Top 15 Udinese Players in the History of Football

Who is the best Udinese player of all time?

Udinese is one of the clubs that show the most consistent performances in Serie A in the last two decades. They even several times qualified for UEFA tournaments and defeated the giants of Italian football such as Inter Milan, Juventus, and AC Milan. Udinese's stable forms even make the club is often called as the strongest dark horse of Italian football.

In this article, I present a list of 15 best Udinese players of all time. Not only from Italy, there are also some of foreign footballers who demonstrated excellent performances at the club. Who are they? Without further ado, here's the list:

15. Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez is a Chilean striker who played for Udinese in the period 2006-2011. He was loaned to Colo-Colo and River Plate in his early years of joining the club. Sanchez started to get a place in the main squad of Udinese in 2008 and since then he regularly netted important goals that helped the club maintain its respectable reputation in Serie A. In 2011, Sanchez broke the record as the most expensive Udinese player of all time when he signed by Barcelona for a fee of 28 million pounds.

14. Franco Causio

Franco Causio was part of Italian squad that won the 1982 World Cup. He played for Udinese in the period 1981-1983, forming a partnership with the legendary Brazilian playmaker, Zico. Causio dubbed by Italian football fans as "The Baron" because of his elegant, stylish, and graceful style in playing football. In total, he scored 11 goals in 83 games during his career at Udinese.

13. Fabio Quagliarella

Quagliarella and Antonio Di Natale was regarded as one of the best striker duos in the history of Udinese. The partnership between those two striker even aided Udinese reach the quarterfinals round of UEFA Cup in the 2008-09 season. Throughout his career at Udinese, Quagliarella was known as an attacker who possessed outstanding techniques and outstanding finishing. Before moving to Napoli in 2009, he scored a total of 33 goals in 87 matches with Udinese.

12. Marek Jankulovski

Marek Jankulovski is a left back who was often regarded as one of the best Czech Republic players of all time. Before undergoing the best period of his career at AC Milan, Jankulovski played for Udinese in the 2002-2005 period. Not only strong in defense, Jankulovski also actively helped the attacks and several times scored important goals for Udinese. During three years at the club, he netted 17 goals in 104 appearances.

11. Samir Handanovic

Samir Handanovic is a Slovenian goalkeeper who joined Udinese from 2004 to 2011. He was trusted to be the number one goalkeeper of Udinese in 2007, replacing Morgan De Sanctis. Handanovic's best performances happened in the 2010-11 season, in which Handanovic managed to save six penalty kicks, which is the highest number in the history of Serie A. He moved to Inter Milan in the summer of 2012 for a fee of 11 million euros.

10. Roberto Sensini

Roberto Sensini is one of the most loyal foreign players ever to play for Udinese. In total, the Argentine defender spent eight years joining the club. Not only that, he also became an interim coach of Udinese in 2006. Together these clubs, Sensini made a record as the oldest foreign player ever to play in the history of Serie A at the age of 39 years, two months and 26 days.

9. Martin Jørgensen

Martin Jorgensen is one of the mainstays of the golden generation of Udinese in the late 1990s under the guidance of Alberto Zaccheroni as a coach. He was transferred from a Danish League club AGF, in 1997 on a free transfer. During his period at Udinese, Jorgensen took a role as an attacking midfielder as well as a playmaker. He served as the main assist provider for the main strikers, Olivier Bierhoff and Marcio Amoroso. Jorgensen made brilliant performances and helped Udinese finish in the third place in his debut season.

8. Abel Balbo

Abel Balbo was known as a very effective striker. He spent most of his career in the Italian League. His journey started when Balbo joined Udinese in 1989. At that time, Udinese was still known as a yo-yo team who was frequently relegated and promoted from / into the Serie A. Balbo became Udinese striker for four years, and his best individual achievement was becoming the top scorer of Serie B in the 1990-91 season.

7. Vincenzo Iaquinta

Vincenzo Iaquinta is the only player from Udinese who joined Italian squad that won the 2006 World Cup. Iaquinta was signed by Udinese from a small club, Castel di Sangro, in 2000. He consistently played in the first team from the 2002-03 season, where he scored eight goals and helped his team win a place to compete in the UEFA Cup. For seven years playing for Udinese, Iaquinta scored 73 goals in 207 matches. He left Udinese to join Juventus in 2011 for a fee of 11.3 million euros.

6. Oliver Bierhoff

Olivier Bierhoff is a former German target man who was famous for his outstanding finishing and heading. The combination of prolificness of Olivier Bierhoff in scoring goals and the ingenuity of Alberto Zaccheroni as a coach made Udinese finish in the third place in the 1997-98 season. Not only that, Bierhoff also became the top scorer of Serie A in that season. In total, he scored 57 goals in 83 matches with Udinese.

5. Zico

Zico is regarded as one of the best playmakers in the history of football and become a mainstay of Brazil national team in the 1980s. He played for Udinese for two years, from 1983 to 1985. He showed stunning individual performances at the club by exhibiting great techniques and scoring beautiful goals. In his debut season, Zico managed to become the second top scorerof Serie A under Michel Platini. Unfortunately, he was hit by a prolonged injury that forced him to return to Brazil in 1985. Till date, Zico is still regarded as one of the most beloved players by Udinese fans.

4. Márcio Amoroso

Marcio Amoroso is a former Brazilian striker who played for Udinese from 1996 to 1999. He was known as an effective poacher and possessed remarkable techniques and dribbling skills. After the departure of Olivier Bierhoff to AC Milan, Amoroso showed incredible performances at Udinese. He took over as the role as a main striker, and managed to become the top scorer of Serie A in the 1998-99 season. In total, Amoroso scored 39 goals in 86 appearances with Udinese.

3. Valerio Bertotto

Valerio Bertotto played for Udinese for 13 years in the 1993 to 2006 period. His position as the first-team right-back at the club was almost irreplaceable and he was trusted for many years to be the team captain. During joining Udinese, Bertotto also briefly played four times for Italia national football team. After his retirement, Bertotto took formal coaching license and in 2012 he started to work as a head coach of U20 Italy Lega Pro.

2. Morgan De Sanctis

Morgan De Sanctis deserves the title of the greatest Udinese goalkeeper ever. He started to play as the number one goalkeeper of Udinese in the 2002-03 season, replacing Luigi Turci who was about to retire. His consistent performances helped Udinese to be one of the strongest clubs in Serie A, even he led his team qualify for the Champions League. De Sanctis left the club in 2007 after terminating his own contract, then joined Sevilla. Somehow, this act made De Sanctis gain infamous reputation among the fans of the club. However, performance-wise, he is still among the best in Udinese, even in Italy.

1. Antonio Di Natale

Antonio Di Natale holds the record as the top scorer of all time and the highest number of appearances for Udinese. He joined the club in 2004, being transferred from Empoli who was just relegated to Serie B. Di Natale is famous as an effective striker and with astounding off-the-ball movement and long-range shots. Throughout his career at Udinese, he became the top scorer of Serie A twice and once was named as Italian Footballer of the Year.

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