Gabriele Cioffi

Gabriele Cioffi (born 7 September 1975) is an Italian professional football manager and former player who played as a defender. He is currently the assistant head coach at Serie A club Udinese Calcio, and was previously the head coach of EFL League Two club Crawley Town.

Gabriele Cioffi
Personal information
Date of birth (1975-09-07) 7 September 1975 (age 45)
Place of birth Florence, Italy
Position(s) Defender
Club information
Current team
Udinese (assistant coach)
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1996 Sestese 77 (2)
1996–1997 Marsala 12 (2)
1996–1997 Poggibonsi 10 (0)
1997–1999 Spezia 55 (1)
1999–2001 Arezzo 19 (0)
2001–2002 Taranto 4 (0)
2002–2005 Novara 72 (7)
2005–2006 Mantova 52 (5)
2006–2007 Torino 18 (1)
2007–2009 Ascoli 39 (3)
2010 AlbinoLeffe 18 (1)
2010–2012 Carpi 52 (6)
Total 428 (30)
Teams managed
2013 Gavorrano
2013–2015 Eastern United
2015 Sud Tirol
2015–2016 Al-Jazira (assistant)
2016–2017 Birmingham City (assistant)
2017–2018 Al-Dhafra (assistant)
2018–2019 Crawley Town
2020– Udinese Calcio (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career

As a player, Cioffi was a defender.[1] He started his career with Tuscan amateurs Sestese, which was followed by several other experience in the minor Italian leagues of Serie C1 and Serie C2. In January 2005 he joined Mantova, with whom he became a fan favourite, won a Serie C1 title and made his Serie B debut during the 2005–06 season. After an impressive Serie B campaign with Mantova, he was subsequently signed by Torino, with whom he made his Serie A debut during the 2006–07 season.

He left Torino after one season to join Ascoli, which he left in 2010 for AlbinoLeffe as a free agent.[2] He retired in 2012 after two seasons with Carpi where he won the league as captain getting the promotion from Lega Pro 2 to Lega Pro 1. In his last season with the club he lost the final to Be promoted in Serie B.

Managerial career

Early years

After his retirement, he stayed in Carpi as an assistant coach for the 2012–13 season. In July 2013 he was announced as new head coach of Lega Pro Seconda Divisione club Gavorrano;[3] he was fired later in November and following his departure the squad had a poor run of results. It was widely understood that the club called him back with a few games remaining in the season, and relegation being a formality, although Gabriele refused to return.[4]

He subsequently relocated to Australia and worked for two years as youth coaches former for Eastern United FC, before moving back to Italy in November 2015 to accept an offer as youth coach for the Berretti team of third division club Südtirol.[5][6] He left the club in February 2016 to join Henk Ten Cate's coaching staff as assistant head coach at Al Jazira Club.[7][8]

After being an integral part of leading Al-Jazira to the President's Cup in 2016,[9][10] and steering the club into returning to the Asian Champions League, Gabriele was headhunted in December 2016 and he joined the coaching staff of Gianfranco Zola at English Championship club Birmingham City.[11] Following Zola's resignations on 17 April 2017, his entire backroom staff, including Cioffi, left Birmingham too.[12]

In October 2017 he signed as assistant manager for Al Dhafra Football club who was fighting relegation. His first match on the touchline was against his previous team, Al-Jazira.[13] The team, thanks to his work, was able to achieve safety from relegation, and to have a stable position in the table.

Crawley Town

Gabriele had been widely accredited as being instrumental as assistant at his previous clubs, and having been earmarked and interviewed for several clubs after leaving Al-Dhafra, the opportunity finally arose for him to take on a role as head coach. In September 2018 he was named as new head coach of EFL League Two club Crawley Town who was fighting the relegation area, succeeding Harry Kewell.[14]

Cioffi achieved the objective laid out for him comfortably, saving the club from relegation with several games of the season left, and was confirmed for a second season, during which Cioffi taking took on two historic cup runs, the first being the club reaching the 4th round of the League Cup for the first time, and beating Premier League opposition for the first time in the process, as well as reaching the 2nd round of the FA Cup for the first time in nearly a decade. Several unfortunate injuries to key players, at the same time, led to a run where the club struggled to score and win despite creating chances. Gabriele was routinely supported by his players after the loss to League One team Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup,[15] but despite this Cioffi and Crawley Town parted ways by mutual consent shortly thereafter.[16] He was succeeded by John Yems.[17]

Udinese Calcio

In September 2020, he joined Serie A club Udinese as an assistant coach to manager Luca Gotti.[18] Cioffi settled in quickly at Udinese and when Luca Gotti was beset with COVID-19, Gabriele was in interim charge, including a famous away victory at Lazio.[19] Although some media outlets strongly credited him with the plan for the victory, Gabriele humbly deferred to, and dedicated the victory to his boss[20]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 1 December 2019[21]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
Crawley Town 7 September 2018 2 December 2019 72 21 15 36 029.2
Total 72 21 15 36 029.2


  1. "Carriera di Gabriele Cioffi". Tutto Calciatori. Retrieved 31 December 2008.
  2. "Acquistato Gabriele Cioffi" (in Italian). UC AlbinoLeffe. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  3. "Calcio, Gabriele Cioffi si presenta: "Gavorrano è il mio Real Madrid"" (in Italian). Il Giunco. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  4. "Esonerato Cioffi, è Masi il nuovo mister del Gavorrano" (in Italian). Il Tirreno. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  5. "GABRIELE CIOFFI NUOVO ALLENATORE DELLA FORMAZIONE BERRETTI" (in Italian). FC Südtirol. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  6. "L'ex Mantova Cioffi allenatore della Berretti del Sudtirol" (in Italian). 10 November 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  7. "L'ex capitano e allenatore Gabriele Cioffi entra nello staff tecnico dell'Al-Jazira" (in Italian). Gazzetta di Modena. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  8. "TMW RADIO – Cioffi: "Al Jazira, top l'ambiente. Poco ritmo, ma il talento c'è"" (in Italian). 14 October 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  10. "Al Jazira edge al Ain on penalties to win President's Cup". 29 May 2016.
  11. "Birmingham City: Gianfranco Zola confirmed as manager just hours after Gary Rowett is sacked". The Independent. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  12. "Birmingham City announce backroom departures". ITV. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  13. "Al Dhafra vs. Al Jazira - 13 October 2017 - Soccerway".
  14. "Gabriele Cioffi: Crawley Town appoint Italian as head coach". BBC Sport. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  15. "'I don't understand why he would be getting that kind of abuse' - Ollie Palmer passionately defends Gabriele Cioffi after calls for Crawley boss to be sacked".
  16. "Gabriele Cioffi: Crawley Town part company with head coach after 14 months". 2019-12-02. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  17. "John Yems: Crawley Town reappoint former manager until end of season". 2019-12-05. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  18. "Udinese, Gabriele Cioffi nello staff tecnico: sarà il vice di Luca Gotti" (in Italian). TuttoMercatoWeb. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  19. "Serie A: Lazio-Udinese 1-3, successo esterno dei friulani all'Olimpico". 29 November 2020.
  20. "Udinese, Cioffi dopo la sgambetto alla Lazio: "È la vittoria di Gotti"".
  21. "Managers: Gabriele Cioffi". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 May 2019.