In an illustrious career, Labbadia recorded 103 goals in 328 league games having played for some of Germany's top Bundesliga clubs. He had two caps for the Germany national football team.
Labbadia was hired as the manager of SV Darmstadt 98 on 8 May 2003. His first match was a 2–1 win against TSG Wörsdorf. In his first season, Darmstadt won promotion to the Regionalliga. Darmstadt started the 2004–05 season with a 2–1 loss to 1. FSV Mainz II. Darmstadt finished the 2004–05 season in fifth place. Darmstadt started the 2005–06 season with a 2–1 win against VfR Aalen. Darmstadt finished the season in fifth place. Labbadia left on 30 June 2006. His final match was a 6–0 against SpVgg Bayreuth.
Labbadia was hired as Greuther Fürth's manager on 19 March 2007. Labbadia officially took over on 1 July 2007 when pre-season officially started. His first match was a 3–1 win against Darmstadt in the German Cup. Greuther Fürth finished the season in sixth place. He left the club on 26 May 2008 when he officially joined Bayer Leverkusen. Labbadia finished with a record of 15 wins, 10 draws, and 11 losses.
Labbadia was hired by Bayer Leverkusen on 26 May 2008. His first match was a 3–2 win against Rot-Weiß Oberhausen in the German Cup. Bayer leverkusen finished the season in ninth place. After the season, Labaddia left Bayer Leverkusen and joined Hamburger SV. His final match was a 1–0 to Werder Bremen in the 2009 German Cup Final. Labbadia finished with a record of 19 wins, seven draws, and 14 losses.
Labaddia took over as Hamburg manager on 5 June 2009. His first match was a 4–0 win against Randers FC in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. Labbadia was dismissed on 26 April 2010, just three days before the Europa League semi-final second-leg tie against Fulham. His final match was a 5–1 loss to 1899 Hoffenheim. Hamburg were in seventh place when they dismissed Labbadia. Labbadia finished with a record of 22 wins, 16 draws, and 13 losses.
On 12 December 2010 Labbadia became the new head coach of VfB Stuttgart. His first match was a 5–1 win against Odense in the Europa League. In his first season with the club, he managed to save the club that was staring relegation in the face after the disastrous reigns of his two predecessors, Christian Gross and Jens Keller, ended in the last quarter of 2010. VfB Stuttgart finished in 12th place in the 2010–11 Bundesliga, and would then qualify for the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League by virtue of its sixth position in the 2011–12 Bundesliga.
Stuttgart started the 2012–13 season with a 5–0 win against SV Falkensee-Finkenkrug. On 30 January 2013, Labbadia signed a contract extension with Stuttgart, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2015. VfB Stuttgart lost the 2012–13 DFB-Pokal final to FC Bayern Munich, but qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League by virtue of the fact that Bayern Munich had also won the 2012–13 Bundesliga title.
In the morning of 26 August 2013, Labbadia was relieved of his duties with immediate effect. His club had lost the opening three Bundesliga matches of the 2013–14 season and was in the second last position in the league table. Prior to his sacking, Stuttgart had lost the first leg of the playoff round of the Europa League. During the press conference held in the afternoon on the same day, club president Bernd Wahler said, "Bruno Labbadia has done good work at VfB over the past three years but we want to provide fresh impetus with this change." Labbadia finished with a record of 50 wins, 24 draws, and 45 losses.
Labaddia returned to Hamburger SV for a second spell on 15 April 2015. Labbadia won his first match on 25 April 2015 against FC Augsburg. This was Hamburg's first win since February 2015. Hamburg finished the 2014–15 season in the relegation playoff spot. In the first leg of the relegation playoff, on 28 May 2015, Hamburg and Karlsruher SC finished in a 1–1 draw. In the second leg, on 1 June 2015, Hamburg won 2–1 in extra time. Labbadia managed to keep Hamburg in the Bundesliga with a 10th-placed finish in the 2015–16 Bundesliga. However, Hamburg were knocked out of the German Cup in the first round during the 2015–16 season. Labbadia and his two assistants were sacked on 25 September 2016 after Hamburg had dropped into 16th position following their 0–1 Bundesliga defeat to Bayern Munich on the previous day, which was their fourth Bundesliga defeat in a row, having started the 2016–17 Bundesliga campaign with a draw at home to FC Ingolstadt.
Labbadia is of Italian ancestry. His family roots go to Lenola, a town in the province of Latina, in Lazio region. Labbadia's parents had immigrated as a Gastarbeiter in the 1950s to Germany and settled in Schneppenhausen near Darmstadt. Labbadia was raised on a farm in Schneppenhausen.As of 27 February 2013As of matches played on 19 March 2017.