Associazione Calcio Milan referred to as A. C. Milan or Milan, is a professional football club in Milan, founded in 1899; the club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980–81 and 1982–83 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929–30. A. C. Milan's 18 FIFA and UEFA trophies is the fourth highest out of any club, the most out of any Italian club. Milan has won a joint record three Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup, seven European Cup/Champions League titles, the UEFA Super Cup a joint record five times and the Cup Winners' Cup twice. With 18 league titles, Milan is the joint-second most successful club in Serie A, along with local rivals Internazionale and behind Juventus, they have won the Coppa Italia five times, the Supercoppa Italiana seven. Milan's home games are played at San Siro known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; the stadium, shared with city rivals Internazionale, is the largest in Italian football, with a total capacity of 80,018.
Inter are considered their biggest rivals, matches between the two teams are called Derby della Madonnina, one of the most followed derbies in football. The club is one of the wealthiest in Italian and world football, it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association. A. C. Milan was founded as Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club in 1899 by English expatriates Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin. Although the club itself claims 16 December of that year as its foundation date, historical evidence show that the club was founded on 13 December. In honour of its English origins, the club has retained the English spelling of the city's name, as opposed to the Italian spelling Milano, which it was forced to bear under the fascist regime. Milan won its first Italian championship in 1901 and a further two in succession in 1906 and 1907. In 1908, Milan experienced a split caused by internal disagreements over the signing of foreign players, which led to the forming of another Milan-based team, F.
C. Internazionale Milano. Following these events, Milan did not manage to win a single domestic title until 1950–51; the 1950s saw the club return to the top of Italian football, headed by the famous Gre-No-Li Swedish trio Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm. This was one of the club's most successful periods domestically, with the Scudetto going to Milan in 1951, 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1962. In 1963, Milan won its first continental title by beating Benfica in the final of the European Cup; this success was repeated in 1969, with a 4–1 win over Ajax in the final, followed by the Intercontinental Cup title the same year. During this period Milan won its first Coppa Italia, with victory over Padova in the 1967 final, two European Cup Winners' Cups: in 1967–68 and 1972–73. Milan won a tenth league title in 1979, but after the retirement of Gianni Rivera in the same year, the team went into a period of decline; the club was involved in the 1980 Totonero scandal and as punishment was relegated to Serie B for the first time in its history.
The scandal was centred around a betting syndicate paying players and officials to fix the outcome of matches. Milan achieved promotion back to Serie A at the first attempt, winning the 1980–81 Serie B title, but were again relegated a year as the team ended its 1981–82 campaign in third-last place. In 1983, Milan won the Serie B title for the second time in three seasons to return to Serie A, where they achieved a sixth-place finish in 1983–84. On 20 February 1986, entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy after investing vast amounts of money, appointing rising manager Arrigo Sacchi at the helm of the Rossoneri and signing Dutch internationals Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard; the Dutch trio added an attacking impetus to the team, complemented the club's Italian internationals Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Roberto Donadoni. Under Sacchi, Milan won its first Scudetto in nine years in the 1987–88 season; the following year, the club won its first European Cup in two decades, beating Romanian club Steaua București 4–0 in the final.
Milan retained their title with a 1–0 win over Benfica a year and was the last team to win back-to-back European Cups until Real Madrid's win in 2017. The Milan team of 1989–90, nicknamed the "Immortals" in the Italian media, has been voted the best club side of all time in a global poll of experts conducted by World Soccer magazine. After Sacchi left Milan in 1991, he was replaced by the club's former player Fabio Capello whose team won three consecutive Serie A titles between 1992 and 1994, a spell which included a 58-match unbeaten run in Serie A, back-to-back UEFA Champions League final appearances in 1993, 1994 and 1995. A year after losing 1–0 to Marseille in the 1993 Champions League final, Capello's team reached its peak in one of Milan's most memorable matches of all time, the famous 4–0 win over Barcelona in the 1994 Champions League final. Capello's side went on to win the 1995–96 league title before he left to coach Real Madrid in 1996. In 1998–99, after a two-year period of decline, Milan lifted its 16th championship in the club's centenary season.
