Daniele Massaro

Daniele Emilio Massaro (Italian pronunciation: [daˈnjɛːle masˈsaːro]; born 23 May 1961) is an Italian former footballer who played as a forward. He is mainly remembered for his highly successful career with A.C. Milan during the late 1980s and 1990s, under managers Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello, with whom he went on to achieve notable domestic, European, and international success. Massaro was also a member of the Italian national team that won the 1982 FIFA World Cup, although he did not make an appearance in the tournament, and he was a member of the team that reached the final of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, scoring a goal during the tournament; in the final, he missed one of Italy's penalties in the resulting shoot-out, as Brazil went on to lift the trophy.[1][2]

Daniele Massaro
Massaro in 2020
Personal information
Full name Daniele Emilio Massaro
Date of birth (1961-05-23) 23 May 1961 (age 60)
Place of birth Monza, Italy
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Position(s) Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1981 Monza 60 (10)
1981–1986 Fiorentina 140 (11)
1986–1995 Milan 209 (51)
1988–1989Roma (loan) 30 (5)
1995–1996 Shimizu S-Pulse 20 (10)
Total 459 (87)
National team
1982–1994 Italy 15 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club career

Massaro began his career with his local club Monza in Serie B, in 1978, putting on notable performances during his three seasons with the club alongside his more technically gifted teammate, Paolo Monelli, which attracted the attention of larger clubs. In 1981, he was acquired by Serie A club Fiorentina, along with Monelli, making his Serie A debut on 13 September 1981, and his Italy Under-21 debut 10 days later. He instantly became a permanent member of Fiorentina's starting line-up, and he came close to winning the Scudetto during his first season with the club, missing out on the title to Juventus by a single point. He continued to be an important member of the club during his subsequent seasons in Florence.[2][3]

After leaving Fiorentina in 1986, Massaro made a name for himself at A.C. Milan where he played over 300 games between 1986 and 1995 (apart from a loan spell with Roma during the 1988–89 season), and he was part of the legendary Milan squad of the late 1980s and early 1990s, under Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello, which dominated Italy and Europe.[1] Although he won the Scudetto during his second season with the club, he was initially used sparingly and out of position under Sacchi, who did not have faith in his capabilities, and the two began to have several tactical disagreements regarding his true playing position, eventually leading him to be sent out on loan to Roma for a season, in 1988. He returned to Milan during the 1989–90 season, and his consistent, reliable performances now convinced Sacchi, who began to deploy Massaro more frequently; in return, Massaro repaid Sacchi by scoring 10 league goals that season, also winning his first European Cup title with Milan that year, following up the success with two European Super Cups and Intercontinental cups. Whilst playing as a striker, Massaro became more prolific in front of goal, and he also scored two decisive goals in the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League final against FC Barcelona,[4] which Milan won 4–0, winning his second European Cup title with the club, under Sacchi's replacement, Capello. He was also Milan's top scorer in the 1993–94 Serie A season with 11 league goals, helping them to win their third consecutive title since 1992 under Capello. In total, during his time with the club, he won 4 Serie A titles (1988, 1992, 1993, 1994), two UEFA Champions League/European Cup titles (1990, 1994), 3 UEFA Super Cups (1989, 1990, 1994), 2 Intercontinental Cups (1989, 1990), and 3 Italian Supercups (1992, 1993, 1994), also reaching the Coppa Italia final in 1990, two more Champions League finals in 1993 and 1995, and another Intercontinental Cup final in 1994.[1][2][3] In the second leg of the 1994 UEFA Super Cup Final against Arsenal in Milan, he set up Zvonimir Boban's goal and later scored another to give Milan a 2–0 aggregate victory.[5][6]

After leaving Milan in 1995, he played a year in the Japanese football league with Shimizu S-Pulse, before retiring in 1996.[2][3] On 16 August 1995, he scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 win over Urawa Reds.[7] On 13 April 1996, he scored a hat-trick in a 5–1 win against Bellmare Hiratsuka.[8]

International career

Massaro made his Italy under-21 debut on 23 September 1981, 10 days after his Serie A debut with Fiorentina. Overall, he made 4 appearances with the Azzurrini between 1981 and 1984, also taking part with Italy's Olympic under-23 side at the 1984 Olympics, where Italy reached the semi-final, finishing the tournament in fourth place.[9] Surprisingly capped only 15 times for the Italian senior side, Massaro's international career actually spanned more than a decade between 1982 and 1994.[9] As a 21-year-old, Massaro made his debut on 14 April 1982 under Enzo Bearzot in a 1–0 defeat to East Germany, and he was a member of the Italian squad that won the 1982 FIFA World Cup held in Spain, although he did not receive any playing time during the tournament.[9] He was capped sparingly between 1984 and 1986, but eight years later he was called up for Italy's 1994 World Cup squad by manager Arrigo Sacchi, at the age of 33.[9] He played in six of Italy's seven games at the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States,[9] and scored a goal in a 1–1 draw against Mexico in Italy's final match of the group stage on 28 June, which allowed them to progress to the knockout round as the best third-placed team;[10] this was his only goal for Italy,[9] and made him Italy's oldest ever goalscorer at the FIFA World Cup, at the age of 33 years and 36 days.[11] In the defeat against Brazil in the final of the tournament, he missed a one-on-one opportunity and later failed to convert a penalty kick in the shoot-out.[9][12]

