Giuseppe Viani
Personal information
Date of birth (1909-09-13)13 September 1909
Place of birth Treviso, Italy
Date of death 6 January 1969(1969-01-06) (aged 59)
Place of death Ferrara, Italy
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1926–1928 Treviso 21 (10)
1928–1934 Internazionale 137 (11)
1934–1938 Lazio 114 (1)
1938–1939 Livorno 27 (0)
1939–1940 Juventus 5 (0)
1940–1942 Siracusa
1942–1943 Salernitana
Teams managed
1945–1946 Benevento
1946–1948 Salernitana
1948–1949 Lucchese
1949–1951 Palermo
1951–1952 Roma
1952–1956 Bologna
1957–1960 Milan
1958 Hellas Verona
1960 Italy
1968 Bologna
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Giuseppe "Gipo" Viani (13 September 1909, Treviso – 6 January 1969, Ferrara) was an Italian football player and manager from the Province of Treviso who played as a midfielder.

Playing career

Viani played his entire career in the Italian football system; he is best known for his time with Internazionale and Lazio.[1]

Managing career

After retiring from playing, Viani went on to manage many Italian football clubs, including Milan, Roma and the Italian national football team amongst others; he coached Italy at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, alongside Nereo Rocco, helping the team to a fourth-place finish in the tournament.[2][3][4]

Style of management

During his time with Salernitana in the 1940s, Viani devised a tactical system which came to be known in the Italian media as 'vianema', which was influenced by Karl Rappan's verrou, and which in turn also inspired the Italian catenaccio defensive strategy later popularised by Rocco and Helenio Herrera. The system originated from an idea that one of the club's players – Antonio Valese – posed to the manager. Viani altered the English WM system – known as the sistema in Italy – by having his centre-half-back – known as the centromediano metodista or "metodista," in Italy – retreat into the defensive line to act as an additional defender and mark an opposing centre-forward, instead leaving his full-back (which, at the time, was similar to the modern centre-back role) free to function as what was essentially a precursor to the sweeper role, creating a 1–3–3–3 formation; he occasionally also used a defender in the centre-forward role, and wearing the number nine shirt, to track back and mark the opposing forwards, thus freeing up the full-backs form their marking duties. His team would defend behind the ball and subsequently look to score from counter–attacks. Although this ultra-defensive strategy was initially criticised by members of the Italian press, including journalist Gianni Brera, Andrea Schianchi of La Gazzetta dello Sport notes that this modification was designed to help smaller teams in Italy, as the man–to–man system often put players directly against one another, favouring the larger and wealthier teams with stronger individual players.[5][6][4][7][8][9]


As a Player


As a Manager




  1. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  2. ^ Archived 2005-11-27 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Gianni Brera. "Gianni Brera: "Rivera, rendimi il mio Abatino…"" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Nereo Rocco" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  5. ^ Andrea Schianchi (2 November 2014). "Nereo Rocco, l'inventore del catenaccio che diventò Paròn d'Europa" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Storie di schemi: l'evoluzione della tattica" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  7. ^ Damiani, Lorenzo. "Gipo Viani, l'inventore del "Vianema" che amava il vizio e scoprì Rivera". Il Giornale (in Italian). Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  8. ^ Chichierchia, Paolo (8 April 2013). "Piccola Storia della Tattica: la nascita del catenaccio, il Vianema e Nereo Rocco, l'Inter di Foni e di Herrera (IV parte)" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  9. ^ Wilson, Jonathan (2009). Inverting The Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics. London: Orion. pp. 159–65. ISBN 978-1-56858-963-3. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Totti, Zanetti e Allegri tra i premiati dell'8ª edizione della 'Hall of Fame del calcio italiano'" (in Italian). 19 February 2019. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2019.