Ciro Ferrara, one of the best Italian defenders during the 80s and 90s and former under-21 head coach, turns 51 today. He was born in Naples on 11th February 1967 and spent his youth with the academy of his hometown club Napoli. Ferrara won 2 Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup in 1988-1989 with the team from southern Italy. He then moved to Juventus in 1994 and made 253 appearances for the club. Ferrara won 5 Serie A titles, an Italian Cup, 4 Italian Super Cups, a Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup, an Intertoto Cup and an Intercontinental Cup with Juventus. After having made more than 500 appearances in Serie A, he began his coaching career at the age of 38, with spells at Juventus and Sampdoria.
Ferrara joined up with the Azzurri squad for the first time on 10th June 1987, as he made his debut in a friendly against Argentina. He took part in the 1988 European Championships and the 1990 World Cup held in Italy, where the Azzurri finished third. Ferrara was not in the Italy squad at the 1996 Euros and the 1998 World Cup due to injuries. He played his last match for the Azzurri during the 2000 European Championships, as he made his 49th cap for the team, who eventually finished as runners-up.
In terms of his coaching career, he started as assistant coach under Marcello Lippi and was part of the coaching staff who led Italy to their World Cup triumph in 2006. Ferrara was then appointed under-21 head coach on 22nd October 2010. He ended his tenure as U21s coach on 4th June 2012 with 12 wins, 6 draws and one defeat.