Udinese Football Club: The Complete Guide

Udinese Calcio, most commonly nicknamed Udinese, is a Serie A Italian football club. Based in the northeast Italian city of Udine, Fruili-Venezuela Giulia, Udinese is the second-oldest Serie A football club after Genoa F.C. 

With a loyal following of fans and a rollercoaster of a history, Udinese is certainly one of the most exciting and unpredictable teams in Italy. 

Here is the ultimate guide to one of Italy’s oldest Serie A football clubs!

Basic Facts

Udinese is a popular football club in Friuli and the surrounding areas of northeastern Italy. With its own broadcast channel, channel 110 (Udinese Channel), Udinese stands out from other football clubs for its unique subscription-based channel that allows fans to watch exclusive interviews, matches, and replays.

This is one of the several reasons why Udinese has gathered such a loyal following. 

Here are some other basic facts about Udinese:

  • Udinese F.C was founded in 1896 by the Società Udinese di Ginnastica e Scherma (Udinese Society of Gymnastics and Fencing). This society was originally a multi-sports association. 
  • The team’s colors are black and white, contributing to their nicknames of I Bianconeri (The White and Blacks), Le Zebrette (The Little Zebras), I Friulani (The Friulians). 
  • Udinese’s home ground is Stadio Friuli 
  • As yet, Udinese are yet to win a Serie A final
  • Udinese is one of the few Italian teams that has two assistant managers, Richard Barral and Diego Bortoluzzi

Home Grounds

The first home ground for Udinese F.C was Stadio Moretti between the years of 1924-76. Stadio Moretti was a multi-use stadium, which meant that it was the ideal home for the Udinese Society of Gymnastics and Fencing.

It took some time before the Udinese football club became popular as football was a fairly new sport during this time, which is why they shared a stadium with other sporting teams and events. 

1976 brought Udinese a new home ground – Stadio Friuli (also known as Dacia Arena due to the Romanian car manufacturer sponsorship).

The capacity of the stadium didn’t change drastically from the capacity at Stadio Moretti, both of which can comfortably hold 25,000 spectators, but it was a good space for the sole purpose of being the home for Udinese F.C. 

Stadio Friuli was built in 1976 specifically for Udinese F.C, who was granted a 99-year lease of the stadium in 2013 by the City of Udine. This stadium is also known for hosting three FIFA World Cup matches in 1990, rugby matches, a large holy mass in 1992, and multiple musical concerts. 

Main Trophies

Despite their loyal fan base, Udinese haven’t been entirely successful when it comes to trophies. They are yet to win a Serie A Championship. 

The team’s honors include:

  • 1964: Campionato Primavera di Serie B: 1
  • 1978: Coppa Italia Serie C: 1
  • 1978: Anglo-Italian Cup: 1
  • 1980: Mitropa Cup: 1
  • 1981: Campionato Nazionale Primavera: 1
  • 1993: Coppa Italia Primavera: 1
  • 2000: UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1

Club History

Founded in 1896, the club’s history is a long and interesting one. Udinese Calcio was originally established as part of the Udinese Society of Gymnastics and Fencing, back when football was only beginning to emerge in Italy. During this time, the society shared Stadio Moretti. 

The Italian Football Federation (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio; FIGC) didn’t recognize Udinese Calcio until the 1912-13 Championship.

During this year, the club was enrolled in the Campionato Veneto di Promozione with two other teams, Petrarca and Padova, which led Udinese to finish the tournament in second place. 

Udinese entered the FIGC Italian Football Championship in 1922, wherein they reached the Coppa Italia final for the first time.

However, they lost the final to an overtime goal against Vado. Still, as the team finished second in Girone Eliminatorio Veneto, they continued to stay in the top flight for the next season. 

However, the 1922-23 season wasn’t the best for Udinese, as they catastrophically came last place and fell to the second division (Serie B).

The team were wildly in debt and were forced to set a tight budget to remain in the second division, but these debts were paid off by President Alessandro Del Torso, allowing them to join Serie B and finish fourth. 

1924-25 brought a successful season for Udinese, where the team somehow beat Vicenza in the Group F II Division.

