Roberto Donadoni (born September 9, 1963 in Cisano Bergamasco, Province of Bergamo, Lombardy) is an Italian football manager and former player. He was an attacking midfielder or winger known for pace and technique. He was a pillar of the powerhouse A.C. Milan teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s and one of the pioneers of Major League Soccer, where he played two seasons for the NY/NJ MetroStars. This was followed by a spell as head coach of the Italian national football team, succeeding Marcello Lippi who resigned after having won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In the 2008 European Championship campaign, with Donadoni as coach, Italy reached the quarter finals of the tournament, losing against Spain. On June 26, 2008 Donadoni was subsequently dismissed despite having signed a contract extension prior to the beginning of Euro 2008, using a clause in the contract which allowed termination if Italy does not reach the semi-final. He was replaced by Marcello Lippi who returned as national team manager.
The MetroStars of MLS made him a centerpiece of their franchise when they signed him in 1996. While with the Metros, he was recalled to the Italian national team. He came back to MLS, but in the league's first two formative years. He proved a solid performer, being named to the league Best XI in 1996. Unfortunately, Donadoni's play could not bring the MetroStars any success as a club.
Donadoni scored 18 goals for Milan and six for the MetroStars. He added five for Italy in 63 caps.
On July 2006, following the resignation of Marcello Lippi immediately after the Italian national team won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Donadoni was named as new Italian head coach, his first task being to successfully lead the fresh World Champions through qualification for Euro 2008.
On August 16, Donadoni made his debut as head coach for the Italian national team in a friendly match against Croatia played at Stadio Armando Picchi, Livorno which did not feature any of the 23 World Champions, excepting third goalkeeper Marco Amelia, and ended in a 2–0 defeat.
Italian newspaper La Nazione's front page featured "How to reduce Lippi's masterwork to pieces in just three weeks requesting the return of former coach, Marcello Lippi. However, despite all the critics, Donadoni led Italy to five wins in a row to Georgia (3–1), Ukraine (2–0) and Scotland (2–0), the former being controversial for his omission of star Alessandro Del Piero from the squad. One of the main critics addressed by the media on Donadoni is however his alleged lack of pressure in persuading Francesco Totti to play again for the azzurri. Recently, following a question regarding a possible call-up for the AS Roma star in the June matches, Donadoni jokingly claimed not to know him.
Italy qualified for Euro 2008 after a successful campaign, in spite of the shaky start, Italy topped the group ahead of France. They defeated Scotland 2–1 in Glasgow to confirm their qualification.