November 16, 2021

Italy: Serie A, 2021-22 season – Location-map, with 2 charts: Seasons-in 1st-Division [current clubs] & All-time Italian Titles list./ + Illustrations for the 3 promoted clubs (Empoli, Salernitana, Venezia), plus the one promoted club, from 2020, which stayed up in 2021 (Spezia).

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 8:48 pm

Italy: Serie A, 2021-22 season – Location-maps, with 2 charts: Seasons-in 1st-Division [current clubs] & All-time Italian Titles list

By Bill Turianski, on the 17th of November 2021;

-2021-22 Serie A (
-Serie A page at
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian

The map page has a location-map of 2021-22 Serie A.
The location-map features each club’s home kit [2021-22]. The map also shows the 20 Regions of Italy. And the map also shows the 11 largest cities in Italy (2019 metropolitan-area figures) {Metropolitan cities of Italy}. The cities’ population figures can be seen at the top of the location-map.

Finally, the map shows the locations of both the promoted clubs and the relegated clubs from 2021…
Promoted to Serie A for 2021-22 (Empoli, Salernitana, Venezia); relegated to Serie B for 2021-22 (Benevento, Crotone, Parma).

The right-hand side of the map page has 2 charts.
The top chart shows each of the 20 clubs’ total seasons in Serie A, with consecutive top-flight seasons also listed. The other chart is the All-time Italian titles list (1898-1915; 1920-43; 1946-2021).

    Below: the 3 promoted clubs of 2021 (Empoli, Salernitana, Venezia), plus the one promoted side, from 2020, which stayed up in 2021 (Spezia)…

2021: Empoli FC, promoted back to Serie A after 2 years…
Photo credits above – 2020-21 Empoli jersey, photo unattributed at Stadium photo by Simone Bergamasco at

2021: US Salernitana, promoted back to Serie A after 23 years…
Photo credits above – 21/22 Salernitana jersey, photo unattributed at Stadium photo by Luiz Paolo at

2021: Venezia FC, promoted back to Serie A after 19 years…
Photo credits above – 21/22 Venezia jersey, photo unattributed at Stadium image from screenshot of drone video uploaded by Stadiums from the Sky at

2019-20: Spezia Calcio are promoted to Serie A for the first time ever.
2020-21: Spezia Calcio finishes 6 points above the relegation-zone (15th place).
2021-22: Spezia Calcio plays their second-ever season of top-flight football…
Photo credits above – 2021-22 Spezia jersey, photo unattributed at Stadium image, from a screenshot of video uploaded by
EspritScapes – Stadionlandschaften at La Spezia Coat of Arms, image from

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Globe-map of Italy by Rob984 at
-Populations of Italian cities’ metro-areas from Metropolitan cities of Italy (
-Seasons in Italian 1st division:;
-General info, crests, kit illustrations, from 2021-22 Serie A (

January 14, 2021

Italy: Serie A, 2020-21 season – Location-maps, with 2 charts: Seasons-in 1st-Division [current clubs] & All-time Italian Titles list.

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 9:08 pm

Italy: 2020-21 Serie A – Location-maps, with 2 charts: Seasons-in 1st-Division [current clubs] & All-time Italian Titles list

By Bill Turianski on the 15th of January 2021;
-2020-21 Serie A (
-Serie A page at
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian

The map page has a location-map of 2020-21 Serie A on the left-hand side.
The location-map features each club’s home kit [2020-21]. The map also shows the 20 Regions of Italy. And the map also shows the 11 largest cities in Italy (2019 metropolitan-area figures) {Metropolitan cities of Italy}. The cities’ population figures can be seen at the top of the location-map.

The centre of the map page has a map showing current Serie A representation by Region.
Of the 20 Regions of Italy, 11 have clubs in Serie A currently. The most-represented regions have 3 clubs each: Lombardia, Liguria, and Emilia-Romagna. Below is the full list of current Serie A clubs, by region…
Lombardia (aka Lombardy): 3 clubs…featuring Atalanta, and two Milan-based clubs: Internazionale, and Milan (note: there were 4 clubs from Lombardia in Serie A recently, but Brescia were relegated in 2020).
Liguria: 3 clubs…featuring two Genoa-based clubs: Genoa and Sampdoria, plus the newly-promoted Spezia, who are making their Serie A debut.
Emilia-Romagna: 3 clubs…featuring Bologna, Parma, and Sassuolo (note: there were 4 clubs from Emilia-Romagna in Serie A recently, but SPAL were relegated in 2020).
Piemonte (aka Piedmont): 2 clubs…both from Turin [Torino]: Juventus, and Torino.
Lazio: 2 clubs…both from Rome: Roma, and Lazio.
Campania: 2 clubs…Napoli [of Naples], and newly-promoted Benevento, who are located 31 miles (50 km) NE of Naples, and who are playing in only their second season of Serie A (their first was in 2017-18).
Tuscany: 1 club…Fiorentina [of Florence].
Sardinia: 1 club…Cagliari.
Friuli-Venezia Guilia: 1 club…Udinese [of Udine].
Veneto: 1 club…Hellas Verona.
Calabria: 1 club…the newly-promoted Crotone, who are playing in only their third season of Serie A (their first two top-flight seasons were from 2016 to ’18).

The right-hand side of the map page has 2 charts.
The top chart shows the 20 clubs’ total seasons in Serie A, with consecutive top-flight seasons also listed. The other chart is the All-time Italian titles list (1898-1915; 1920-43; 1947-2020).

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Blank map of Italy’s Regions by Gigillo83 at File:Italian regions white (with new provinces).svg (
-Populations of Italian cities’ metro-areas from Metropolitan cities of Italy (
-Seasons in Italian 1st division:;
-General info, crests, kit illustrations, from 2020-21 Serie A (

June 19, 2020

2019-20 Serie A (Italy/1st division) June 2020 restart: Location-map, with COVID-19 timeline in Italian football, 2019-20 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed.

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 7:40 am

2019-20 Serie A (Italy/1st division) June 2020 restart: Location-map, with COVID-19 timeline in Italian football, 2019-20 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 19 June 2020;

-Teams, etc…2019-20 Serie A (
-Serie A page at
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian

Serie Re-start on 20 June 2020… {Table.}
Of course, all games will be played behind closed doors, but Italian football authorities have set their sights on allowing a limited number of fans to watch Serie A games before the projected end of the season on 2 August. {See this, Italy Targets Quick Return Of Football Fans To Stadiums (by Stanislaw Touchot at AFP via}

Most teams in the 2019-20 Serie A have played 26 games; 8 teams have played 25 games. In other words, there are 12 rounds of matches still to play, plus four games from previous rounds.

Juventus, who have won 8 straight Serie A titles, hold a one point lead over Lazio. (Lazio, of Rome, have won the title twice, last in 2000.) Internazionale are in 3rd place (5 points above Atalanta in 4th), and are a virtual lock for a coveted UEFA Champions League Group Stage berth – Inter are currently 9 points above 5th place (with a game in hand). The fourth and final UEFA CL Group Stage spot will be contested between upstart Atalanta (of Bergamo) and Napoli, with top-scoring team Atalanta currently in 4th place, 3 points above Napoli. (Atalanta have scored 70 goals in 25 games [2.8 goals per game], which is, amazingly, 10 more than Lazio, and 20 more than Juventus.)

As for the relegation battle, two of the three sides to be relegated are probably already set…Brescia are dead last, and are a near-insurmountable 10 points from safety; SPAL are in 19th place and are 8 points from safety. So the final relegation spot looks to be contested between 5 teams…Lecce (who are currently in the relegation-zone, but only on goal-difference) and the four sides just above the drop-zone: Udinese, Torino, Sampdoria, and Genoa.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Juventus plays Lazio in the second-to-last round, on 20 July at Allianz Stadium in Turin. That could very well decide who wears the Scudetto next season.

Aspects of the map page…
The main feature of the map page is a location-map of the 20 clubs in the 2019-20 Serie A. The main map also shows the 20 Regions of Italy, and the 11 largest cities in the country. {Metropolitan populations are from 2019 and are from this source, Metropolitan cities of Italy (} At the far left is a timeline of COVID-19 in Italian football, that features an outbreak map of Italy’s COVID-19 pandemic {here is the original source of the COVID-19 outbreak map of Italy, File:COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Italy (Density).svg (by Facquis at}. The COVID-19 timeline is repeated in the section below.

Below the COVID-19 timeline section on the map-page is a map of: Regions of Italy with 2019-20 Serie A clubs. At the far right of the map page is a chart that shows the following…2019-20 Serie A attendance by club; Stadium-capacity and 2019-20 Percent-capacity by club; 2018-19 finishes by club; Seasons in 1st division by club; Italian titles (and last title won), by club.

And a the foot of the map-page are the 20 crests of the current Serie A clubs, arranged by average attendance (the larger the badge, the higher the average crowd-size).

Italy: 2019-20 Serie A COVID-19 Pandemic Timeline in Italian football
31 January 2020:
The first 2 cases of COVID-19 in Italy were confirmed in Rome: two Chinese tourists (from Wuhan).

Also on On 31 January, the Italian government suspended all flights to and from China and declared a 6-month state of emergency (Italy was the first EU country to take this measure). At Italian airports, thermal scanners and temperature checks, for arriving travelers, were put in place.

February 2020:
In February, eleven municipalities in northern Italy were placed under quarantine, after being identified as the centres of the two main clusters in the country. The majority of positive cases in other regions traced back to these two clusters.

19 February 2020:
UEFA Champions League tie of Atalanta v Valencia (played in Milan) was retrospectively blamed by local civic and medical authorities for contributing to the very high concentration of coronavirus cases in Atalanta’s home-city of Bergamo. Several fans and Valencia players also had positive diagnoses after returning from the game.

8 March 2020:
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expanded the quarantine to all of Lombardy and 14 other northern provinces.

9 March 2020:
On the following day, the quarantine was extended to all of Italy, placing more than 60 million people in quarantine. All sport in Italy was suspended until at least 3 April.

10 & 11 March:
Atalanta played in Madrid, Spain, because UEFA played UEFA Champions League matches, on 10 March (RB Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur; Valencia v Atalanta); and on 11 March (Liverpool v Atlético Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund).

