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The kingdom of Guidolin

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Francesco Guidolin
In the summer of 2010 comes the news that makes Udinese rooters beat faster: Guidolin is back to coach the First Team! It is a prelude to the season of records, the 2010/2011 sports season. In the year with the highest number of wins (20) and with the highest number of goals scored (65), Sanchez's talent blooms (first Udinese player to score 4 goals in one match), Di Natale's class stands out (top scorer for the second time having scored 28 goals) and Handanovic's ability becomes clear (unbeaten between February and April for a total of 616 minutes and 6 penalty kicks neutralized out of 8). A tough start with one point out of five matches, then the team led by Francesco Guidolin starts doing better and better. After a spectacular 3-1 at home to Napoli and an incredible 4-4 to AC Milan, Udinese fly high scoring 11 positive results in a row (the most oustanding one being the 0-7 win in Palermo), making it to the first positions and to the Champions League zone.
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Campionato 2010-11: Sanchez festeggia con i compagni
The duel with Lazio for the fourth place, the last available one to enter the Champions League, is tough and played three days before the end of the championship at the Friuli stadium. The Zebrette win 2-1 and end the season with 66 points, after a triumphal ride.

Nyon's draw gives Udinese an impossible opponent for the Champions League playoff, Wenger's Arsenal. Udinese, though beaten, faces the Europa League adventure (finished at the last-sixteen stage due to the loss to AZ Alkmaar) and the championship with great honour, reaching the third place at the end of the season. Di Natale scores "only" 23 goals that year.

If you thought the following season would lack in emotions, you were wrong. After the second, bitter elimination from the Champions League (on penalty shoot-outs against Sporting Braga), the 2012/2013 sports season's outcome remains uncertain until 8 days to the end of the championship, when Guidolin's team decides to run the extra mile and achieve a series of wins (absolute record in the Club's history) that leads it straight to the fifth place and to the third European qualification in a row. After the unforgettable 3-2 win over Steven Gerrard's Liverpool at Anfield, Udinese are eliminated in the group stage.

The playoff-stage curse is back at the beginning of the 2013/2014 season when Udinese are eliminated rom the Europa League by Slovan Liberec after 180 tough minutes. Joy doesn't come from the championship this time (Udinese finish the season at the 14th place), but from the Coppa Italia instead. Udinese reach the semi-final after beating Inter and AC Milan, but are beaten by Montella's Fiorentina.The 2-1 first-leg win is overturned by Fiorentina in the second leg thanks to the goals scored by Pasqual and Cuadrado.
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