Today marks the 46th birthday of Aimo Diana, a year that he hoping would be smoother than 2023, which saw him endure a roller-coaster ride within his professional career.
Diana was a distinctive presence on the Italian soccer circuit, having been dismissed from two significant teams under starkly different circumstances. His most recent dismissal came on 18 December at Vicenza, a Serie C team whose performance in the league was considerably disappointing compared to initial expectations.
The club issued a statement, “LR Vicenza wishes to announce that Aimo Diana has been relieved of his duties as Head Coach of the First Team. Concurrently, Assistant Coach Alessio Baresi, Athletic Trainer Esteban Anitua, Technical Collaborator Giampaolo Saurini and Match Analyst Alessandro Belleri have also been relieved of their respective roles. The Club would like to thank Mr. Diana and his staff for their dedication over these months and wish them the best for their future.”
Previously, Diana had a similarly abrupt exit at Reggio Emilia, albeit under a different set of circumstances. While he had managed to restore the team to Serie B in a two-year span, disagreements with management resulted in his dismissal. The official communication from Reggiana was brusque, offering only brief acknowledgment to Diana and his team while the city celebrated the team’s promotion, signaling the underlying agitations.
Diana, in a conversation with La Gazzetta dello Sport, revealed a promise he made to his players, “‘I had promised the boys my credit card, I still don’t know how much they spent.'” His ambitions for the future were undeniably clear, creating a sense of regret given subsequent events, “‘I want to confront a higher category. We need to restructure completely, but the foundation is very good. I have automatic renewal with promotion, but there’s time to meet and discuss it.'”
Ever the nomad, Diana is not a stranger to packing up and starting over; a reoccurring theme of his career. Hailing from the same group as Andrea Pirlo, Diana has played across Italy and embraced the challenges of lower-tier games for his love of soccer. Throughout his career spanning from 1997 to 2009, he has played in Serie A and even came close to joining the Italian team in Berlin.
When Diana started taking on coaching responsibilities, he often stated his admiration for Novellino at Sampdoria as a role model, embracing training styles that strongly influenced his coaching methods. Diana revealed in an interview with Sampnews24.com, “‘Every coach has taught me something and I make good use of it, but obviously I try to create something of my own.'”
From his first coaching experience at Feralpisalò, Diana dreamed of coaching Blucerchiata, interestingly, a role currently held by none other than Andrea Pirlo himself.