Bologna, 20 April 2023 – Among the many statistics and curiosities of the Champions League semi-finals which will be played in May, and which will see Inter and Milan clash and, in the other semi-final, Real Madrid and Manchester City, one in particular regards Emilia- Romagna: all three Italian coaches who have arrived at this point in the competition (Pioli, Inzaghi and Ancelotti) are from Emilia and were born about a hundred kilometers apart.
Simone Inzaghi, together with his brother Filippo (‘Pippo’), was born and raised in Piacenza, Stefano Pioli is from Parma while Carlo Ancelotti , in his ninth Champions League semi-final in his extraordinary career, is from Reggiolo, near Reggio Emilia.
The careers of the three Italian ‘misters’ are not only united by being born in Emilia, but also by having also played and/or coached at least one team from their region of birth: Ancelotti played for Parma and coached the Reggiana and Parma itself; Pioli played for two years in his hometown team between 1982 and 1984, and coached, among others, Bologna, Modena, Parma, Sassuolo and Piacenza; team instead in which he took his first steps as a player, Simone Inzaghi.
This curiosity was pointed out by the president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini: “I don’t know if it has ever happened in the history of the ‘big-eared cup’ that three out of four semi-finalists were led by coaches born in the same region”. As Bonaccini observes again, one wonders at this point if even the fourth semi-finalist coach, Pep Guardiola (who played in Italy with the shirts of Brescia and Rome), has some Emilia-Romagna origin.