18 May 2020:
Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announces that Coppa Italia semi-finals will resume on 13 June, and the Semi A season will resume on Saturday 20 June. The Italian government approved health and safety measures suggested by the FIGC, plus a backup plan in case the league has to be stopped again. There are 12 rounds of matches still to play, plus four games from previous rounds.

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Globe-map (orthographic map) of Italy by Rob984 at File:EU-Italy (orthographic projection).svg.
-Map of COVID-19 cases in Italy, by Facquis at File:COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Italy (Density).svg (
-Blank map of Italy’s Regions by Gigillo83 at File:Italian regions white (with new provinces).svg (
-Populations of Italian cities’ metro-areas from Metropolitan cities of Italy (
-Attendances on map page from[Serie A].
-Seasons in Italian 1st division:;
-Length of current spell in Serie A:
-General info, crests, kit illustrations, from 2019-20 Serie A (
-COVID timeline info from several sources including COVID-19 pandemic in Italy (, Coronavirus: Italy extends emergency measures nationwide (, and Coronavirus: All sport in Italy suspended because of outbreak (

December 22, 2018

All-time Serie A (Italy/1st division): List of all clubs with at least one season in the Italian 1st division (87 seasons/since 1929-30/66 clubs); with Italian titles listed.

Filed under: Football: All-time 1st Div,Italy — admin @ 11:01 am

All-time Serie A (Italy/1st division): List of all clubs with at least one season in the Italian 1st division (87 seasons/since 1929-30/66 clubs); with Italian titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 22 December 2018;

This chart for Italy here is similar to the one I made for England, earlier this year {here: England, 1st division – all-time: List of all clubs with at least one season in the English 1st division (120 seasons/since 1888-89/65 clubs).; with English titles listed.

This chart here is in the same template as the chart I recently made, for Germany {here: All-time Bundesliga (Germany/1st division): Chart of all clubs with at least one season in the German 1st division (56 seasons/since 1963-64/55 clubs); with German titles listed.

The chart here shows the list of all clubs that have played in the Italian 1st division (Serie A).
There are 66 clubs who have played in Serie A, since it was instituted in 1929-30. (2018-19 is the 87th season of Serie A.)
Going from left to right on the chart, here is what is listed on the chart…
1). Name of club.
2). Level (aka division) that the club is in, currently [2018-19]. Levels are shown at the foot of the chart. Also, there is a small chart further below here which shows all 9 levels in the Italian football pyramid.
3). Crest & colours [home colours from 2018-19].
4). Seasons in Italian 1st Division (Serie A): 87 seasons (1929-30 to 1942-43; 1946-47 to 2018-19).
5). Consecutive seasons in the 1st division [current/2018-19] – OR – Last season that the club was previously in the 1st Division.
6). Serie A clubs for 2018-19 are shown with crest and small home kit illustration [grey column down the middle of the chart].
7). Full name of club.
8). Italian titles: Italian titles [113 seasons] (1898-1915; 1920-1943; 1946-2018). (FIGC season 1921-22 not included. No title awarded in 1927 [Torino stripped of title]. No title awarded in 2005 [Juventus stripped of title].)

Here are the 20 all-time longest-serving clubs of Serie A (2018-19 is the 87th season of Italian 1st division football)…
with city-location and home average attendance from 20 Dec. 2019. 5 clubs below are not in Serie A in 2018-19, and their current divisional status is noted.
1). 87 seasons: Internazionale. Milan, Lombardy. Drawing 62.0 K (highest attendance in Italy, currently).
=2). 86 seasons: Roma. Rome, Lazio. Drawing 38.8 K (4th-highest).
=2). 86 seasons: Juventus. Turin, Piedmont. Drawing 39.9 K (3rd-highest).
4). 85 seasons: Milan. Milan, Lombardy. Drawing 38.8 K (4th-highest).
5). 81 seasons: Fiorentina. Florence, Tuscany. Drawing 31.4 K (7th-highest)
6). 76 seasons: Lazio. Rome, Lazio. Drawing 32.6 K (5th-highest).
7). 75 seasons: Torino. Turin, Piedmont. Drawing 19.2 K (12th-highest).
8). 73 seasons: Napoli. Naples, Campania. Drawing 31.7 K (6th-highest).
9). 72 seasons: Bologna. Bologna, Emilia-Romagna. Drawing 21.5 K (9th-highest).
10). 62 seasons: Sampdoria. Genoa, Liguria. Drawing 19.3 K (11th-highest).
11). 58 seasons: Atalanta. Bergamo, Lombardy. Drawing 18.6 K (13th-highest).
12). 52 seasons: Genoa. Genoa, Liguria. Drawing 22.0 K (8th-highest).
13). 46 seasons: Udinese. Udine, Friuli-Venezia Guilia. Drawing 21.3 K (10th-highest).
14). 39 seasons: Cagliari. Cagliari, Island of Sardinia. Drawing 15.3 K (15th-highest).
=15). 30 seasons: Bari. Bari, Apulia. Attendance unavailable due to Bari currently playing in the amateur 4th division (Serie D).
=15). 30 seasons: Vicenza. Vicenza, Veneto. Drawing 8.3 K in the 3rd division (Serie C/Group B) [2nd-highest in the 3rd div].
17). 29 seasons: Palermo. Palermo, Island of Sicily. Drawing 13.2 K in the 2nd division (Serie B) [highest-draw in 2nd division & 16th-highest overall].
18). 28 Seasons: Hellas Verona. Verona, Veneto. Drawing 10.5 K in the 2nd division [5th-highest-draw in 2nd division & 24th-highest overall].
19). 26 seasons: Triestina. Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Guilia. Drawing 4.3 K in the 3rd division (Serie C).
20). 25 seasons: Parma. Parma, Emilia-Romagna. Drawing 15.5 K (14th-highest).
Attendance data from[Serie A].

I will have an All-time 1st Division chart (like this one), for Spain, in February.

Levels in the Italian Football Pyramid
(Top 3 levels are professional. Top 2 levels are national leagues; 3rd level is comprised of 3 regional groups. Amateur from the 4th level, down to the 9th level)…
A=1st Division: Serie A.
B=2nd Division: Serie B.
C=3rd Division: Serie C.
D=4th Div (1st-amateur): Serie D.
5th Div (2nd-amateur): Eccellenza.
6th Div (3rd-amatuer): Promozione.
7th Div (4th-amateur): Prima Categoria.
8th Div (5th-amateur): Seconda Categoria.
9th Div (6th-amateur): Terza Categoria.

Data from

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Serie A/Seasons in Serie A (
-Italy – Serie A All-Time Table 1929/30-2017/18 (
-List of Italian football champions/Clubs (
-Small kit illustrations from each team’s page at

January 13, 2018

2017-18 Serie A (Italy/1st division) at winter break: location-map, with 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./ Plus, the 3 promoted clubs (SPAL, Hellas Verona, Benevento).

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 5:22 pm

2017-18 Serie A (Italy/1st division) location-map, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 13 January 2018;

-Teams, etc…2017-18 Serie A (
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian
-Here is a nice and concise article…Serie A Stadiums 2017-18 (by Marcello Furgiuele on 14 July 2017 at
-An interesting take on the failure by the Italy national team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Italy’s World Cup exit is far from an apocalypse (by T.R. at[Game theory blog]).

A brief summary of the 2017-18 Serie A at the January winter break…
Napoli have a chance of unseating 6-time reigning champions Juventus. After 20 matches, Napoli [at 51 points] have a one point lead over Juventus. Napoli’s only loss came at home versus Juventus, though. Interrnazionale [at 42 pts.] sit 3rd. Lazio [at 40 pts.] sit 4th; Roma [at 39 pts.] sit 5th. Italy will once again will have 4 teams qualify for the UEFA Champions League, and, for the other two CL spots, it looks like it will be a battle between three: Inter, Roma, and Lazio, with the 5th-place-finisher having to settle for a UEFA Europa League spot. The other EL spot is up for grabs between a whole host of teams (Sampdoria, the over-achieving Atalanta, Udinese, Fiorentina, Torino, and the dismally under-performing Milan). The relegation battle includes all the recently-promoted sides from the last two seasons…Crotone, Hellas Verona, and Benevento make up the relegation-zone currently, with SPAL only in safety by virtue of goal-difference, and with Cagliari 5 points above the drop. 6 points above the drop are both Sassuolo and Genoa. Chievo, and also Bologna, could get sucked into the relegation fight. The situation at the bottom of the table gives more credence to the argument that it is time for Serie A to reduce to back to 18 teams.

A brief re-cap of the 2016-17 Serie A…
16/17 Serie A champions…Juventus. Juventus are from Turin (Italian: Torino), which is the 6th-largest city in Italy and is located in the Piedmont region, about 46 miles from the Franch border, about 73 miles south of the Swiss border, and 56 miles (98 km) west of Milan. Juventus, which is a Latin word for ‘youth’, is pronounced ‘you-ven-tuss’. Juventus have now won 6 straight Italian titles. Juventus have won the most Italian titles (33, with their first Italian title won in 1905).
Teams that qualified for Europe
17/18 Champions League Group Stage: Juventus and Roma. 17/18 CL GS play-off round: Napoli. 17/18 Europa League Group Stage: Atalanta, Lazio. EL GS 3rd qualifying round: Milan.
Teams that were relegated out of Serie A, into the 2nd division (Serie B), in May 2017: Empoli, Palermo, Pescara.

    Teams that were promoted to the 1st division in May 2017:
    SPAL, Hellas Verona, Benevento

SPAL [Spal is an acronym for Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor]. Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna [northern Italy].
Seasons in Italian top flight: 17 (previously in 1967-68).
Major Titles: none.
Average attendance [as of 13 Jan. 2018]: 11.5 K (at 88%-capacity).
Manager of SPAL, Leonardo Semplici (age 50, born in Florence).

-From, Historic SPAL’s sensational promotion to Serie A (by Michael Yokhin on 13 May 2017 at
-From The Gentleman Ultra blog, Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’: tracing the miraculous revival of SPAL (by Callum Ric-Coates on 22 August 2017 at

SPAL are from Ferrara, which is in the region of Emilia-Romagna [in northern Italy]. The population of Ferrara is around 133,000 {2014 figure}. Ferrara is, by road, 31 miles (50 km) SW of Bologna. SPAL wear sky-blue-and-white vertical stripes (done in retro-style thin striping). The oval-shaped badge of SPAL features the black-white shield that is on the coat of arms of Ferrara.

