FIORENTINA FUN FACTS

Melinda Gallo
May 19, 2011

The Fiorentina was founded by Marquis Luigi Ridolfi in 1926 by uniting two different soccer teams: PGF Libertas Firenze and Club Sportivo Firenze.

 

Even though the Fiorentina was not established until 1926, soccer was introduced to Florence in 1898. The city's first team had an English name, the 'Florence Foot-Ball Club.'

 

The Fiorentina was the first Italian team to be in the finals of the Champions League, called at the time the Coppa dei Campioni d'Europa, in 1956-1957, but lost to Real Madrid 2-0.

 

The Fiorentina won the Serie A twice, the Coppa Italia six times, the Supercoppa Italiana once, and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, which was an annual competition between European cup winners from 1960-1999, once.

 

Midfielder Giancarlo Antognoni played almost his entire career (1972-1987) for the Fiorentina, and was the team captain for most of that time. He also played for the Italian national team from 1974 to 1983. The last two years of his professional career were played for Swiss team FC Lausanne-Sport.

 

The first Viola trainer was Hungarian ex-soccer player, Karl Csapkay.

 

Cesare Prandelli was the longest-serving coach for the Fiorentina and left the team to coach the Italian national team in 2010.

 

The Fiorentina has a twinning with only three other teams: Torino, Verona and Catanzaro. A twinning was desired, but never officially formed with the ‘Reds' from Liverpool, England in 2009 when the Fiorentina played them in the quarterfinals of the European Champions League.

 

The only Serie A team that does not have an official fan club in Florence is the Fiorentina's arch-rival, Juventus.

 

It may be true that the initial red and white jerseys were washed in the Arno river and turned purple, but the final decision to have the team's color be viola (purple) was made by Marquis Luigi Ridolfi. All the other professional sports teams in Florence such as water polo, rugby, basketball, and volleyball still today use red and white-the traditional colors of Florence-as their teams' colors.

 

There are 18 other international soccer teams that have purple as their team color. Among them are Toulouse (France), Real Valladolid (Spain), and Austria Vienna (Austria).

 

The Artemio Franchi stadium was built in 1931 in the shape of a ‘D' in honor of Il Duce, Benito Mussolini. It was first named after Giovanni Berta, a Florentine fascist martyr, but after World War II, the stadium changed its name to Stadio Comunale. A few years after Artemio Franchi's death, the stadium was renamed in honor of the team's ex-managing director who later became the president of the UEFA.

 

The section for visiting fans in the Artemio Franchi stadium is referred to as il formaggino by the locals because it looks like a wedge of cheese.

 

The Artemio Franchi stadium normally holds only 47,282 spectators, but the capacity was surpassed twice: in 1984 in a game against Inter (over 58,000) and in 1952 for a friendly match between Italy and England (over 84,000).

 

 

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