2000, late in a game against Everton and with both sides vying for the winning goal, Di Canio shunned a goal-scoring opportunity and stopped play, grabbing the ball from a cross inside the box, as the Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard was laying injured on the ground after he twisted his knee attempting a clearance on the edge of the box. The Goodison Park crowd reacted with a standing ovation. FIFA officially lauded Di Canio’s gesture, describing it as “a special act of good sportsmanship,” and awarded him next year the FIFA Fair Play Award.

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