Milan's next period of success came under Carlo Ancelotti. After his appointment in November 2001, Ancelotti took Milan to the 2003 Champions League final, where they defeated Juventus on penalties to win the club's sixth European Cup; the team won the Scudetto in 2003–04 before reaching the 2005 Champions
The Supercoppa Italiana is an annual football competition held the week before the season begins in Italy. It is contested by the winners of the Serie A and the Coppa Italia in the previous season, as a curtain raiser to the new season. If the same team wins both the Serie A and Coppa Italia titles in the previous season, the Supercoppa is contested by the Serie A winner and the Coppa Italia runner-up, in essence becoming a rematch of the previous year's Coppa Italia final. Inaugurated in 1988, 18 of the first 21 Supercoppa Italiana contested were played at the home of the Serie A champions, the exceptions being in 1993 and 2003, when it was held in the United States cities of Washington, D. C. and East Rutherford, New Jersey, in 2002 when the game was played in the Libyan capital Tripoli. Since 2009, the venues chosen have been outside of Italy. Of the 31 finals played to date, the venues have been as follows: 19 times at the home of the Serie A Champion 4 times in China twice in the United States twice in Doha, Qatar twice at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome acting as a "neutral venue".
Once in Tripoli, Libya once in Jeddah, Saudi ArabiaSince the game was first established, the Serie A scudetto and Coppa Italia have been won by the same team eight times, thus making the Coppa Italia runner-up the second participant in the subsequent Supercoppa. This occurred in the following years: 1995, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, 2000, 2006 and 2010. Juventus holds the record for winning the cup a record eight times; the most frequent Supercoppa match-ups have been Juventus against Lazio and Internazionale against Roma, each occurring four times. On 23 December 2016, Milan became the first Coppa Italia runner-up to win Supercoppa Italiana after defeating Juventus on penalties. *Finished as Coppa Italia runners-up Supercoppa Italiana on RSSSF
Società Sportiva Lazio referred to as Lazio, is an Italian professional sports club based in Rome, most known for its football activity. The society, founded in 1900, plays in the Serie A and have spent most of their history in the top tier of Italian football. Lazio have been Italian champions twice, have won the Coppa Italia six times, the Supercoppa Italiana four times, both the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup on one occasion; the club had their first major success in 1958. In 1974, they won their first Serie A title; the 1990s have been the most successful period in Lazio's history, seeing them win the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 1999, the Serie A title in 2000, reaching their first UEFA Cup final in 1998. Due to a severe economic crisis in 2002 that forced president Sergio Cragnotti out of the club along with several star players being sold, Lazio's success in the league declined. In spite of the lower funds, the club has won three Coppa Italia titles since then.
Current president Claudio Lotito took charge of the club in 2004 after two years of a vacuum after Cragnotti's departure. Lazio's traditional kit colours are sky white shorts with white socks. Sky blue socks have been interchangeably used as home colours, their home is the 70,634 capacity Stadio Olimpico in Rome, which they share with A. S. Roma until 2020, when the latter will leave for the Stadio della Roma. Lazio have a long-standing rivalry with Roma, with whom they have contested the Derby della Capitale since 1929. Despite not having any parent–subsidiary relation with the male and female professional team, the founding of Società Sportiva Lazio allowed for the club that participates in over 40 sports disciplines in total, more than any other sports association in the world. Società Podistica Lazio was founded on 9 January 1900 in the Prati district of Rome; until 1910, the club played at an amateur level until it joined the league competition in 1912 as soon as the Italian Football Federation began organising championships in the center and south of Italy, reached the final of the national championship playoff three times, but never won, losing in 1913 to Pro Vercelli, in 1914 to Casale and in 1923 to Genoa 1893.