This led to a promotion to Serie A, and although they finished tenth place and were relegated to Serie B, the format of the championships changed again and Udinese had another chance to remain in Serie A.

This, however, didn’t work out, and the team remained in Serie B until 1928-29 when they fell momentarily to Serie C1. It didn’t last long, though, as they were yet again promoted to Serie B. 

Udinese flitted between Serie B and Serie C1 for the next decade or so, until an exciting second-place finish in the 1949-50 Serie B promoted the team back to Serie A.

Somehow, Udinese remained in Serie A for five seasons (and almost won the 1954-55 season!), but when an offense was committed in 1953, the team was relegated back to Serie B.

This relegation only lasted one season, as they triumphantly returned to Serie A shortly after and was then considered one of the best Italian teams. 

All good things come to an end, which was proven when Udinese was relegated down to Serie B and then Serie C1 in the early 1960s.

The team remained in Serie C for around 15 years, until the 1977-78 season where they won Girone A and returned to Serie B. During this season, Udinese won the Coppa Italia Semiprofessionisti and the Anglo-Italian Cup. 

The 1980s brought a disappointing decade for Udinese. The team won Serie B and were promoted to Serie A, but finished in 15th place, returning once again to Serie B. However, in Europe, they ended up winning the Mitropa Cup (the European Cup for Serie B winners in the previous season). 

In the 1985-86 season, Udinese was involved in a scandal around illegal football pools. They were deducted 9 points for the next season, which relegated the team back to Serie B yet again. 

It wasn’t until the season of 1995-96 where Udinese finally established themselves in Serie A after several years of flitting between Serie A and Serie B. The team even qualified for the UEFA Cup in 1996-97. During this successful time, there were several changes of management. 

The most surprising moment of Udinese’s history happened in 2004-05, when the team finished in fourth place and received their first qualification for the UEFA Champions League. While the team got through the preliminary round, they failed to qualify for the knockout rounds. 

After this exciting year in the Champions League, Udinese unfortunately found themselves in tenth place and back to mediocrity.

They qualified once again for the UEFA Cup after finishing in seventh place in the 2007-08 season and found themselves among some of the top European clubs – including Tottenham Hotspur, who they beat in a 2-0 win. Udinese finished the season in seventh place. 

The team’s slight success was brief, when they found themselves battling relegation after finishing in 15th during the 2009-10 season.

Although, the team did reach the semi-final of the Coppa Italia. Udinese sold and bought players, which contributed hugely to the success of the 2010-11 Serie A championship, where they achieved their highest points total in history and came fourth overall.

2011-12 was pretty similar to the previous season, though Udinese lost against Arsenal in the qualifying round of the Champions League.

They qualified again for the Champions League in the next season, which won them third place against Catania. However, the club failed to progress to the group stage after losing on penalties. 

The 2012-2013 Serie A was a mixed season for Udinese, balancing wins with losses. Ever since then, Udinese have consistently finished at the middle to lower table in the Serie A seasons.

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 halted all sporting events and leagues in Italy, but even still, this didn’t halt or hinder their mediocre placements in Serie A. 

