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Fiorentina

Fiorentina is a football (soccer) club from Italy.

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About Fiorentina

ACF Fiorentina, who initiated the merger of two older Florentine clubs, C.S. Firenze and P.G. Libertas. The aim of the merger was to give Florence a strong club to rival those of the more dominant Italian Football Championship sides of the time from Northern Italy. Also influential was the cultural revival and rediscovery of Calcio Fiorentino, an ancestor of modern football that was played by members of the Medici family. and replaced him with Aldo Agroppi. The results were dreadful: Fiorentina fell into the bottom half of the standings and were relegated on the last day of the season.

Claudio Ranieri was brought in as coach for the 1993–94 season, and that year Fiorentina dominated Serie B (second division). Upon their return to Serie A, Ranieri put together a good team centred around new top scorer Batistuta, signing the young talent Manuel Rui Costa from S.L. Benfica and the new world champion Brazilian defender Márcio Roberto dos Santos. The former became an idol to Fiorentina fans, while the second disappointed and was sold after only a season. Viola finished the season in 10th.

The following season Cecchi Gori bought other important players like Stefan Schwarz. The club again proved its mettle in cup competitions, winning the Coppa Italia against Atalanta B.C., and finished joint 3rd in Serie A. In the summer, Fiorentina was the first non-national champion to win the Supercoppa Italiana, defeating A.C. Milan 2–1 at the San Siro.

Fiorentina's 95–96 season was disappointing in the league, but they did reach the Cup Winners' Cup semi-final by beating Gloria Bistrita, Sparta Prague, and Benfica. The team lost the semi-final to the eventual winner of the competition, FC Barcelona (Away 1–1, Home 0–2). The season's main signings were Luis Oliveira and Andrei Kanchelskis, the latter of whom suffered a lot of injuries.

At the end of the season, Ranieri left Fiorentina for Valencia CF, and Cecchi Gori appointed Alberto Malesani. Fiorentina played well but struggled against smaller teams, although they did manage to qualify for the UEFA Cup. Malesani left Fiorentina after only a season and was succeeded by Giovanni Trapattoni. With Trapattoni's expert guidance and Batistuta's goals, Fiorentina challenged for the title in Serie A 1998-99 but finished the season in third, earning them qualification for the UEFA Champions League. The following year was disappointing in Serie A, but Viola played some historical matches in Champions League, beating Arsenal F.C. 1–0 at the old Wembley Stadium (1923) and Manchester United F.C. 2–0 in Florence. They were ultimately eliminated in the second group stage.

At the end of the season Trapattoni left the club and was replaced by Turkish coach Fatih Terim. More significantly, however, Batistuta was sold to A.S. Roma, who eventually won the title the following year. Fiorentina played well in Serie A 2000-01 and stayed in the top half of Serie A, despite the resignation of Terim and the arrival of Roberto Mancini. They also won the Coppa Italia for the sixth and last time.

2001 heralded major changes for Fiorentina, as the terrible state of the club's finances was revealed: they were unable to pay wages and had debts of around USD 50 million. The club's owner, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, was able to raise some more money, but even this soon proved to be insufficient resources to sustain the club. Fiorentina were relegated at the end of the Serie A 2001-02 season and went into judicially controlled administration in June 2002. This form of bankruptcy (sports companies cannot exactly fail in this way in Italy, but they can suffer a similar procedure) meant that the club was refused a place in Serie B for the Serie A 2002-03 season, and as a result effectively ceased to exist.

Della Valle era

The club was promptly re-established in August 2002 as Associazione Calcio Fiorentina e Florentia Viola with shoe and leather entrepreneur Diego Della Valle as new owner, and was admitted into Serie C2, the fourth tier of Italian football. The only player to remain at the club in its new incarnation was Angelo Di Livio, whose commitment to club's cause further endeared him to the fans. Helped by Di Livio and 30-goal striker Christian Riganò, the club won its Serie C2 group with considerable ease, which would normally have led to a promotion to Serie C1. However, due to the bizarre Calcio_Catania Decline_and_revival (Catania Case) the club skipped Serie C1 and was admitted into Serie B, something that was only made possible by the Italian Football Federation's decision to resolve the Catania situation by increasing the number of teams in Serie B from 20 to 24 and promoting Fiorentina for "sports merits". In the 2003 off-season, the club also bought back the right to use the Fiorentina name and the famous shirt design, and re-incorporated itself as ACF Fiorentina.