In 1927, Lazio was the only major Roman club which resisted the Fascist regime's attempts to merge all the city's teams into what would become A. S. Roma the same year; the club played in the first organised Serie A in 1929 and, led by legendary Italian striker Silvio Piola, achieved a second-place finish in 1937 – its highest pre-war result. The 1950s produced a mix of mid and upper table results with a Coppa Italia win in 1958. Lazio was relegated for the first time in 1961 to the Serie B, but returned in the top flight two years later. After a number of mid-table placements, another relegation followed in 1970–71. Back to Serie A in 1972–73, Lazio emerged as surprise challengers for the Scudetto to Milan and Juventus in 1972–73, only losing out on the final day of the season, with a team comprising captain Giuseppe Wilson, as well as midfielders Luciano Re Cecconi and Mario Frustalupi, striker Giorgio Chinaglia, head coach Tommaso Maestrelli. Lazio improved such successes the following season, ensuring its first title in 1973–74.
However, tragic deaths of Re Cecconi and Scudetto trainer Maestrelli, as well as the departure of Chinaglia, would be a triple blow for Lazio. The emergence of Bruno Giordano during this period provided some relief as he finished League top scorer in 1979, when Lazio finished eighth. Lazio were forcibly relegated to Serie B in 1980 due to a remarkable scandal concerning illegal bets on their own matches, along with Milan, they remained in Italy's second division for three seasons in what would mark the darkest period in Lazio's history. They would manage a last-day escape from relegation the following season; the 1984–85 season would prove harrowing, with a pitiful 15 points and bottom place finish. In 1986, Lazio was hit with a nine-point deduction for a betting scandal involving player Claudio Vinazzani. An epic struggle against relegation followed the same season in Serie B, with the club led by trainer Eugenio Fascetti only avoiding relegation to the Serie C after play-off wins over Taranto and Campobasso.
This would prove a turning point in the club's history, with Lazio returning to Serie A in 1988 and, under the careful financial management of Gianmarco Calleri, the consolidation of the club's position as a solid top-flight club. The arrival of Sergio Cragnotti in 1992 changed the club's history due to his long-term investments in new players to make the team a Scudetto competitor. A notable early transfer during his tenure was the capture of English midfielder Paul Gascoigne from Tottenham Hotspur for £5.5 million. Gascoigne's transfer to Lazio is credited with the increase of interest in Serie A in the United Kingdom during the 1990s. Cragnotti broke transfer records in pursuit of players who were considered major stars – Juan Sebastián Verón for £18 million, Christian Vieri for £19 million and breaking the world transfer record, albeit only for a matter of weeks, to sign Hernán Crespo from Parma for £35 million. Lazio were Serie A runners-up in 1995, third in 1996 and fourth in 1997 losing the championship just by one point to Milan on the last championship's match in 1999 before, with the likes of Siniša Mihajlović, Alessandro Nesta, Marcelo Salas and Pavel Nedvěd in the side, winning its se
UEFA Euro 2000
The 2000 UEFA European Football Championship known as Euro 2000, was the 11th UEFA European Championship, held every four years and organised by UEFA, association football's governing body in Europe. The finals of Euro 2000 were co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands, between 10 June and 2 July 2000. Spain and Austria bid to host the event; the final tournament was contested by 16 nations. With the exception of the national teams of the hosts and the Netherlands, the finalists had to go through a qualifying round to reach the final stage. France won the tournament, by defeating Italy 2–1 in the final, via a golden goal; the finals saw the first major UEFA competition contested in the King Baudouin Stadium since the events of the 1985 European Cup Final and the Heysel Stadium disaster, with the opening game being played in the rebuilt stadium. A high-scoring tournament with many exciting matches and a high standard of play, Euro 2000 is named by football writers as one of the greatest international tournaments ever.
Belgium and the Netherlands were selected as co-hosts on 14 July 1995 by the UEFA Executive Committee at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Football hooliganism was a significant problem in the Netherlands in the 1990s the fierce rivalry between AFC Ajax and Feyenoord. There was concerns. Many instances of violence occurred, including several football riots in Rotterdam between 1995 and 1999, which would host the Euro 2000 final. One of the most infamous incidents was the Battle of Beverwijk in 1997. Although the violence is associated with domestic clubs, there were concerns that it could attach to the Dutch national team. Violence did occur during the Euro 2000 finals, albeit not involving the Dutch team. On 17 June, 174 England fans were arrested in Brussels, following violence with Germans ahead of an England v Germany match. One of the biggest surprises of the tournament was Portugal, winning Group A with three wins, including a 3–0 win against Germany, with Sérgio Conceição scoring a hat-trick, a 3–2 win over England, in which they came back from 2–0 down.