SPAL were a 1st division mainstay in the 1950s and up to the mid-1960s, but after 1967-68, the club was out of the 1st division for 50 years. In fact, prior to 2016-127, SPAL had not even been in the 2nd division for 24 seasons (not since 1992-93). SPAL reached their low point in the early 21st century, when the club went bankrupt and then were re-formed…twice (in 2005 and in 2012). 2012-13 found the once-again re-formed SPAL stuck in the regional 4th tier; they won promotion on the first try, and for 2013-14, SPAL joined the three-league Italian 3rd tier [aka Serie C, aka Lega Pro].

So, SPAL were in the regional third tier 2 seasons ago, and have won two straight promotions since then, doubling their crowds in the process (from 5.1 K to 11.5 K currently; {17/18 Serie attendances can be seen here}). The architect of this double-promotion-run was manager Leonardo Semplici (age 50). Semplici, who during his playing days played primarily in amateur Tuscan leagues, was hired by SPAL in December of 2014, when he had been running the Fiorentina youth set-up. Budget constraints forced Semplici to find a squad on the cheap, and SPAL fielded a squad entirely made up of Italian-born players, several of whom had been with SPAL when they were a 4th-division side. Semplici’s SPAL play a fast-paced, attacking style, usually in a 3-5-2 formation.

In SPAL’s second season in the 3rd tier, and in Leonardo Semplici’s first full season as manager [2015-16], SPAL won the Lega Pro Group B (North and Central), beating second-place Pisa by 9 points. By this time SPAL were drawing 5.1 K. The following season, SPAL joined the second division (Serie B) for the first time in 24 years. Then SPAL won a second-straight promotion by winning the 16/17 Serie B by 4 points over both Hellas Verona and Frosinone, drawing 7.8 K. SPAL’s main offensive force in Serie B was ex-Leeds-United FW Mirco Antenucci, who scored 18 (see photo and caption below), and Antenucci currently remains SPAL’s top scorer.

But now in Serie A for the first time since 1967-68, SPAL are having a tough time of it, and face a relegation battle. At the winter break, SPAL sit 17th (3 wins, 6 draws, 11 losses), above the relegation zone only by virtue of a better goal difference than Crotone.

Photo and Image credits above – SPAL 17/18 jersey, photo from Aerial shot of Stadio Paolo Mazza, screenshot from video uploaded by SPAL 2013 srl at jpg. Tifo at Stadio Paolo Mazza, unattributed at Mirco Antenucci [photo circa March 2017], photo unattributed at Leonardo Semplici, photo by La Presse via

Hellas Verona. Verona, Veneto [northern Italy].
Seasons in Italian top flight: 28 (previously in 2015-16).
Major Titles: 1 Italian title (1985) {see illustration below}.
Average attendance [as of 13 Jan. 2018]: 18.5 K (at 47%-capacity).
Manager of Hellas, Fabio Pecchia (age 44, born in Formia, Lazio).

Hellas Verona are from Verona, in the region of Veneto in northeast Italy. With a city-population of around 215,000, and a metro-area population of around 583,000, Verona is about the 12th-largest city and the 16th-largest metro-area in Italy {List of cities in Italy [by population]; List of metropolitan areas of Italy}. Verona is 105 miles (168 km) E of Milan; and Verona is 75 miles (121 km) W of Venice.

Hellas Verona wear navy-blue with yellow trim. Hellas Verona are nicknamed i Gialloblu (the “yellow-blue”). Their oval crest features yellow-and-navy vertical stripes with 5 devices: the club’s name, the Italian flag, two bull mastiff heads in profile facing opposite directions, with a ladder between them, and a blue shield bearing a yellow cross. (The two dogs’ heads form a V-shape, which you can see in an earlier crest in the illustration below.) The mastiffs are a symbol of the renowned 13th century Veronese magistrate, Mastino I della Scala. Then there is the ladder between the two mastiff’s heads. The ladder was more prominently featured on Hellas Verona badges from the past (again, see the illustration below, which shows an alternate crest from the 1980s which features the ladder device). The ladder is another reference this Veronese ruler from the 1200s named Scala. Because “scala” means ladder in Italian {you can also see this Wikipedia page, and specifically the photo there, which shows a carved stone crest that bears the ladder device, which is very similar to the Hellas Verona alternate crest}. Finally, the blue shield with the yellow cross on the Hellas Verona crest is a reference to the flag of Verona. As to the name “Hellas”: that is a nod to the antiquities…‘ Founded in 1903 by a group of high school students, the club was named Hellas (the Greek word for Greece), at the request of a professor of classics’ {[Hellas Verona/History]}.

The thing about Hellas Verona is that they are from a medium-sized city (again, Verona, with about 583,000 in its metro-area, is the 16th-largest metro-area in Italy). Yet Hellas Verona still have a local rival that also is big enough to be a top-flight club. I am speaking, of course, about Chievo Verona, who share, with Hellas Verona, the same stadium (the 38.3-K-capacity Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi). There are many cities in Italy that are larger, but do not have two 1st-division-calibre clubs (such as Naples, Florence, Bari, Palermo, Catania, Brescia, and Bologna). To give you an idea of how unusual this is, and how it effectively undermines both clubs’ chances of success, let’s compare this situation to a similar one in England…Sheffield. Sheffield is the 8th-largest metro-area in England (including Wales), and Sheffield has about 100 thousand more people in its metro-area than does Verona (with a population of around 680,000). And like Verona, Sheffield has two clubs that are 1st-division-calibre (Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, both of whom have been in the top flight for 60 seasons or more, and both of whom are currently in the English second division). Yet a couple cities larger than Sheffield, specifically Leeds and Newcastle, only have one 1st-division-calibre club. So, the presence of another big club in a city the size of Shefield is going to undoubtably impinge on things like fanbase size and media coverage. And Verona is about 15% smaller than Sheffield. This is the situation that both Hellas and Chievo find themselves in, basically fighting over a limited pool of potential support. Currently, Hellas Verona are drawing 18.2 K, while Chievo Verona are drawing 11.2 K. That cumulatively is 29.7 K {source}. Thirty years ago [1987-88], when Chievo Verona were a 4th-divison club (attendance of which is unavailble), Hellas Verona were drawing 26.8 K {source}). If you throw in a couple extra thousand or so to represent what Chievo were probably drawing back then, the cumulative attendance for the two Verona clubs 30 years ago would be around ~28-29-K. So, the present-day-Chievo have eaten into the present-day-Hellas Verona’s average attendance to the factor of about 7-to-10-K.

In recent years, when they are in Serie A, Hellas Verona have drawn between 18-and-19-K. Back in their glory days in the mid-1980s, Verona were actually drawing in the high 30-K-range, peaking at a basically-full-capacity 40.1-K in their championship season of 1984-85 (which was, incidentally the season that the all-time peak average attendance (of 38.8 K in Serie A) was reached {source}).

Counting 2017-18, Hellas Verona have spent 28 seasons in the first division. Those 28 seasons in Serie A have been spent in 9 separate spells, starting with their first, one-season-spell in the top flight, in 1958-59. Since the early 1970s, Verona have been relegated from Serie A 7 times (in 1974, 1979, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2002, and 2016). Hellas have also been relegated to the 3rd tier twice (in 1941 and in 2007). {See this league-history chart at Hellas Verona’s Wikipedia page.} In other words, Hellas Verona have gotten relegated a lot. Which makes it even more surprising that the club actually won a Serie A title…

Hellas Verona, the unlikely champions of Italy in 1984-85…
-From Guardian/football, The miracle season when Hellas Verona came from nowhere to win Serie A (by Richard Hough/Gentleman on 11 April 2016 at
Photo and Image credits above -Verona 1984-85 jersey badge and Verona H-V-ladder alternate badge, images from Reproduction of Verona 84/85 jersey, photo from Scudetto shield-patch, photo from Verona manager Osvaldo Bagnoli, photo unattributed at 4 Verona players celebrating a goal during the 84/85 campaign, photo from Foto Archivio GS at File:Hellas Verona, Serie A 1984-85.jpg. Giuseppe Galderisi celebrates a goal, photo unattributed at Preben Elkjær Larsen, photo unattributed at Hans-Peter Briegel, photo unattributed at Players celebrate immediately after clinching title in Bergamo [12 May 1985: Atalanta 1-1 Verona], photo by Olycom via Verona players celebrate a goal in last home match of season (a week after clinching the title) [19 May 1985: Verona 4-2 Avellino], photo by Tutto Schermo via

Photo and Image credits above – Hellas Verona 17/18 jersey, photo unattributed at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, photo unattributed at Hellas fans’ tifo, photo by Getty Images at Verona Handed Partial Stadium Ban for Racist Chants ( Giampaolo Pazzini [photo from Dec. 2016], photo by Valerio Pennicino at

Benevento. Benevento, Campania [southern Italy].
Seasons in Italian top flight: 1 (2017-18 is Benevento’s Serie A debut).
Major Titles: none.
Average attendance [as of 13 Jan. 2018]: 12.2 K (at 70%-capacity).
Manager of Benevento, Roberto De Zerbi (age 38, born in Brescia).

Benevento Calcio are from the town of Benevento, in the region of Campania. Benevento has a population of only around 60,000 {2015 figure}, and is located, by road, about 60 miles (97 km) NE of Naples.

Benevento wear red-and-yellow vertically-striped jerseys; their badge has red-and-yellow stripes in a shield-shape, with a black silhouetted image of a witch riding a broomstick. The witch on their crest refers to the legend of the witches of Benevento. This folklore dates back to the 8th century, when the quasi-pagan religious rites of the ruling Lombards [a Germanic tribe that originated in Scandinavia], worshipping Odin, by the Sabato River, were interpreted by some of the local Christian population as acts of withcraft. Which is why Benevento’s nickname is Stregoni (the Sorcerers).

Like SPAL, Benevento also have won back-to-back promotions. Unlike SPAL, Benevento had never even been in the 2nd division before 2015! Benevento started their first-ever season in Serie B in 2016-17 with a new manager, Marco Baroni, formerly the manager of Novara. Under Baroni, in their Serie B debut, propelled by the 21 goals of FW Fabio Ceravolo, Benevento qualified for the 2016-17 2nd division promotion play-offs (by finishing in 4th). Then Benevento beat Spezia in the preliminaries, then they beat Perugia in the semifinals, then they beat Carpi in the finals. And so the Sorcerers of Benevento were the unlikely winners of the 2016-17 Serie B promotion play-offs.