The club's unusual double promotion was controversial, with some suggesting that Fiorentina did not deserve it. However, the club remained in Serie B and managed to finish the Serie B 2003-04 season in sixth place. This put the Viola in a two-legged Playoffs Association football against Perugia Calcio (the 15th-place finisher in Serie A) for a top-flight place during the next season. Fiorentina completed their remarkable comeback by winning the match 2–1 on aggregate, with both goals scored by Enrico Fantini, to gain promotion back to Serie A. In their first season back in Italian football's top flight the club struggled to avoid relegation, only securing survival on the last day of the season and only avoiding a relegation playoff based on their head-to-head record against Bologna F.C. 1909 and Parma F.C.. In 2005, Della Valle decided to appoint Pantaleo Corvino as new sports director.

In Serie A 2005-06, Fiorentina hired Cesare Prandelli as their new head coach and made several signings during the summer transfer market, most notably U.S. Città di Palermo's 20-goal striker Luca Toni and French goalkeeper Sébastien Frey. The combination of captain Dario Dainelli and Czech national football team regular Tomáš Ujfaluši in defence, Cristian Brocchi as midfield ball winner, Martin Jorgensen on the wing, Stefano Fiore as playmaker and key marksman Toni, with Frey in goal, proved to be an outstanding force in Serie A, giving them a fourth place finish with 74 points and qualifying the team for the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Toni scored 31 goals in 38 appearances, the first player to pass the 30-goal mark since Antonio Valentin Angelillo in the Serie A 1958-59 season, for which he was awarded the European Golden Boot.

On 14 July 2006, however, Fiorentina were relegated to Serie B due to their involvement in the 2006 Serie A scandal and given a 12-point penalty. The team was reinstated to the Serie A on appeal, but with a 19-point penalty for the 2006–07 season. The team's UEFA Champions League 2006-07 place was also rescinded. After the start of the season Fiorentina's penalization was reduced from 19 points to 15 on appeal to the Italian courts.

Despite starting the 2006–07 season with a 15-point penalty, Fiorentina nevertheless managed to secure a place in the 2007–08 edition of the UEFA Cup. The combination of Toni and Adrian Mutu proved to be one of Serie A's most proficient strike partnerships, scoring 31 goals between them.

While many doubted the potential of the Viola in the Serie A 2007-08 season due to Toni's departure, Fiorentina had a sensational start to the season and were tipped by Marcello Lippi and other prominent names in football as a surprise challenger for the Scudetto. However, this form tailed off towards the middle of the season, with several disappointing losses in connection with a grievous family loss suffered by club manager Prandelli. The club reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup 2007-08, where they were ultimately defeated by Rangers F.C. on penalties after two 0–0 ties. The season ended on a high note as Fiorentina defeated Torino 1–0 on the final day of the season to secure a UEFA Champions League spot at the expense of A.C. Milan. That campaign ended in the group stages, however, with the club finishing third and securing a path to the UEFA Cup instead.

The 2008–09 season continued this success, a fourth place finish assuring Fiorentina's spot in 2010's Champions League playoffs. The Viola also took part to the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League, reaching the group phase after defeating Slavia Prague in the third qualifying round, but the club did not manage to qualify to the knockout rounds and was successively eliminated from the 2008–09 UEFA Cup too by AFC Ajax. In contrast to their Champions League campaign, La Viola remained in the top tier of the domestic league.

A reversal of trends took place in the ongoing 2009–10 season, as the club saw a dip in their Serie A form, yet proved itself to be a surprise dark horse in Europe. Fiorentina started their domestic campaign strongly, trailing leaders F.C. Internazionale Milano along with Juventus F.C. and U.C. Sampdoria earlier in the season, but steadily lost momentum and slipped to mid-table positions at the latter half of the season. In Europe, the team got past Sporting Clube de Portugal in the qualifying rounds and drawn a tight group consisting of Olympique Lyonnais, Liverpool F.C. and Debreceni VSC. Losing their first away fixture against Lyon, many dismissed their chances of getting through, but the Italians staged a comeback with winning all their remaining matches, which included defeating Liverpool home and away. The Viola qualified as group champions, but eventually succumbed to F.C. Bayern Munich due to away goals, in a controversial double encounter involving what was considered as poor refereeing. Tom Henning Øvrebø, who led the first leg in Germany, was then lambasted by journalists and Italian footballing figures for his decisions, most notably allowing a Miroslav Klose offside goal (that eventually fired Bayern through the next round), calling into attention the possible implementation of video replays in football. Fiorentina also maintained a strong Coppa Italia campaign, reaching the semifinal before being defeated by the eventual winner Inter. The domestic season ended on a sour note as the Viola failed to reach a European position. During this period, on 24 September 2009, Andrea Della Valle resigned from his position as chairman of ACF Fiorentina, and announced all duties would be temporarily transferred to Mario Cognini, Fiorentina's vice president until a permanent position could be filled. On 26 October 2009, Andrea Della Valle stepped down as chairman. The position is now vacant.

In June 2010 the Viola bid farewell to long-time manager Prandelli (by then the longest-serving coach in the team's history), who was departing to coach the Italy National Football Team, with Calcio Catania's young Siniša Mihajlović replacing him.