Romania was the other qualifier from the group, beating England with a late penalty in their last group game. Belgium had a surprise exit in the group stage, winning the tournament's first game against Sweden, but losing to Turkey and Italy, they finished third behind Italy and Turkey. The other co-host and favourite, the Netherlands, progressed as expected from Group D, along with World Cup winners France; the Netherlands won the group, by beating France in their last group match. In Group D, Denmark's three losses with eight goals conceded and none scored set a new record for the worst team performance in the group stages of a Euros. Group C was memorable for the match between FR Spain. Spain needed a win to ensure progression, but found themselves trailing 3–2, after Slobodan Komljenović scored in the 75th minute; the Spanish side rescued their tournament by scoring twice in injury time to record a 4–3 victory. FR Yugoslavia managed to go through as well, despite losing because Norway and Slovenia played to a draw.
Italy and Portugal maintained their perfect records in the quarter-finals, beating Romania and Turkey and the Netherlands started a goal-avalanche against FR Yugoslavia, winning 6–1. Spain fell 2–1 to France. Italy eliminated the Netherlands in the semi-finals, despite going down to ten men and facing two penalty kicks. Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo, drafted into the starting XI as Gianluigi Buffon missed the tournament through injury, made two saves in the penalty shootout to carry the Italians to the final. In the other semi-final, Portugal lost in extra time to France after Zinedine Zidane converted a controversial penalty kick. Several Portuguese players challenged the awarding of the penalty for a handball and were given lengthy suspensions for shoving the referee. France won the tournament, defeating Italy 2–1 in the final with a golden goal by David Trezeguet after equalising with a last-minute goal, became the first team to win the European championship while being world champion.
In Britain, Match of the Day named Stefano Fiore's goal against Belgium the Goal of the Tournament, ahead of Patrick Kluivert's against France and Zinedine Zidane's against Spain. Qualification for the tournament took place throughout 1998 and 1999. Forty-nine teams were divided into nine groups and each played the others in their group, on a home-and-away basis; the winner of each group and the best runner-up qualified automatically for the final tournament. The eight other runners-up played an additional set of play-off matches to determine the last four qualifiers. Belgium and the Netherlands automatically qualified for the tournament as co-hosts; the composition of pots 1 to 3 was based on the teams' UEFA coefficient at the end of 1999. The finals draw took place on 12 December 1999. Prior to the draw, the seeded teams in Pot 1 were assigned positions: Germany to A1, Belgium to B1, Spain to C1, the Netherlands to D1. Teams were drawn consecutively from Pots 2 to 4 into a group, with each team being assigned a specific position.
The draw resulted in the following groups: Capacity figures are those for matches at UEFA Euro 2000 and are not the total capacity that the stadium is capable of holding. The 16 national teams each stayed in their own "team base camp" during the tournament; each national team had to submit a sq
Football Club Internazionale Milano referred to as Internazionale or Inter and colloquially known as Inter Milan outside Italy, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy. Inter is the only Italian club to have never been relegated from the top flight. Inter has won 30 domestic trophies on par with its local rivals A. C. Milan, including 18 league titles, 7 Coppa Italia and 5 Supercoppa Italiana. From 2006 to 2010, the club won five successive league titles, equalling the all-time record at that time, they have won the Champions League three times: two back-to-back in 1964 and 1965 and another in 2010. Their latest win completed an unprecedented Italian seasonal treble, with Inter winning the Coppa Italia and the Scudetto the same year; the club has won three UEFA Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup. Inter's home games are played at the San Siro stadium known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Shared with rival A. C. Milan, the stadium is the largest in Italian football with a capacity of 80,018.
