Parma, 17 August 2018 – With over 200 appearances for both the Crociati and the Bianconeri, there could really be no one else to consider when putting together our Old Flame column. We’re talking about Roberto Nestor Sensini, as we summarise his career ahead of Parma vs. Udinese on Sunday at the Tardini (20:30 CEST).
Born in Argentina on 12 October 1966 to a family with roots in Le Marche, Sensini came through the youth ranks at Newell’s Old Boys – the team from Rosario who, over the years, have produced players such as Valdano, Batistuta and Messi. He eventually made it to the first team, helping them win the league in 1987-88 and reach the final of the Copa Libertadores. In that team he played with Abel Balbo, forming a defensive pairing that would also both go on to join Udinese in 1989 – coming after Balbo had diverted off to play for River Plate.
The Boquita made his Serie A debut on matchday one of the 1989-90 campaign against Roma before then scoring his first goal in Italy’s top tier not long after, coming during a 3-3 draw with Sampdoria on 17th September. His first spell with Udinese lasted until 1992-93, the year when they played Brescia in a playoff to avoid relegation, making 149 appearances and scoring eight goals. Parma then made their move in the summer of 1993, with Sensini joining after Copa America success with Argentina. This international triumph came on top of finishing second at the 1990 World Cup and securing silver at the 1996 Olympics.
As was the case with Udinese, his Parma experience was also split into two. His first, which started in 1993, was filled with success on both the national and international stage – winning UEFA Cups and the 1998-99 Coppa Italia. With clear versatility he played in both midfield and defence, recording 156 appearances and 11 goals up until 1999 (the season in which he linked back up with Balbo).
Sensi joined Lazio in 1999-2000, making 24 appearances for the Biancocelesti and scoring one goal during a year in which they won the Scudetto, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana.
He then returned to Parma, where he remained for another two seasons and made 35 appearances and won the 2001-02 Coppa Italia. Almost in full circle, 2002 then saw his return to Udinese, where he remained until his retirement in January 2006. This final spell saw him make 91 appearances and score seven goals before then coaching the side with Loris Dominissini.
His coaching career continued back home in Argentina with Estudiantes, Newell’s, Velez and Colon. In 2015 he was appointed as Newell’s CEO.