But once Benevento got to Serie A, their essentially small-town-/-lower-leagues status caught up with them fast, and they ended up breaking a record in a bad way…Benevento did not win a single point until their 15th match. By this time, Marco Baroni had been sacked, and the new Benevento manager was former Foggia and Palermo manager Robert de Zerbi, who was hired in late October 2017. The squad started playing better, but continued to lose. Benevento finally won their first point on the 3rd of December 2017, in spectacular fashion…against Milan, with a goal in the 95th minute, by their goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli {see screenshots and caption below, also see video: Dramatic goal scored by Benevento goalkeeper Brignoli against Milan (2-2) (0:51 video uploadedby Football Now at}.

After that, going into the 2017 winter holidays, Benevento went back to losing ways and lost 3 in a row. However, then Benevento won two straight right before the January winter break, beating a mediocre Chievo Verona, and then beating a rather decent Sampdoria side. And so, with the considerable amount of weak teams in Serie A this season, Benevento now actually have a shot a staying up…they sit 8 points outside of the safety zone (well, 9 points adrift, if you factor in their minus-30 goal difference). Here is an article from Guardian/football on that, Can Benevento stay up after Massimo Coda’s golden spell against Sampdoria? (by Paolo Bandini at

Photo and Image credits above – Benevento 17/18 home jersey, illustration from Aerial shot of Stadio Ciro Vigorito from Tifo, Screenshots from[Football Now].

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Attendances on map page from E-F-S site,
-Attendances in text parts of the post: & &
-Seasons in Italian 1st division:;
-Length of current spell in Serie A:
-General info, crests, kit illustrations, from 2017-18 Serie A (

September 19, 2016

2016-17 Serie A (Italy/1st division) location-map, with: 15/16 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./ Plus illustrations for the 3 promoted clubs (Cagliari, Crotone, Pescara).

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 3:24 pm

2016-17 Serie A (Italy/1st division) location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 19 September 2016;

-Teams, etc…2016-17 Serie A (
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian
-Here is the archive-page of Serie A-focused writer Paolo Bandini, {archive page, Paolo Bandini (}
-16/17 Serie A jerseys…2016/17 SERIE A HOME SOCCER JERSEYS (

From Forza Italian Football site, here is the Season Preview: Serie A 2016-17 (by Kevin Pogorzelski at

    The 3 promoted clubs in the 2016-17 Serie A (Cagliari, Crotone, Pescara)

Cagliari won the 2015-16 Serie B. Crotone finished in 2nd place in the 15/16 Serie B. Pescara won the 15/16 Serie B play-offs.


Manager: Massimo Rastelli (age 47, born in Torre de Greico [12 mi SE of Naples]).

(Note: Cagliari is pronounced kaay AA ree [the G and the L are silent]; see/hear this.)
Cagliari Calcio are from the island of Sardinia (which is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, about 240 miles off the Italian mainland). Cagliari, who play in a 16-K-capacity stadium (Stadio Sant’Elia), are the only club from Sardinia to have played in the Italian 1st division. The club is located in Cagliari (the largest city of Sardinia), which is on the southern coast of the island. Cagliari has a city population of around 154,000, and a metro-area population of around 451,000 {2015 figures}. The city of Cagliari is, by air, 413 km (257 mi) SW of Rome.

Cagliari won the 2015-16 Serie B by a point (and finished in the automatic places by a solid ten points over the 3rd place finishers). So Cagliari returns in strong form straight back up to the 1st division. Here is an article on the 16/17 Cagliari squad, Reasons To Believe Cagliari Can Defend Their Serie A Status (by Louis Gibberd-Thomas at

Counting the 2016-17 season, Cagliari have played 37 seasons in the Italian 1st division, which is the 13th-most, by club, in Italy. {See this, Serie A/Seasons in Serie A.} Cagliari’s previous stint in Serie A was for 11 seasons (from 2004-05 to 2014-15). The Rossoblu (the Red-Blue), as Calgiari are sometimes known, have been in existence since 1920.

Cagliari: the improbable title-winners of 1969-70…
Cagliari were historically a third-division club – or at best a second-division club…until the mid-1960s. Cagliari first won promotion to Serie A in June 1964. Then, 6 seasons later, led by goal-scoring powerhouse Luigi Riva, the side from the isolated island of Sardinia won the 1969-70 Italian title, in a very convincing fashion.

Luigi Riva was born in Leggiuno (near Lake Maggiore) in north-west Lombardy, near the Swiss border. In 1962 Riva got his start with nearby 3rd-division club Legnano. In the following season of 1963-64, Riva was signed by then-second-division Cagliari, and he was converted from a winger to a striker. Riva ended up playing 9 seasons for Cagliari, scoring 164 goals in 315 league appearances (1963 to 1976). (Riva was sold to Juventus in 1973, but had such loyalty to Cagliari that he famously refused to board the airplane for Turin, and the deal was nullified.) Riva was a natural left-footer and was very effective in the air {check out this brilliant horizontal header Riva scored for Italy versus East Germany in 1969, here}. (Luigi Riva ended up with some pretty impressive international stats…he scored 35 goals in 45 appearances for Italy.) Owing to his powerfully struck shots, Riva was nicknamed the Thunder-Clap (Rombo di Tuono). In 1969-70, Riva scored a league-best 21 goals in 30 games in Cagliari’s title-winning season (back then, Serie A had 16 teams in it).

The year before (1967-68), the Serie A title was a three-horse-race between Milan, Fiorentina, and Cagliari, with Cagliari losing out to Fiorentina by 4 points. In 1969-70, the title-race developed into three-way fight between Juventus, Internazionale, and Cagliari. Cagliari’s manager was the wily Manilo Scopigno, who was a native of far-north-eastern Italy in Friuli. Scopigno had Cagliari play in a variation of the newfangled Dutch total football, with a then-novel use of the sweeper position (the libero) in front of the defensive line (that role was performed by Pierluigi Cera; see photo below). Cagliari’s defense was led by starting Italy goalkeeper Enrico “Ricky” Albertosi, who had been lured over from Fiorentina in 1968. With Albertosi, the Cagliari defense was so impregnable that they only let in 11 goals in 30 games in 1969-70. That made for an astounding average of just 0.36 goals allowed per game, an all-time Italian 1st division record. Another key player for Cagliari was the Brazilian defensive midfielder Nene, who had played with Pele at Santos, and then came over to Italy first with Juventus, and then with Cagliari. Nene played for over a decade for Cagliari (1964-76) (you can see Nene below in the squad-photo, below, at the far upper-left). With the addition of right-winger/playmaker Albero Domenghini (who also can be seen in a photo below), it all came together for Cagliari in 1969-70. By March of 1970, Cagliari began to pull away from the pack, and in the end, the Rossoblu managed to clinch the title with two games to spare, on 12 April 1970 with a 2-0 win over Bari. Below you can see photos from that game. Then the inhabitants of the island of Sardinia celebrated and partied on, for days. Cagliari finished four points ahead of Inter and 7 ahead of Juventus.

The late 1960s was a time when many Sardinians did not have televisions or even radios. Many Sardinians in fact did purchase their first transistor radios in order to follow Cagliari’s title-run that season. It is said that Sardinia first united as an island and truly joined the modern age – and truly joined Italy, for that matter – when Cagliari won the Scudetto in 1970. Here is a great article on Cagliari’s amazing title-winning season, Cagliari 1969-70 (by Jon Spurling, from August 2007, at {Here is a highly recommended book about Italian football which touches on the Cagliari title-win, Calcio: A History of Italian Football, by John Foot (}

Below: 1969-70 Cagliari – the improbable champions of Italy…
Photo and Image credits above –
Photo of 69/70 Cagliari home jersey, photo by Photo of Luigi Riva and coach Manlio Scopigno at Cagliari training pitch (circa 1968), photo’s author is unknown, posted at File:Cagliari – Gigi Riva e Manlio Scopigno.jpg ( Photo of GK Enrico “Ricky” Albertosi, photo (circa 1969) unattibuted at Photo of Pierluigi Cera, photo unattributed at Photo of Angelo Domenghini, photo unattributed at Photo of Luigi “Sound of Thunder” Riva, photo’s author is unknown, posted at File:Serie A 1969-70 – Cagliari vs Bari – Pasquale Loseto e Gigi Riva.jpg ( Black-and-white photo of Riva climbing riot fence and saluting Cagliari fans, photo unattributed at Color photo of Riva climbing riot fence and saluting Cagliari fans (as Carabineiri laugh), photo unattributed at Close-up shot of Riva saluting Cagliari fans, photo unattributed at Photo of Cagliari 1969-70 squad (taken before a game at San Siro in Milan), photo unattributed at

Below: Cagliari Calcio, Stadio Sat’Elia (opened 1970)…
Photo and Image credits above –
Photo of Cagliari 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed at Photo of Cagliari, by c
Aerial shot of Stadio Sant’Elia, photo unattributed at c. Interior wide-angle sot of stadium, photo by Ansgar Speitz at Interior shot of main stand, photo by Gigidelneri at File:Trib centrale sant elia.jpg ( Cagliari supporters at Stadio Sant’Elia, photo by Enrico Nocci at

• Crotone
Manager: Davide Nicola (age 43, born in Luserna San Giovanni [45 kn (21 mi) SW of Turin), Piedmont). Nicola replaces Croatian ex-Genoa and ex-Crotone player Ivan Jurić, who had gotten Crotone promoted in May 2016 (Jurić is now manager of Genoa).

Here is a preview of the 2016-17 FC Crotone, Crotone ultimate underdogs (by Colin Millar at

FC Crotone have never been in the top flight previous to 2016-17. The club is from Calabria, near the toe of the boot in the far south of the Italian Peninsula. They have a rather small stadium (former capacity, 9.5 K), which is being expanded to 16.5 K. It is called Stadio Enzo Scida. FC Crotone wear Bologna-style kits (red-and-dark-blue vertically striped jerseys). {Here is an interesting article on Crotone from 1 June 2016, An Underdog's Triumph: Fabulous FC Crotone's promotion highlights Italy's north-south divide (by Franco Ficetola at

The small city of Crotone has a population of around 62,000 {2016 figure}. Two thousand seven hundred years ago, in 710 BC, as part of Magna Graecia, Crotone was settled, as Croton, by the Peloponnese Greeks (in pre-Roman times). And so one of the nicknames of FC Crotone is Pitagorici (the Pythagoreans), a reference to the great philosopher-and-mathematician Pythagorus, who founded his school (the Pythagoreans), in Croton circa 530 BC. Another nickname of FC Crotone is Squali (the Sharks), and on FC Crotone's crest you can see two sharks swimming around a giant flaming torch (which is physically impossible but makes for a nice image) {crest of FC Crotone}. Crotone are also known as the Rosso-blu.