The local team A. C. Milan are considered among their biggest rivals, matches between the two teams, known as the Derby della Madonnina, are one of the most followed derbies in football; as of 2010, Inter is the second-most supported team in Italy, the sixth most-supported team in Europe. The club is one of the most valuable in Italian and world football, it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs. The club was founded on 9 March 1908 as Football Club Internazionale, following the schism with the Milan Cricket and Football Club; the name of the club derives from the wish of its founding members to accept foreign players as well as Italians. The club won its first championship in 1910 and its second in 1920; the captain and coach of the first championship winning team was Virgilio Fossati, killed in battle while serving in the Italian army during World War I. In 1922, Inter remained in the top league after winning two play-offs. Six years during the Fascist era, the club was forced to merge with the Unione Sportiva Milanese and was renamed Società Sportiva Ambrosiana.
The team wore white jerseys during this time with a red cross emblazoned on it. The jersey's design was inspired by the coat of arms of the city of Milan. In 1929, club chairman Oreste Simonotti changed the club's name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana, however supporters continued to call the team Inter, in 1931 new chairman Pozzani caved in to shareholder pressure and changed the name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana-Inter, their first Coppa Italia was won in 1938–39, led by the iconic Giuseppe Meazza, after whom the San Siro stadium is named. A fifth championship followed despite Meazza incurring an injury. After the end of World War II the club regained its original name, winning its sixth championship in 1953 and its seventh in 1954. In 1960, manager Helenio Herrera joined Inter from Barcelona, bringing with him his midfield general Luis Suárez, who won the European Footballer of the Year in the same year for his role in Barcelona's La Liga/Fairs Cup double, he would transform Inter into one of the greatest teams in Europe.
He modified a 5–3–2 tactic known as the "Verrou" which created greater flexibility for counterattacks. The catenaccio system was invented by Karl Rappan. Rappan's original system was implemented with four fixed defenders, playing a strict man-to-man marking system, plus a playmaker in the middle of the field who plays the ball together with two midfield wings. Herrera would modify it by adding a fifth defender, the sweeper or libero behind the two centre backs; the sweeper or libero who acted as the free man would deal with any attackers who went through the two centre backs. Inter finished third in the Serie A in his first season, second the next year and first in his third season. Followed a back-to-back European Cup victory in 1964 and 1965, earning him the title "il Mago"; the core of Herrera's team were the attacking fullbacks Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti, Armando Picchi the sweeper, Suárez the playmaker, Jair the winger, Mario Corso the left midfielder, Sandro Mazzola, who played on the inside-right.
In 1964, Inter reached the European Cup Final by beating Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final and Partizan in the quarter-final. In the final, they met a team that had reached seven out of the nine finals to date. Mazzola scored two goals in a 3–1 victory, the team won the Intercontinental Cup against Independiente. A year Inter repeated the feat by beating two-time winner Benfica in the final held at home, from a Jair goal, again beat Independiente in the Intercontinental Cup. In 1967, with Jair gone and Suárez injured, Inter lost the European Cup Final 2–1 to Celtic. During that year the club changed its name to Football Club Internazionale Milano. Following the golden era of the 1960s, Inter managed to win their eleventh league title in 1971 and their twelfth in 1980. Inter were defeated for the second time in five years in the final of the European Cup, going down 0–2 to Johan Cruyff's Ajax in 1972. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Inter added two to its Coppa Italia tally, in 1977–78 and 1981–82.