Club Timeline

  • 1896: Club was founded as part of the Udinese Society of Gymnastics and Fencing
  • 1912-13: First games in the official FIGC championship
  • 1920-21: Debut of Gino Bellotto who spent 17 seasons with Udinese
  • 1922: Udinese reached the Coppa Italia final and lost to Vado
  • 1922-23: Club was relegated to the second division for the first time
  • 1924-25: Udinese finished first and was promoted to the first division (and then later relegated back to the second division)
  • 1928-29: Udinese fell into the third division (Serie C1) for the first time
  • 1938-39: After flitting between Serie C and Serie B, the team remained in Serie B for 12 years
  • 1949-50: Finishing second in Serie B, the team was historically promoted to Serie A
  • 1954-55: Almost won the Scudetto (Serie A) but came second to Milan. 
  • 1961-62: Team was relegated to Serie B
  • 1963-64: Team was relegated to Serie C
  • 1977-78: Team was promoted to Serie B and won the Coppa Italia Semiprofessionisti 
  • 1979-80: Udinese won the Mitropa Cup and momentarily returned to Serie A 
  • 1985-86: Team was penalized nine points in the next season due to an illegal football pool scandal, where they were relegated to Serie B
  • 1995-96: Team was established in Serie A
  • 1996-97: Team qualified for UEFA Cup
  • 2004-05: Team finished fourth place and achieved first qualification for the UEFA Champions League, where they finished tenth
  • 2007-08: Team qualified for the UEFA Cup after finishing in seventh place
  • Early 2008-09: New official website and new season’s kit was presented, including the first Web TV Channel dedicated to the team 
  • 2008-09: Team won against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Cup and finished in seventh place
  • 2009-10: Team came 15th in Serie A, but reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals
  • 2010-11: Team scored their highest points total in history and qualified for the Champions League
  • 2012-2013: Team finished the season in mixed form with a balance of losses to wins. Di Natale finished with 23 goals, making him the first player since Gabriel Batistuta (Fiorentina) to score 20 or more goals in consecutive seasons. 

Club Net Worth

The estimated club net worth of Udinese is $6 million. 


Between 1924-76, Udinese shared Stadio Moretti with a variety of other sports teams. In 1976, Stadio Friuli was built to become the forever home of Udinese. Stadio Friuli is also known as Dacia Arena due to the Romanian car manufacturer’s sponsorship. 

Stadio Friuli is located 4 km from the city center of Udine in an area called Rizzi. While the capacity was just over 40,000 upon opening in 1976, recent reconstruction reduced the capacity to 25,144.

The reasons for this are fairly unclear, but it’s most likely due to the maintenance of the stadium in comparison to how many people would fill the capacity. 

In 2013, the athletics track was dismantled, allowing more room for closer stands. Reconstructions ended in January 2016 when the new Friuli stadium was officially opened with the unveiling of the sponsorship name, Dacia Arena.

The new stadium was nominated by StadiumDB.com and won 13th position of the public vote as one of the best stadiums in 2016, winning 7th in the jury vote ranking. 

Aside from being the home to the Udinese team, Stadio Friuli is known for hosting three of the 1990 FIFA World Cup games, a rugby match between Italy and South Africa, the 2005 UEFA Champions League, and multiple musical concerts. 


As of 2021, the current owner of Udinese is Italian businessman Giampaolo Pozzo. He bought the club in July 1986 (just before the height of the scandal which demoted the team to Serie B). Pozzo has been a loyal and successful owner of the club, which was proven in 2007-08 when he was elected the best president in Serie A. 

Interestingly, the business of owning a football club runs in the family, as Pozzo’s son Gino is the owner of England’s Watford F.C. 

Best Players

As of the 2020-21 season, the best players of Udinese are as follows:

  • Rodrigo de Paul
  • Ignacio Pussetto
  • Tolgay Ali Arslan
  • Bram Nuytinck

All Time Top Scorer

The top scorer for Udinese is Marino-De Paul with a total of 9 goals and a shot accuracy of 37%. The following top scorers are:

  • Roberto Pereyra: 5 goals
  • Stefano Okaka: 4 goals


The most recent captain for Udinese was Rodrigo De Paul, who left the team in July 2021 when he signed a new contract with Atletico Madrid. 

The vice captain is Samir Caetano de Sousa Santos, and the third captain is Bram Nuytinck. 


As of 17th August 2021, the current goalkeepers are:

  • Marco Silvestri 
    • Nationality: Italian
  • Daniele Padelli 
    • Nationality: Italian
  • Edoardo Piana
    • Nationality: Italian
  • Simon Scuffet 
    • Nationality: Italian
  • Giannis Sourdis (Under Contract)
    • Nationality: Greek
  • Manuel Gasparini (On Loan at Pro Vercelli)
    • Nationality: Italian