The deck is seriously stacked against a small club like Crotone surviving in Serie A, and I hope Crotone don't go straight back down - like two other recently-promoted clubs. That would be Frosinone and Carpi, both of whom made their Serie A debuts in 2015-16, and both of whom went straight back down to the 2nd division ten months later.

It certainly is not helping that Crotone have had to play their first 3 home matches 279 miles away - in Pescara - because their stadium expansion has not been finished in time. Crotone have drawn less than one thousand for these games, and in their latest loss, 1-3 to Atalanta on 23 September, there were just 521 in attendance.

Photo and Image credits above -
Photo of 16/17 FC Crotone jersey unattributed at 2016/17 SERIE A HOME SOCCER JERSEYS ( Aerial photo of Crotone, photo by Geotag Aeroview at Exterior view of Stadio Enzo Scida, photo unattributed at Photo of the re-build, showing the installation of one of the new stands at Crotone, photo unattributed at


• Pescara
Manager: Massimo Oddo (age 40, born in Città Sant'Angelo, 14 km (9 mi) NW of Pescara). Oddo was a right-back with a long first-division career at Verona, Lazio, Milan, and Bayern Munich. Oddo retired from the pitch in 2012 with Lecce, then went into coaching as Genoa youth team coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at his home-town Pescara in 2014, and stepped in as caretaker in May 2015, when Pescara had failed to make the 14/15 Serie B play-offs. The following season (2015-16), Oddo got Pescara promoted back to Serie A with a 3-1 aggregate win over Trapani in the 15/16 Serie B play-off Finals. {See this, Pescara promoted to Serie A after beating Trapani in playoff final (}

Delfino Pescara 1936 wear sky-blue-and-white vertically-striped jerseys, and as their moniker suggests, are nicknamed Delfini (the Dolphins). Counting 2016-17, Pescara have spent 7 seasons in Serie A; their previous spell was for a single season in 2012-13. Their Stadio Adriatico, which has a 20.5 K-capacity, unfortunately has an atmosphere-destroyng running track.

Here is a preview of the 2016-17 Pescara...Sink or swim for Delfini (by Rossella Marrai-Ricco at

Pescara is on the Adriadtic Sea in the region of Abruzzo. Pescara has a city-population of around 123,000 and a metro-population of around 450,000 {2009 figures}. Pescara has 30 kilometres of beaches, and is a tourist destination. The coastal part of Abruzzo is sort of similar to Los Angeles/southern California - not for the lifestyle, but for the fact that much like in LA, in Abruzzo you could lay on the beach in the morning and in the afternoon you could be skiing the nearby slopes. Except in Abruzzo, the distance from the beautiful beaches to the snowy high mountains is only a distance of about 32 km (20 mi). As it says in Pescara's wikipedia page, "The city is very close to the mountains, and you can reach the ski slopes of Passo Lanciano in just 30 minutes." (See photo below, which shows Pescara's marina with the one-and-a-half-mile-high peaks of the Central Apennines in the distance.)

Photo and Image credits above -
Photo of Pescara 16/17 jersey, photo unattributed at Photo of dwellings in old town in Pescara, photo unattributed at Photo of beach at Pescara, photo by Luca Aless at File:Pescara - Spiaggia vista dal ponte del mare.JPG. Photo of marina at Pescara with snow-covered mountains in the background, photo unattributed at Photo of Pescara with stadium in background, photo unattributed at[Pescara]. Aerial shot of Stadio Adriatico, photo unattributed at

Extra feature…
The ongoing upgrades in Italian first division stadiums…

First it was Juventus who lead the way to a re-think in Italian stadium design, with their magnificent Juventus Stadium (which opened in 2011). Not only does Juventus Stadium have all the modern conveniences, but it also features steep-graded stands for better sight-lines and no accursed running track. And unlike every other top flight stadium at the time, Juventus Stadium is owned by the club (and not the municipality). Like in England and Germany and Spain and France (among other places).
Photo and Image credits above -
Interior photo of Juventus Stadium by Maurice Moerland, at

Then clubs like Roma and Sampdoria made plans of their own for self-funded new stadiums. {See this, Roma stadium three years away ( See this, Sampdoria Present New Stadium Plans (} Milan and Fiorentina also have ambitions to build and own their own stadiums {see this, 7 Stadiums Which Could Rejuvenate Serie A ( from July 2015)}. And up in Friuli in north-east Italy, Udinese got the municiplity of Udine to work with them to totally re-design the Stadio Friuli, which you can see further below. Hopefully the trend for new and better stadiums in Serie A will bear more fruit. It also must be pointed out that Sassuolo now own their own stadium – Mapei Stadium-Città del Tricolore, and you can see that stadium below.

Below, Mapei Stadium (opened 1995) – owned by first division club US Sassuolo…
Mapei Stadium. Home of Sassuolo (1st division club) and AC Reggiana (3rd division club).
Capacity 29,380/current reduced capacity of 21,700. Located in Reggio Emilia, which is 21 km (13 miles) NW of Sassuolo. Built by Reggiana FC in 1995, the stadium was well ahead of its time for Italy – being the first stadium in Italy in the modern age to be funded and built by the club (and not built and owned by the local municipality, as with virtually all other pro clubs in Italy). But Reggiana FC went bankrupt in 2005 (the club was re-formed as AC Reggiana that same year). The stadium sat under-utilized for a few years until nearby club Sassuolo began advancing up the divisional ladder in Italian football. Sassuolo began playing at the stadium in 2013 and bought the stadium outright in 2015.
Photo and Image credits above –
Aerial shot of stadium, photo unattributed at Exterior shot of stadium, photo unattributed at Exterior shot of stadium (street-level/side-view), photo by Groundhopping (Sweden) site Interior shot of stadium (during pre-match), photo unattributed at

Udinese: the massive re-build at Stadio Friuli in Udine, Friuli-Venezia Guilia…
The stadium originally had poor sight-lines due to the vast gap created by the running track, as well as the shallow incline of the seating in the bowl of the stands. So, everything except the Main Stand’s arced roof was torn out. Emulating Juventus’ recently-built stadium, the new stands at Stadio Friuli were built at a much steeper angle, for better sight-lines. A roof over all the re-built parts completes the stunning new look of Stadio Friuli (now officially called the Dacia Arena).
Photo and Image credits above -
Stadium before renovation, photo unattributed at Aerial shot of re-built Stadio Friuli, photo by Elio Meroi at Interior photo of Stadio Friuli (aka Daci Arena), photo by Matteo.favi at File:DaciArena.jpg ( Opening match at re-built Stadio Friuli, photo unattributed at

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Attendances from E-F-S site,
-2015-16 stadium capacities (for league matches) from
-General info, crests, kit illustrations, from 2016-17 Serie A (

September 28, 2015

Italy: 2015-16 Serie A location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed. / Plus a map showing the locations of the 3 Emilia-Romagna-based clubs (and their venues), now in Serie A (Sassuolo, Bologna, Carpi)./ Plus a few words on, and illustrations for, the 3 promoted clubs (Carpi, Frosinone, Bologna).

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 7:51 pm

(Note: to see my latest map-and-post on Italian football, click on the following, category: Italy.)
Italy: 2015-16 Serie A location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

-Teams, etc…2015–16 Serie A (
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian
-Here is the archive-page of Serie A-focused writer Paolo Bandini, {archive page, Paolo Bandini (}
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (

By Bill Turianski on 28 September 2015;

    Italy: 2015-16 Serie A location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

I am using the same template I have used with my recent maps of the 2015-16 1st divisions of England, Germany, and Spain. I still have France to do, and I plan on posting Ligue Un 2015-16 map-and-post on Saturday 10 October. Anyway, listed at the chart at the right-hand-side of the map page are the following 6 things…Average home attendance (league matches) the past 2 seasons, including 14/15 Percent-Capacity and Crowd-size change. League finish the last 2 seasons. Seasons-in-1st-division (and consecutive seasons noted). Italian titles (with last title listed). Coppa Italia titles (with last title listed). Major international titles (with last titles listed) [Anglo-Italian Cup? Sorry, never a major title.]
Features on map…
The map includes the listing of the 20 Regions of Italy (which is the first political division in Italy). The map also features the 6 largest cities in Italy (in order of largest-to-smaller, here are the most-current city population figures [as opposed to the (much-larger) metro-area-population-figures]…Rome/2.8 million, Milan/1.3 million, Naples/.98 million, Turin/.89 million, Palermo/.67 million, Genoa/.52 million). {Source: 2014 & 2015 figures at List of largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits (}
4 stadium-shares in the 2015-16 Serie A…
There are 4 stadium-shares in the 2015-16 Serie A (in Genoa, Milan, Rome, and Verona), and they are all noted on the map. The map also shows the two clubs in Emilia-Romagna who have been forced by the Italian football authorities to play in larger nearby stadiums. Those 2 clubs are third-year-top-flight club Sassuolo; and the white-and-red-clad Carpi, who are making their top flight debut in 2015-16. Both had been originally playing in very tiny 4-K-capacity stadiums.

Below, venue-locations and home-locations of Bologna, Sassuolo & Carpi…
Image credit above – segment of Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.

For Sassuolo, playing about 15 miles (21 km) away, in the city of Reggio-Emilia, has worked out OK for the turtle-green-&-black-striped side. Sassuolo are not drawing bad at all for a club that pretty much sprang up out of nowhere three-or-four years ago. Sassuolo have been drawing between 12 to 13 K the past 2 seasons, and actually seem to be establishing themselves as a viable top tier club, with a 12th-place finish last season. And Sassuolo have started strong in 15/16, in 4th place after 6 matches.

