A month after his appointment as Fulham’s Head Coach, Slaviša Jokanović brought in Marco Cesarini as the Club’s Manager of First Team Medical & Sports Science.
While playing as a goalkeeper at non-League level in Italy, Cesarini moved to Milan in 1995 at the age of 22 to study osteopathy. During his studies, he also played beach soccer, something which saw him come up against an England side at Hyde Park which featured Chris Waddle.
After graduating, he gave up playing as he decided the risk of injuring his hands was too great.
He described his next career step as a stroke of luck, as he shared a flat in Milan with future Italy international and World Cup winner Massimo Oddo. He was playing for Monza at the time, and Cesarini treated him and his teammates.
Soon after, he received a call from Modena head coach Gianni De Biasi who was moving to Brescia and wanted to take an osteopath with him. After a successful trial, he became one of the first osteopaths to work with a professional team in Italy. At Brescia, he worked with Roberto Baggio in his final season as a player.
In 2008, the club’s sporting director Gianluca Nani joined West Ham United, who were struggling with injuries at the time. As part of a trial, Danny Gabbidon and Matthew Etherington travelled to Brescia for treatment, and Cesarini was appointed Head of Injury Prevention thereafter.
A revamp of the Hammers’ medical department saw him return to Brescia, but he was back in England as Watford’s Head of Medical after Giampaolo Pozzo bought the club.
In December 2014, AC Milan head coach Filippo Inzaghi called personally to ask him to join his staff – an offer which Cesarini accepted.
After 13 months at the San Siro, Cesarini reunited with Jokanović – who he had worked with at Watford – at Fulham, a Club he describes as “one of the biggest in England in terms of history.”