  • Sebastien De Maio 
    • Nationality: French
  • Francesco Mazzolo
    • Nationality: Italian
  • Nahuel Molina Lucero
    • Nationality: Argentinian
  • Bram Nuytinck
    • Nationality: Netherlands
  • Rodrigo Becao
    • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Samir
    • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Jens Stryger Larsen
    • Nationality: Danish
  • Destiny Udogie
    • Nationality: Italian
  • Marvin Zeegelaar
    • Nationality: Netherlands


  • Tolgay Arslan
    • Nationality: German
  • Mato Jajalo
    • Nationality: Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Jan Kubala
    • Nationality: Czech
  • Jean-Victor Makengo
    • Nationality: French
  • Martin Palumbo
    • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Roberto Pereyra
    • Nationality: Argentinian
  • Lazar Samardzic
    • Nationality: German
  • Walace
    • Nationality: Brazilian


  • Cristo
    • Nationality: Spanish
  • Fernando Forestieri
    • Nationality: Italian
  • Gerard Deulofeu
    • Nationality: Spanish
  • Llorente
    • Nationality: Spanish
  • Ryder Matos
    • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Petar Micin
    • Nationality: Serbian
  • Ilija Nestorovski
    • Nationality: North Macedonian
  • Stefano Okaka
    • Nationality: Italian
  • Ignacio Pussetto
    • Nationality: Argentinian
  • Lukasz Teodorczyk
    • Nationality: Polish


Luca Gotti is the current manager of Udinese and has maintained the role since November 2019. Gotti was previously the assistant manager to Maurizio Sarri in the 2018-19 season, who was the manager for Chelsea. It is rumored that Watford are in talks with Luca, who could be the team’s new manager. 

Udinese also has two assistant managers, Richard Barral and Diego Bortoluzzi. 


In most Serie A, Serie B, and Serie C teams, the manager and the coach are the same person. For Udinese, the coach is also Luca Gotti.

Assistant Coach

The current assistant head coach at Udinese is Gabriele Cioffi. He was previously the head coach at Crawley Town, a League Two club. 

Home Kit

The Udinese home kit is a distinctive white and black striped shirt, giving them their apt nicknames of I Bianconeri (The White and Blacks), Le Zebrette (The Little Zebras), and I Friulani (The Friulians). The current version of this home kit features the logo for the Stadio Friuli sponsor, Dacia. 

Away Kit

The current away kit features two shades of blue – a dark blue and a turquoise blue. Both home and away kits feature the club’s logo. 

Speaking of the logo, the Udinese logo features a circular golden wreath around the club’s signature symbol and the name. At the top of the wreath is the date of the club’s foundation, 1896. The key colors of the logo are black, white, and gold – to signify both the club’s distinctive colors and gold for success. 

Club Academy

Udinese Academy was founded in 1995 with the aim of scouting young talents and training them to play in amateur matches and leagues across northeastern Italy. This club academy has earned Udinese international recognition. 

League Titles

Udinese are yet to win a UEFA Championship League or UEFA Cup. 

Their main credentials include:

  • 1964: Campionato Primavera di Serie B: 1
  • 1978: Coppa Italia Serie C: 1
  • 1978: Anglo-Italian Cup: 1
  • 1980: Mitropa Cup: 1
  • 1981: Campionato Nazionale Primavera: 1
  • 1993: Coppa Italia Primavera: 1
  • 2000: UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1

Other Titles


Fun Facts

  • Udinese’s biggest success is its loyal fan base, who can commit to their favorite team by paying a subscription to the Udinese Channel. This broadcast channel features exclusive interviews, matches, replays, vintage matches, football news, and much more. 
  • The Udinese team are aptly and fondly nicknamed “The Little Zebras” because of their black and white striped shirts.
  • The owner of Udinese is Giampaolo Pozzo, whose son Gino owns Watford FC in England.
  • Some famous figures who have played for Udinese include Zico, Antonio Di Natale, Alexis Sanchez, Dino Zoff, and Oliver Bierhoff. 
  • One of the past managers for Udinese was Francesco Guidolin, who is currently the manager for Swansea City.
  • In 2000, the Serie A league was hit with a scandal regarding fake passports. Two Brazilian players in Udinese (Valentim Alberto and Silva Warley) were arrested in Warsaw for having fake Portuguese passports.