After football

He was also the captain of the Italian Beach Soccer National Team for a couple of years. Massaro is also an avid golfer during his free time. After fully retiring from football, he took part in several rally races in the Italian Rally Division, racing twice in the WRC, in the Sanremo Rally (in 1998 and 1999).[13][14] Massaro currently works with Milan as a public relations manager.

Style of play

A talented and determined player, Massaro was gifted with pace and agility, as well as good physical and athletic attributes.[3] Due to his versatility, work-rate and tactical intelligence, he was uniquely capable of playing in many different positions anywhere on the pitch. Although he is remembered mainly for his performances as a centre forward with Milan, he began his career as a midfielder, and was capable of playing anywhere in midfield; indeed, he was often used as an offensive, central, or defensive midfielder. Throughout his career, he even played as a makeshift defender, both in the centre, or on the flank as a full-back.[3][15] During his highly successful stint with Milan, he was initially deployed as an outside forward on the left, or as a winger under his Milan manager Arrigo Sacchi, due to his good technique.[3] Massaro was only utilised as a true striker later on in his career, in particular under Milan's subsequent manager Fabio Capello, and also at the 1994 World Cup with Italy under Sacchi, where he was able to find the net more often, due to his finishing ability with either foot, as well as his aerial prowess and heading accuracy;[16] in this position, he was also capable of playing off his teammates and of holding up the ball when playing with his back to goal.[15] Due to his tendency to score decisive goals in closely fought matches, most notably, his brace in the 1994 UEFA Champions League Final, or in the closing minutes of games, he earned the nicknames Provvidenza ("providence," in Italian) and "San Massaro" in the media.[1][2][15] Describing his career experience at Milan, Massaro once referred to himself as a "supersub," due to his penchant for scoring decisive goals after coming off the bench.[17]

Career statistics



Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Club Season League AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Monza 1979–80 Serie B 245245
1980–81 Serie B 365365
Total 60106010
Fiorentina 1981–82 Serie A 291291
1982–83 Serie A 305305
1983–84 Serie A 291291
1984–85 Serie A 262262
1985–86 Serie A 262262
Total 1401114011
Milan 1986–87 Serie A 222222
1987–88 Serie A 364364
1989–90 Serie A 30103010
1990–91 Serie A 216216
1991–92 Serie A 329329
1992–93 Serie A 295295
1993–94 Serie A 29111244115
1994–95 Serie A 19381274
Total 2095120522956
Roma (loan) 1988–89 Serie A 305305
Shimizu S-Pulse 1995 J1 League 930093
1996 J1 League 1170051168
Total 201000512511
Total 44786005120547292









  1. "A.C. Milan Hall of Fame: Daniele Massaro". acmilan.com. A.C. Milan. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  2. "Magliarossonera: Daniele MASSARO" (in Italian). Maglia Rossonera. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  3. "Un rossonero da raccontare: Daniele Massaro". Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  4. "Milan find perfect pitch in dream final". UEFA.com. 18 May 1994. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  5. Harris, Harry (9 February 1995). "Taking the pizza". Daily Mirror. London. pp. 36–37.
  6. Barnes, Simon (9 February 1995). "Milan the masters". The Times. p. 48.
  7. "J.league 1996 S-pulse vs Reds". J.league (in Japanese). Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  8. "hat-trick in the J.league". J.league (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  9. "Convocazioni e presenze in campo: Daniele Massaro" (in Italian). FIGC.it. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  10. Giancarlo Padovan (29 June 1994). "Massaro, nove minuti di felicità" [Massaro, nine minutes of happiness] (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  11. "Record e Curiosità" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  12. Gianni Mura (18 July 1994). "Sconfitti, a testa alta" [Defeated, with our heads held high] (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  13. "Daniele Massaro, sport e passione". Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  14. "Daniele Massaro". Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  15. "Tanti auguri a... Daniele Massaro" (in Italian). TuttoMondiali.it. Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  16. "Daniele Massaro". dnamilan.com (in Italian). Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  17. "AC Milan news, Massaro: 'Cutrone is like me'". CalcioMercato.com. 8 February 2019.
  18. Daniele Massaro at National-Football-Teams.com
  19. "Daniele Massaro - International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  20. "Daniele Massaro". Eurosport.com. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  21. "D. Massaro". Soccerway. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  22. "Italy - Footballer of the Year". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 6 February 2015.