Carpi are not playing in their stadium because it is pretty inadequate…
But it really remains to be seen if the back-to-back-promoted Carpi can weather such a venue-shift as well. Because there are other factors with respect to Carpi…namely, that many supporters did not want their Cinderella-club’s historic first-division debut season to be played down the road, at the five-times-larger stadium of hated local rivals, Modena. One of the larger supporter-groups of Carpi – a group named Guidati dal Lambrusco – have actually announced they will boycott home matches. {For more on that, see the following article. Here is Gentleman Ultra’s excellent August 2015 post, at, on Carpi’s Serie A debut season, Carpi: Serie A alternative club guide (by Richard Hall and Luca Hodges-Ramon at}.}.

Below – Stadio Sandro Cabassi, home of Carpi FC when they play in the lower divisions; and Carpi’s home-venue for Serie A, Stadio Alberto Braglia in Modena
Photo and Image credits above – Entrance to stadium, photo by Stefano Romagnoli at Rooftop-view of stadium, photo by Stefano Romagnoli at Interior photo of “stadium”, photo unattributed at Shot of Carpi squad with fans in background, photo from FC 1909. Larger photo of venue, photo by Antti’s Football Scarves blog ( via Modena stadium, photo unattributed at [Serie B stadiums thread].

So one of the largest Carpi supporter-groups is boycotting their own home games. This does not bode well for Carpi. Their stadium, as you can see further above, is the 4.1-capacity Stadio Sandro Cabassi. Look at the rust on the gates of the main entrance, and look at the black mold-scum festering at the tops of the granite walls. You call that inviting? I call it scary. Look at those tiny isolated-and-fenced-off bleacher-stands there behind the goals, then look at the slanted concrete moat (is this police-state-type concrete moat/riot-wall actually necessary?), and then look at the barbed-wire-topped riot-fence ringing the pitch. What is this, a convict-holding-pen or a football stadium? That faction who is boycotting Carpi’s home matches because they now have to play home matches at the hated Modena, well, they should not be casting stones at someone else’s house, so to speak. Because their club’s home ground is pretty dire. And besides, Carpi is averaging 10.6 K right now, whereas they could only average 4.1 K in their own stadium (see this/from 22 Sept. 2015). Hey boycotting Carpi fans, where do you think the extra 6 K each game of ticket-revenue goes to, which your club is now getting (at Modena)? It goes straight to your club, you boycotters. This is not rocket science. Carpi is literally profiting from their move to Modena. But meanwhile, a fan-group of Carpi boycotts their home matches – out of misplaced spite. Where is the logic in that? Hey fan-group…your boycott might mean ‘we hate Modena’ to you, but it also NOW means ‘we don’t want our club to earn more ticket-revenue’. Well, those boycotters will probably be able to watch Carpi at their home ground in 2016-17. Because it is starting to look like Carpi are going straight back down to Serie B. Carpi sit last on 2 points after 6 matches. And they sacked their manager on Sunday 28 September after the 6th game – a 5-1 shellacking by Roma.

Frosinone – also with a Serie A debut in 2015-16, and their ground, Stadio Matusa…
Photo and Image credits above – aerial shot of stadium, photo unattributed at File:Panorama Frosinone edit.jpg, photo by Moongateclimber at
Roofed main stand, photos from [Frosinone]. Aerial image of stadium , screenshot of bird’s-eye satellite view at

Frosinone are from the city of Frosinone, which is located 75 km (47 mi) SE of Rome. Frosinone is connected to the capital by the A1 motorway (both are in the region of Lazio). The town serves somewhat as a bedroom community for commuters who work in Rome. The city of Frosinone has a population of around 46,000 {2014 estimate}. Frosinone Calcio wear all-yellow with royal blue trim. Frosinone Calcio, like Carpi FC 1909, are making their first division debut in 2015-16. Also like Carpi, Frosinone have a small ground. But Frosinone is a club that is about twice as big as Carpi as measured by gates – Carpi drew 3.0 K last year, while Frosinone drew 5.2 K. And Frosinone’s ground is not nearly as small or decrepit as Carpi’s ground. And Frosinone’s ground – the 9.6-K-capacity Stadio Matusa – passed muster by FIGC, and the club will be hosting their 2015-16 Serie A home matches there.

Frosinone’s stadium looks pretty nice (no running track!), and the worst I can see is a bit of rust at the welding joints on their nicely archaic cantilever roof (see it above), which covers part of the main stand on the west side of the stadium (there is minimal roof-coverage at the ground, because there is not much rain there in that part of south-central Italy).

The then-struggling Frosinone got their first point in Serie A in the 5th round on 23 Sept. 2015, with a 1-1 result against reigning champions Juventus in Turin. It was a last-minute 94th-minute goal (the goal was a dramatic header from a corner-kick, by actual Juve-supporter Leonardo Blanchard). Juventus might also be really struggling, but what a way for Frosinone to record their first point in the top flight. From, thread: [23 Sept. 2015]/. From Guardian/football, Frosinone’s Leonardo Blanchard savours historic goal against Juventus (by Paolo Bandini on 24 Sept. 2015 at

Then Frosinone beat fellow minnows Empoli 2-0 on Monday the 28th of September, to move out of the relegation zone. Go Frosinone! It is starting to look like a decent start for Frosinone, but, like Carpi, it will be an uphill battle for Frosinone to stay up.

Bologna are back in the top flight after winning the 2014-15 Serie B play-offs…
Bologna are one of the nine or ten biggest yo-yo clubs in Europe (“up there” with Hertha Berlin, FC Köln, FC Nürnberg, Sunderland, FC Kaiserslautern, RC Lens, Norwich City, Wolverhampton, and Sporting Gijón). Bologna has suffered two relegations in the last 10 years (in 2005-06 and in 2013-14), and otherwise have been perennial lower-table/relegation-battlers in the top tier (with 17th-place finishes in 2008-09 and in 2009-10, a 16th-place finish in 2010-11, and a 13th-place finish in 2012-13, one year before getting the drop in 2013-14 as 19th-place finisher). And wouldn’t you know it? After 6 games into the 2015-16 Serie A, Bologna is right back in a relegation-battle already, with 1 win and 5 losses, and sitting second-from-bottom in the table.

The Italian 2nd division play-off system – complicated but fair…
Last season, Bologna won the complicated-but-equitable Serie B play-offs. I say equitable because the Italian football authorities have sensibly figured out a way to have a play-off system which rewards final league placement…by giving the higher-placed club the tiebreaker in aggregate score. And 4th-place Bologna utilized that rule to beat Avellino 3-3 aggregate and then in the 2014-15 Serie B play-offs finals, Bologna beat Pescara 1-1 aggregate. Both times Bologna got the nod with a better 4th place finish than 8th-place Avellino and 7th-place Pescara. Hey England, this play-offs aggregate tiebreaker rule is a brilliant idea, which needs to be adopted in the Football League. Hats off to the Italian football authorities (FIGC) for the progressive tweak in the lower-divisions play-offs rules…a rule that benefits those promotion-candidates who finish higher. Which is only fair.

Bologna’s stadium has a stupid running track…
Bologna play at the 32-K-capacity Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, which (sigh) has a stupid running track. Oh Italy, when will you learn? Your stupid running-track-infested municipal stadiums are ruining your game. Get the memo, Italy. ALL football fans detest stadiums with running tracks. Italy, please, I beg of you. Build some new 1st-divison-worthy football stadiums without running tracks, already. If Bordeaux, France can do it, than I am pretty sure Bologna, Italy could too.

Why are there running tracks in most 1st division municipal stadiums in Brazil or Italy or other quasi-Third-World nations?
Seriously…WHY? Is it stupid urban planners there, or is it the fear of goons running onto the field there? Either way, it is ruining their product.
I mean come on, Italy. It’s embarrassing. Serie A regularly features some of the highest-calibre and watchable pro football anywhere on the planet…but it is so often being played in dumps of stadiums with (or formerly-with) those stupid running tracks. Stadiums that should have seen the wrecking ball years ago. All over the Italian peninsula. Currently 35% of all 2015-16 Serie A matches are being played in lame-ass venues afflicted with the accursed running tracks. Such as in Rome (2 teams). And such as in Naples. And such as in Verona (2 teams). And such as in Empoli. And such as in Bologna (see photo in illustration below). And the filled-in running-track stadiums in Serie A are pretty lame too (Palermo, Fiorentina, Torino, Atalanta [Bergamo]). At least, besides Juventus’ recently-new stadium (Juventus Stadium, opened Sept. 2011), there is one other recent ray-of-hope on the stadia front in Italy – and that of course is the massive re-build going on the past 2-and-a-half years up in far north-east Italy at Stadio Friuli, in Udine, home of Udinese Calcio…from Stadium DB site, from 13 Sept. 2015, update on the re-build at: Stadio Friuli (

Bologna FC, and their home, Stadio Renato Dall’Ara…
Photo credits above – Aerial view of Bologna, photo by Bamshad Houshyani at via View of stadium from curva, photo unattributed at (scroll down at the bottom of that post for plenty of photos of the renovation at Stadio Friuli).
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Attendances from E-F-S site,
-2014-15 stadium capacities (for league matches) from 2014–15 Serie A (; Serie A (

September 29, 2014

Italy: 2014 football attendance map, all Italian clubs [42 clubs] drawing over 4 K per game [from 2013-14 home league matches].

Filed under: European Leagues- -attendance maps,Italy — admin @ 7:23 pm

Italy: 2014 football attendance map [all Italian clubs drawing over 4 K per game]

(Note: to see my latest map-and-post on Italian football, click on the following, category: Italy.)

This continues my new category of European football leagues attendance maps. This map for Italy shows all football clubs in the Italian football leagues system which drew over 4,000 per game in the 2013-14 season (from home domestic league matches). The larger the club-crest, the higher the club’s attendance. I have added an extra detail on the map of showing all the Regions of Italy [the Regions are the first level of political subdivision in Italy].

The chart at the right-hand side of the map page shows 2013-14 average attendance, stadium capacity, and percent capacity. Also shown at the far right of the chart are: each club’s Italian titles (with year of last title), seasons spent in the Italian first division (with last season in the first division noted, if applicable), and Italian Cup titles (with year of last title).