Led by the German duo of Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthäus, Argentine Ramón Díaz, Inter captured the 1989 Serie A championship. Inter were unable to defend their title despite adding fellow German Jürgen Klinsmann to the squad and winning their first Supercoppa Italiana at the start of the season; the 1990s was a period of disappointment. While their great rivals Milan and Juventus were achieving success both domestically and in Europe, Inter
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup was the 15th FIFA World Cup, held in nine cities across the United States, from 17 June to 17 July 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on 4 July 1988. Despite the host nation's lack of soccer tradition, the tournament was the most financially successful in World Cup history; the total attendance of nearly 3.6 million for the final tournament remains the highest in World Cup history, despite the expansion of the competition from 24 to 32 teams, first introduced at the 1998 World Cup and is the current format. Brazil won the tournament after beating Italy 3–2 in a penalty shoot-out at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California near Los Angeles, after the game had ended 0–0 after extra time, it was the first World Cup final to be decided on penalties. The victory made Brazil the first nation to win four World Cup titles. There were four new entrants in the tournament: Greece, Saudi Arabia, as well as two countries that were formed at the end of the Cold War: Russia, following the breakup of the Soviet Union, for the first time since 1938, a newly reunified Germany took part in the tournament, following Germany reunification in October 1990, a few months after West Germany's victory in the 1990 World Cup.
Three teams, one African, one Asian, one European, made their debuts at the 1994 tournament. Nigeria qualified from the African zone alongside Cameroon and Morocco as CAF was granted three spots as a result of the strong performances by African teams in 1990. In the Asian zone, Saudi Arabia qualified for the first time by topping the final round group ahead of South Korea as both edged out Japan, who were close to making their own World Cup debut, but were denied by Iraq in what became known as the "Agony of Doha"; the Japanese would not have to wait long though. In the European zone, Greece made their first World Cup appearance after topping a group from which Russia qualified, competing independently for the first time after the dissolution of the Soviet Union; the defending champions West Germany were united with their East German counterparts, representing the unified Germany for the first time since the 1938 World Cup. Norway qualified for the first time since 1938, Bolivia for the first time since 1950, Switzerland for the first time since 1966.
Norway's 56-year gap between appearances in the final tournament equaled Egypt's record in the previous tournament as the longest. Mexico had its first successful qualification campaign since 1978, failing to qualify in 1982, qualifying as hosts in 1986 and being banned for the Cachirules scandal in 1990; the qualification campaigns of both Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were affected by political events. The nation of Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992, completing its qualifying group under the name "Representation of Czechs and Slovaks", but failed to qualify for the finals, having been edged out by Romania and Belgium in Group 4. Yugoslavia was suspended from international competition in 1992 as part of United Nations sanctions against the country as a result of the Yugoslav Wars; the sanctions were not lifted until 1994, by which time it was no longer possible for the team to qualify. Chile's suspension from the 1990 FIFA World Cup, following the forced interruption of their qualification game against Brazil, extended to the 1994 qualifiers as well.
This was the second World Cup for which neither England, Northern Ireland nor Wales qualified, with England missing out after having finished fourth in the 1990 tournament, Scotland failing to qualify for the first time since 1970. France, designated as hosts of the 1998 tournament missed out following surprise home losses to Israel and Bulgaria; this was the second World Cup in a row for which France had failed to qualify, the last one to date to not feature England and Japan. Other notable absentees were 1990 Round of 16 participants Uruguay, UEFA Euro 1992 champions Denmark, Poland and Hungary; the following 24 teams, shown with final pre-tournament rankings, qualified for the final tournamentː Three nations bid for host duties: United States and Morocco. The vote was held in Zurich on 4 July 1988, only took one round with the United States bid receiving a little over half of the votes by the Exco members. FIFA hoped that by staging the world's most prestigious tournament there, it would lead to a growth of interest in the sport.
One condition FIFA imposed was the creation of a professional football league – Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 and began operating in 1996. There was some initial controversy about awarding the World Cup to a country where football was not a nationally popular sport, at the time, in 1988, the U. S. did not have a professional league of its own anymore. Success of the 1984 Summer Olympics the soccer tournament contributed to FIFA's decision. Despite the controversy, the U. S. staged a hugely successful tournament, with average attendance of nearly 70,000 breaking a record that surpassed the 1966 FIFA World Cup average attendance of 51,000, thanks to the large seating capacities the stadiums in the United States provided for the spectators in comparison to the smaller venues of Europe and Latin America. To this day, the total attendance for
ACF Fiorentina referred to as Fiorentina, is an Italian professional football club based in Florence, Tuscany. Founded by a merger in August 1926, refounded in August 2002 following bankruptcy, Fiorentina have played at the top level of Italian football for the majority of their existence. Fiorentina has won two Italian Championships, in 1955–56 and again in 1968–69, as well as six Coppa Italia trophies and one Supercoppa Italiana. On the European stage, Fiorentina won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1960–61 and lost the final one year later, they finished runners-up in the 1956–57 European Cup, losing against Real Madrid, came close to winning the 1989–90 UEFA Cup, finishing as runners-up against Juventus after losing the first leg in Turin and drawing in the second one in Avellino. Fiorentina is one of the fourteen European teams that played the finals in all three major continental competitions: the Champions League, the UEFA Cup Winners and the UEFA Cup. Since 1931, the club have played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, which has a capacity of 43,147.