Players





Out on loan



Other under contract players



Notable players


Managerial history

Fiorentina have had many managers and head coaches throughout their history. Below is a chronological list from the club's foundation in 1926 to the present day.


, a red fleur-de-lis on a white field, has been pivotal in the all-round symbolism of the club.

Over the course of the club's history they have had several badge changes, all of which incorporated Florence's fleur-de-lis in some way. The first one was nothing more than the city's coat of arms, a white shield with the red fleur-de-lis inside. It was soon changed to a very stylized fleur-de-lis, always red, and sometimes even without the white field. The most common symbol, adopted for about twenty years, had been a white lozenge with the flower inside. During the season they were Italian champions, the lozenge disappeared and the flower was overlapped with the scudetto.

The logo introduced by owner Flavio Pontello in 1980 was particularly distinct, consisting of one half of the city of Florence's emblem and one half of the letter "F", for Fiorentina. People disliked it when it was introduced, believing it was a commercial decision and, above all, because the symbol bore more of a resemblance to a halberd than a fleur-de-lis. This logo had been in use from 1992 to 2002, but after the financial crisis and resurrection of the club the new one couldn't use the same logo. Florence's comune instead granted Florentia Viola use of the stylized coat of arms used in other city documents. Diego Della Valle acquired the current logo the following year in a judicial auction for a fee of euro2.5 million, making it the most expensive logo in Italian football.

Kit and colours

When Fiorentina was founded in 1926, the players wore red and white halved shirts derived from the colour of the city emblem. The more well-known and highly distinctive purple kit was adopted in 1928 and has been used ever since, giving rise to the nickname La Viola ("The Purple (team)"). Tradition has it that Fiorentina got their purple kit by mistake after an accident washing the old red and white coloured kits in the river.

The away kit has always been predominantly white, sometimes with purple and red elements, sometimes all-white. The shorts had been purple when the home kit was with white shorts. Fiorentina's third kit was first one in the 1995–96 season and it was all-red with purple borders and two lily on the shoulders. The red shirt has been the most worn 3rd shirt by Fiorentina, although they also wore rare yellow shirts ('97–'98, '99–'00 and '10–'11) and a sterling version, mostly in the Coppa Italia, in 2000–01.

Kit evolution

(1934 FIFA World Cup)
- Giancarlo Antognoni (1982 FIFA World Cup)
- Francesco Graziani (1982 FIFA World Cup)
- Giovanni Galli (1982 FIFA World Cup)
- Pietro Vierchowod (1982 FIFA World Cup)
- Daniele Massaro (1982 FIFA World Cup)
- Daniel Passarella (1986 FIFA World Cup)
- Luca Toni (2006 FIFA World Cup)
- Alberto Gilardino (2006 FIFA World Cup)

Honours

National titles



Europeans titles



Minor titles

Mitropa Cup

Anglo-Italian League Cup

Serie B

Lega Pro Seconda Divisione (as Florentia Viola)

ACF Fiorentina as a company


Since re-established in 2002, ACF Fiorentina S.p.A. yet to self-sustain in order to keep the team in top division as well as in European competitions. In 2005 financial year the club made a net loss of €9,159,356, followed by a net loss of €19,519,789. In 2006 (2005–06 Serie A and 2006–07 Serie A), Fiorentina heavily invested on players, made the amortization of intangible asset (the player contract) had increased from €17.7M to €24M. However the club suffered from 2006 Italian football scandal, made the club did not qualified to Europe. In 2007 Fiorentina almost break-even, with a net loss of just €3,704,953. In 2007 financial year the TV revenue increased after qualified to 2007–08 UEFA Cup. Despite qualified to 2008–09 UEFA Champions League, Fiorentina made a net loss of €9,179,484 in 2008 financial year after the increase in TV revenue was out-weight by the increase in wage. In 2009 financial year, Fiorentina made a net profit of €4,442,803, largely due to the profit on selling player (€33,631,489 from players such as Felipe Melo, Giampaolo Pazzini and Zdravko Kuzmanović; increased from about €3.5million in 2008) However it also offset by the write-down of selling players. (€6,062,545, from players such as Manuel da Costa (footballer), Arturo Lupoli and Davide Carcuro)

After the club failed to qualify to Europe at the end of 2009–10 Serie A, as well as lack of player profit, Fiorentina turnover was decreased from €140,040,713 in 2009 to just €79,854,928, despite wage bill also fell, la Viola still made a net loss of €9,604,353.

ACF Fiorentina re-capitalized in 2006, for €34.7 million. In the next year la Viola re-capitalized €20 million and €20M again in 2008. In 2009 Fiorentina re-capitalized for €10 million only and did not had a re-capitalization in 2010 financial year.




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