You might have noticed the large red-white-green shield and the large red-white-green circular device above the chart – those are the badges which the winner of the Italian league and Italian Cup wear the following season. Of course, the winners of the Italian national title, or Serie A title, are known as the winners of the Scudetto. Since Bologna (the title-winners in 1925) instituted the ritual for the following season (the 1925-26 season), the title-winner gets to show the Scudetto shield on their jersey the following season. Likewise, the winner of the Italian Cup [or, the Coppa Italia] is allowed to sport the Coccorda on their jersey the following season. I know Turkey does a similar thing on their league and cup winners’ jerseys, but very few other countries do this. Which is a pity, because the Scudetto shield and the Coccorda device look so cool on the reigning champions’ kit. It is a bit of a boast, but not too much of a boast. And the Scudetto and the Coccorda look great on the winners’ jersey, pretty much no matter what that title-winning club’s color scheme is. {Here is reigning Italian champions Juventus’ 2014-15 home jersey with Scudetto shield on it, Here is Coppa Italia reigning champions Napoli’s 2014-15 home jersey with Coccorda on it,}
Thanks to Eric Gaba for the blank topographic/political map of Italy at ‘File:Italy map-blank.svg‘ (

Thanks to, for Italian attendance figures,

Thanks to the contributors at Serie A, at Serie B, and at Lega Pro [Italian 3rd division] (

April 18, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Italy (UEFA), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Italy, with 11 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 11:56 am

Italy national team. UEFA (Europe). Gli Azzurri (the Blues). Home jersey: House of Savoy Blue, with red-white-green trim. {‘Coat of arms of the House of Savoy, Vittorio Emanuelle II‘ (}.
Question: why does Italy play in blue?. Answer (from ‘Italy play in blue shirts rather than the colours of their national flag in a custom dating back to the country’s pre-republican days. Blue was the official colour of the Royal House of Savoy and the Azzurri tribute to the Italian monarchy survives today.’ (

-Italy is in 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D (with Costa Rica, England, and Uruguay), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group D‘ (

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Italy’s 18th qualification out of 19 tries (1930: did not enter; 1958: did not qualify).
Italy has qualified for the World Cup in: 1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014.
Previous WC finish: 2010, Group Stage (0-2-1).
Highest WC finish:
1934, Champions (4-1-0).
1938: Champions (4-0-0).
1982: Champions (4-3-0).
2006: Champions (5-2-0).

Italy have won the FIFA World Cup 4 times, which is second only to Brazil’s 5 World Cup titles {}.

Population of Italy: 59.9 million {2013 estimate}. Capital & largest city: Rome, city pop. 2.6 million {2013 estimate}; metro area pop. 4.3 million {2012 estimate}. Largest metro area: Milan, city pop.1.3 million {2013 estimate}; metro area pop. 7.6 million {2012 estimate}.

Italy’s 8 largest metro areas can be seen in the following link, ‘Metropolitan cities of Italy/Sizing, Economic Performance‘ ( (The largest 8 metro areas in Italy are also shown on the map below.)

-Italy coach, Cesare Prandelli. Cesare Prandelli. -Italy squad captain, GK Gianluigi ‘Gigi’ Buffon (Juventus). Gianluigi Buffon.

[Note: the chart below is updated to reflect final roster selection for 2014 WC/ 'Italy national football team/Current Squad' (]
Below: Theoretical Best XI for Italy (with 11 other player-options further below) -
Photo and Image credits above -
Italy 2013-14 home jersey, photo from
Italy/EU map, by NuclearVacuum at ‘File:EU-Italy.svg‘ (
Italy map by Eric Gaba & NordNordWest at ‘File:Italy relief location map-blank.jpg‘ (
Cesare Prandelli, photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images via
Gigi Buffon (Juventus), photo unattributed at
Ignazio Abate (Milan), photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images Europe via
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), photo by Nigel French/EMPICS via
Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), photo unattributed at
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), photo unattributed at
Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), photo unattributed at
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), photo unattributed at
Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via
Daniele De Rossi (Roma), photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe via
Mario Balotelli (Milan), photo unattributed at
Antonio Cassano (Parma), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via
Other player-options,
Thiago Motta MF/CMF/DMF (PSG), photo by L’Equipe at
Alberto Aquilani CM (Fiorentina), photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images Europe via
Alessio Cerci (Torino), photo unattributed at
Lorenzo Insigne AMF/LW (Napoli), photo unattributed at
Mattia De Sciglio DF/RB (Milan), photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images Europe via
Antonio Candreva RW/RM/AM (Lazio), photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe via
Gabriel Paletta CB (Parma), photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe via
Marco Verratti CM (PSG), photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe via
Matteo Darmian RB/CB (Torino), photo from
Salvatore Sirigu GK (PSG), photo from
Ciro Immobile FW (Torino), photo from

Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Italy national football team‘ (
Thanks to, for player-position details.
Thanks to, for recent squad line-ups (with positions-on-the-field graphics), at

September 18, 2013

Italy: 2013-14 Serie A Location-map, with 2012-13 attendance data. / With an article on Cagliari’s stadium controversy of 2012-13.

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 9:08 pm

Italy: 2013-14 Serie A Location-map, with 2012-13 attendance data

(Note: to see my latest map-and-post on Italian football, click on the following, category: Italy.)

There was a 3.4% increase in overall Serie A attendance in 2012-13, but before you start thinking this is a sign of a revival of the Italian game, the fact is that the 3.4% attendance increase (from 23,234 per game in 12/13, versus 22,466 per game in 11/12) can be explained by 2 factors. Factor 1: 10% to 19% crowd increases at Roma, Bologna and Chievo Verona – the 3 clubs’ crowd increases, added together, put 8,043 per game extra toward the overall Serie A average attendance last season. Factor 2: the return of a couple of large-ish clubs back from Serie B last season – Sampdoria and Torino – and the relegation of three small-ish clubs following the 11/12 season – Cesena, Novara and Lecce. Here’s how I back up that assertion…Samp.+Torino avg. crowds =19,144 per game in 12/13, versus Cesena+Novara+Lecce avg. crowds=12,442 per game in 12/13, meaning a 53% increase to the overall 2012-13 Serie A average attendance via the departure of the 3 relegated clubs from 11/12 and the inclusion of the two promoted clubs for 12/13.

Nevertheless, despite not really having great, standout seasons last year, Roma, Bologna and Chievo Verona had modest-to-pretty-good crowd increases. So maybe we can see the light-at-the-end-of-the tunnel for Serie A and its near-decade-long slump. Maybe that can be seen in the 3,960 per game extra who attended AS Roma matches, and in the 2,179 per game extra who attended Bologna FC matches, and in the 1,904 per game extra who attended the home matches of the Flying Donkeys of Chievo Verona last season.

    Stadia News in Italy

In one way, Italian football really has turned a corner – in beginning to produce well-designed new venues with all the expected modern amenities and with proper, steep-pitched stands and no atmosphere-destroying running track. Juventus FC led the way, with their club-owned Juventus Stadium, which opened in August 2011 (see illustration below). Juventus are the only club in Serie A to own their own stadium. Which, when you compare to the situations in most every other highly-ranked Western European league, is odd, because in England (and in Scotland), in Germany, in the Netherlands, in Spain, and in Portugal, most of the big clubs and many of the mid-sized or small clubs own their own stadiums.

Although this is not the case in France, there are many nice municipal stadiums in Ligue Un and Ligue Deux…the venues of Lille, Saint-Étienne, Lens, Rennes, and Bastia – to name a few – are all nice municipal stadiums with some good stands and no running tracks. Many if not most French municipalities who have built venues to house their first division football clubs had long ago dispensed with the misbegotten notion that it made any sense to put a little-used and superfluous running track into a facility that would be primarily used for football matches. With the exception of Milan and Genoa, Italian municipalities never got this memo. Italy may be one of the world leaders in design, but in public planning, not so much. This needs to change if Serie A ever hopes to reclaim its place as the most well-attended association football league in the world. Best-drawing league in the world was a distinction the Italian top flight held for over two decades during the mid-1970s (overtaking England’s First Division in 1972-73 [at 32,176 per game]), all through the 1980s and into the early 1990s, peaking at 38,872 per game in 1984-85, and still drawing best overall for another 9 years until Germany’s Bundesliga overtook Serie A as the top-drawing league in 1994-95 {figures here,}.
Photo and Image credits above -
Interior photo of Juventus Stadium by Maurice Moerland, at

In Genoa, there is a very nice municipal stadium, Stadio Luigi Ferraris {‘Stadio Luigi Ferraris‘ (}, which, unlike almost all large top-flight municipal stadiums in Italy (besides San Siro in Milan), has never had a running track. Sampdoria share it with local rivals Genoa C&FC. Despite the excellent venue, and perhaps in part because they wish to literally distance themselves from their rival, Sampdoria have long wished to build and own their own stadium. Now they have preliminary plans in place – see the following. From Stadium, from 14 April 2013, ‘Sampdoria take step closer to seafront stadium‘.

Meanwhile. Udinese, a club that has been trailblazing in a different way (with satellite-clubs in England and Spain/ see caption in illustration below), have taken the cue from Juventus. Working with the owners of their home-stadium, the city of Udine, Udinese have totally re-designed and renovated the Stadio Friuli. To say the people involved in Udinese’s stadium re-design were influenced by the design of Juventus Stadium would be an understatement. Here is an article on that from, ‘Udinese Hope To Provide a model For Serie A in Stadio Fruli Revolution‘ (by Paolo Bandini on 8 April 2013 at

More stadium news in Serie A for 2013-14 can be found at the next link. From the excellent site, ‘Serie A Summer Stadium Changes’ (by Marco Jackson on 6 July 2013 at

Below: Udinese Calcio (owned by the Pozzo family), and Stadio Friuli (owned by the municipality of Udine, Friuli, Italy).
Photo and Image credits above -
13/14 Udinese kits from ‘Udinese Calcio‘ (
Photo of former configuration of Stadio Friuli unattributed from
Udinese crest/flags from banner at
Image of Stadio Friuli redevelpment plan uploaded by Franz85 at

    12/13: The Twilight Zone season of Cagliari Calcio – 3 home venues (one of which was 800 km. away), 2 matches played behind closed doors, one match abandoned and lost, one president under house arrest, an improvised dual-manager partnership – and a strong 11th place finish for the Isolani of Sardinia

Speaking of attendance problems (and of ongoing dysfunction in the calcio world), Sardinia-based Cagliari Calcio ended up playing (so far) 2 more matches in Trieste – where Cagliari have now played some of their ‘home’ matches for the third consecutive season – and they will play another on Sunday 29 September 2013 (v. Inter). Cagliari will have ended up playing [so far] 11 ‘home’ matches there. From, from 25 Sept. 2013, by Marco Jackson, ‘Cagliari Stadium Return Delayed Again‘ (

This does not sound so bad if you are not familiar with the geography of Italy. But Trieste, in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, is the furthest north-eastern location in Italy, and is basically not on the Italian peninsula but on the Balkan peninsula, and is a whopping 810 km. or 530 mlles NE of Cagliari (as the crow flies). But that doesn’t even begin to describe how difficult for Caglliari fans it was to get from Cagliari to Trieste, because if you don’t take a plane flight there, and if you tried to drive there, you would first have to take a ferry from Sardinia to the Italian mainland, then drive north up the spine of Italy, then make your way east all the way to the Italian/Slovenian border. There, on a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, is the 205,000 population city of Trieste. [Trieste is just 72 km. or 45 miles SW of the Slovenian capital of Lubljana.]. To travel by car-ferry-car from Caglari to Trieste would end up being an expensive, arduous, and headache-inducing journey of about 1,061 km. or 659 miles. One note – the venue there in Trieste, the Stadio Nereo Rocco, is actually quite nice (as you can see in the satellite image below). It is just a shame that a club and its supporters, clear across the other side of Italy, were forced to call it home for a while.
Image credit above – aerial satellite image from’s Eye view.

