Described as the nearest Lazio ever had to a pinup, Bernardo Corradi was the late-flowering striker whose commitment earned him a place in the hearts of the fans of his former club, although not necessarily endearing him to referees. After a slow start at his Lazio career, Corradi began to show an appetite for goal that won him a place in Trapattoni's Italian national side. Bernardo Corradi hails from the Contrada del Bruco, one of Siena's historic districts which takes part in the Palio every year. Apparently our Bernardo joins in the celebrations wearing period costume.
It's indeed a strange career that lies behind Bernardo Corradi. 12 different clubs in 15 years speaks the legacy of a player that seldom settled in at any club, most of the time being content with only one season before moving on to the next adventure. At one point he was involved in a £2,6m move to Inter, only to be shipped to Lazio two months later.
A tall and powerful player, strong with the head and easy to aim at. He was seen as an ideal target man by Stuart Pearce when he was lured to Manchester City before the start of the 2006-07 campaign. Coming to the Premiership was only one more achievement for the robust striker. Eastlands was buzzing with anticipation of how Bernardo was going to celebrate his goals with City. In Italy he was renowned for his celebration.
It took some time for Bernardo to hit the back of the net with City, and it soon became clear that scoring goals was not his strongest side. He was sent off in the opening game of the season, and more often than not he was found sprawling on the ground than challenging the box with the ball. Slow in pace and a first touch that seldom gave him the advantage; his first season in the Premiership proved to be a though one. He was soon dropped by Pearce and took little part of the action towards the end of the season. In addition the rest of the team did not manage to put in any form of service from the flanks and often Bernardo found himself getting the ball in the middle of the field, with opponents all around and no one to the rescue. When he once in a while did get a decent cross to work with he did exceptionally well, like the one from Darius Vassel against Portsmouth when Bernardo simply killed Sol Campbell in the air and left David James dizzy between the posts. That was one of the three times he found the net that season.
During the summer 2007 Bernardo issued a come and get me plea to his former club Lazio. But City underwent an extreme makeover during the summer months, with new ownership, new management and new players coming in. The club even issued a more Lazio-like shirt in the process. Sven-Göran Eriksson was well costumed to the more continental style after successful spells with Benfica and (you guessed it) Lazio, and in the first pre-season match against Doncaster; Bernardo hit a stunning equalizer that could well mark the turning point of his City-career.