The reason for all this was because the venue (the 23,00-capacity Stadio Sant’Elia) that Cagliari Calcio had called home from 1970-71 to 2011-12 was in such state of disrepair. But the municipal authorities in Cagliari refused to work with the club to improve the venue. So just prior to the 2012-13 season the club president, Massimo Cellino, tried to build a quasi-new stadium in the adjacent municipality of Quartu Sant’Elena – the Is Arenas (capacity 16,500). That venue in the eastern suburbs of Cagliari was once the stadium of a 3rd division club, but had not been in use since the mid-1980s. It ended up having a re-build, but it was a slapped-together rush-job. 3 new stands were hastily installed in the summer of 2012 – stands made of steel and pre-fab materials held up by a maze of what was essentially scaffolding and that looked anything but safe (see 3rd photo below).

The authorities on the island of Sardinia stepped in, in late August 2012, and banned spectators from attending matches there until the venue could get a proper safety clearance. Cagliari’s first home match in the 12/13 season, a 1-1 draw versus Atalanta on 2 Sept. 2012, was played behind closed doors and without spectators. Then the Cagliari front office ignored this ongoing spectator-ban and started selling tickets on the official club website for their second home match. As you might imagine, the authorities were not pleased with this development…so the club’s second home match last season, on 23 Sept. 2012, was abandoned, and the result was given to the visitors, Roma, by a 0-3 score. Cagliari finally got a safety clearance for the Is Arenas for their third home match, and the club ended up playing 12 matches with spectators there (15 total).

So then, through the fall of 2012 and early 2013, six home matches – with spectators allowed to attend – were played at the Is Arenas there in the eastern suburbs of Cagliari, including a 16,000 sell-out versus Napoli on Friday the 26th of November (Napoli won that match, 0-1). Those 6 home matches in the early part of the 12/13 season also included a 1-1 draw v. Catania where the main stand at the Is Arenas was closed, and the match drew only about 4,000.

In 2011-12, Cagliari had been in a relegation battle and finished 16th. After 6 games into 2012-13, Cagliari were dead last in the table, with 4 losses and 2 draws. Their manager Massimo Ficcadenti was sacked, and on 2 October 2013, former Cagliari player Ivo Pulga was named as new manager, alongside newly-appointed assistant Diego López, in a surprise move. Former Cagliari DF López played 12 seasons for the Isolani (from 1998 to 2010), making over 400 appearances for the team, and retiring after 2009-10. López would have been named manager, but the veteran (with 32 caps for Uruguay) did not have his UEFA coaching badges at that point in time (currently [2013-14], the two have switched roles, with the now-39-year-old López in the manager’s role for Cagliari, and with Pulga now as first team coach). Pulga, who had played as a MF for Cagliari from 1985 to 1991, had been coaching the youth set-up at Modena, and had never managed a pro squad. But he (and his assistant Diego López) brought in a good passing style of football to the Isolani squad, and they brought results. The Rossoblu finally won their first game the next match, away to Torino. And then Cagliari won their next 3 (v. Bologna, away to Sampdoria, and v. Siena). By January, Cagliari was long gone from the basement and starting to look like they could actually avoid relegation that season, in spite of it all.

Then out of the blue, the stadium issue arose again, and the authorities ruled that Cagliari had to play one of their mid-season home matches, on 12 February 2013 versus Juventus, on the Italian mainland, in Parma, in the central-Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Wow, how convenient for convicted-match-riggers and reigning champions Juventus [see Calciopoli scandal of 2006], who suddenly didn’t have to fly out to Sardinia, and who, of course, went on to win the match 1-3. The distance from Juventus’ home-city of Turin, to Parma, is only about 244 km. or 151 miles via roadway. So this match effectively became more of a home match for Juventus than it was for Cagliari. Also in February 2013, being charged with embezzelement and false representation in the rebuilding of the stadium, the president of Cagliari Calcio, Massimo Cellino, along with the mayor of Quartu Sant’Elena, was arrested and jailed, on accusation of diverting a substantial sum, see this ‘Cagliari President Massimo Cellino ‘arrested in stadium investigation’‘ ( from 14 Feb.2013 by Brian Homewood). Then the authorities put Cellino under house arrest, not at the president’s home, because Cellino’s official residence is in Miami, Florida, USA, but – wait for it – in the Cagliari training facilities. And Cagliari’s training facillities are quite posh (unlike their stadiums). With this development, the Cagliari stadium controversy was starting to sound like the plot-line to a sitcom.

But back to the Cagliari v. Juventus match in Parma – why were Cagliari suddenly forced to play Juventus on the mainland, close to Turin? One cannot help but be suspicious of this, and see Juventus’ hand in this abrupt, unexplained, and convenient-for-them change in venue for this match. After Juve were so nicely accommodated with their extra de-facto home game, Cagliari then were allowed to play 5 consecutive home matches at the Is Arenas through the late winter and early spring of 2013. But then for the 30 March 2013 match of Cagliari v. Fiorentina, authorities re-instated the ban on spectators at the Is Arenas [I could not find any explanation for this re-instatement of the ban on spectators there, other than explanations like this one...'fans were barred because of ongoing safety concerns' ( from 11 April 2013 by Sam Lawley)].

Despite the empty stadium (some Cagliari fans were able to watch the match outside the ground through a narrow gap in the gates to the stadium), Cagliari beat la Viola 2-1, and so, despite their Twilight-Zone season, the Cagliari squad continued to play well and get results. The Isolani had gelled despite being faced with an almost unparalleled set of circumstances, and with the Pulga/López dual-manager arrangement, the Cagliari squad was producing result after result.
From The Guardian, from 11 March 2013, by Paolo Bandini, ‘Cagliari’s fans get a win to cheer – it’s just a pity they can’t see it A siege mentality has taken hold of a club with an uninhabitable stadium, a president under arrest and a board that has resigned‘ (

Below, Cagliari’s stadium controversy of 2012-13.
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo of Stadio Sant’Elena in Cagliari from
Photo of the exterior of the hastily-built Is Arenas, from
Photo of Cagliari fans at the short-lived Is Arenas, from
Photo of makeshift infrastructure of the stands at Is Arenas, from
Photo of Victor Ibaraba by Roberto Tronci/EPA, via
Screenshot of video image of Marco Sau goal celebration from video uploaded by Love Football Italia at, ‘Marco Sau Goal (71′) Napoli vs Cagliari (3-2) Official HD Highlight‘ (
Photo of Radja Nainggolan, from
Photo of Cagiari players in celebration, from
Photo of 12/13 Cagliari manager Ivo Pulga from, .
Photo of 13/14 Cagliari manager Diego López from via

This abilty of the Isolani squad to get results in the face of the ongoing stadium imbroglio was again evident in their next home match, when yet again the ban on spectators at the Is Arenas was lifted. This was their 15th home date, in the 32nd week of the 12/13 season, versus Internazionale. Cagliari won 2-0 over the Milanese giants. But that was the last time the authorities allowed Cagliari to play at their makeshift venue. So just like in 2011-12, Cagliari ended up playing their final home matches clear across the other side of Italy in Trieste [Cagliari had played their final 4 home matches in Trieste in 2011-12, and they played their last 3 home matches there in 12/13.]. As The Gentleman Ultra said in the article linked to below, Cagliari playing home matches in Trieste is like ‘the equivalent of Shamrock Rovers playing their home games at Watford’. Attendance was around 9K to 10K for those 3 matches. Cagliari ended their 2012-13 Serie A campaign-from-hell by beating Lazio 1-0 in Trieste, and the Isolani finished a very credible 11th place. The fate of the makeshift Is Arenas is in limbo now (it might be demolished), and Cagliari have moved back into their old venue in Cagliari, the Stadio Sant’Elia, now that a truce has been reached between the club and the city, and hasty renovations there have been completed.

I’ll leave the final word on this whole affair to the Gentleman Ultra, but before that article below, I thought I’d re-print AC Milan’s official statement on the whole Cagliari stadium controversy of 2012-13…

[Official announcement from AC Milan:] ‘The league has announced that the Cagliari-Fiorentina match will be played behind closed doors. On February 10, 2013, Milan played before a full stadium, like six other teams. Three teams played in front of only season-ticket holders, three behind closed doors. Only one, Juventus, [played] at a neutral ground. In one instance, a 0-3 was awarded (to Roma), and nobody knows what will happen in the next few days…
In light of decisions that any person of good sense would judge incomprehensible on account of the different rulings in essentially identical cases, it’s clear that the normal course of the Serie A championship has been altered.”…{end of statement from AC Milan on 29 March, 2013 (via this article by Mark Doyle, ‘AC Milan: Cagliari stadium controversy has ‘altered’ championship‘ at}.

From The Gentleman Ultra, ‘The Isolani’s Season in Review‘ (, from 25 May 2013, by Richard Hall).


Thanks to the contributors at, ‘2013–14 Serie A‘.
Thanks to the following Wikipedia contributor…base map by TUBS at, ‘Italy provincial location map.svg‘.

Thanks to E-F-S site for attendance figures,
Thanks to for Serie A match details from 2012-13,

Thanks to the Gentleman Ultra.

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