The stadium has undergone several renovations. Fiorentina are known by the nickname Viola, a reference to their distinctive purple colours. Associazione Calcio Fiorentina was founded in the autumn of 1926 by local noble and National Fascist Party member Luigi Ridolfi, who initiated the merger of two older Florentine clubs, CS Firenze and PG 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 Northwest Italy. Influential was the cultural revival and rediscovery of Calcio Fiorentino, an ancestor of modern football, played by members of the Medici family. After a rough start and three seasons in lower leagues, Fiorentina reached the Serie A in 1931; that same year saw the opening of the new stadium named after Giovanni Berta, a prominent fascist, but now known as Stadio Artemio Franchi. At the time, the stadium was a masterpiece of engineering, its inauguration was monumental. To be able to compete with the best teams in Italy, Fiorentina strengthened their team with some new players, notably the Uruguayan Pedro Petrone, nicknamed el Artillero.
Despite enjoying a good season and finishing in fourth place, Fiorentina were relegated the following year, although they would return to Serie A. In 1941, they won their first Coppa Italia, but the team were unable to build on their success during the 1940s because of World War II and other troubles. In 1950, Fiorentina started to achieve consistent top-five finishes in the domestic league; the team consisted of great players such as well-known goalkeeper Giuliano Sarti, Sergio Cervato, Francesco Rosella, Guido Gratton, Giuseppe Chiappella and Aldo Scaramucci but above all, the attacking duo of Brazilian Julinho and Argentinian Miguel Montuori. This team won Fiorentina's first scudetto in 1955–56, 12 points ahead of second-place Milan. Milan beat Fiorentina to top spot the following year, but more Fiorentina became the first Italian team to play in a European Cup final, when a disputed penalty led to a 2–0 defeat at the hands of Alfredo Di Stéfano's Real Madrid. Fiorentina were runners-up again in the three subsequent seasons.
In the 1960–61 season, the club won the Coppa Italia again and was successful in Europe, winning the first Cup Winners' Cup against Scottish side Rangers. After several years of runner-up finishes, Fiorentina dropped away in the 1960s, bouncing from fourth to sixth place, although the club won the Coppa Italia and the Mitropa Cup in 1966. While the 1960s did result in some trophies and good Serie A finishes for Fiorentina, nobody believed that the club could challenge for the title; the 1968–69 season started with Milan as frontrunners, but on matchday 7, they lost to Bologna and were overtaken by Gigi Riva's Cagliari. Fiorentina, after an unimpressive start moved to the top of the Serie A, but the first half of their season finished with a 2–2 draw against Varese, leaving Cagliari as outright league leader; the second half of the season was a three-way battle between the three contending teams, Milan and Fiorentina. Milan fell away, instead focusing their efforts on the European Cup, it seemed that Cagliari would retain top spot.
After Cagliari lost against Juventus, Fiorentina took over at the top. The team won all of their remaining matches, beating rivals Juve in Turin on the penultimate matchday to seal their second, last, national title. In the European Cup competition the following year, Fiorentina had some good results, including a win in the Soviet Union against Dynamo Kyiv, but they were knocked out in the quarter-finals after a 3–0 defeat in Glasgow to Celtic. Viola players began the 1970s decade with Scudetto sewed on their breast, but the period was not fruitful for the team. After a fifth-place finish in 1971, they finished in mid-table every year flirting with relegation in 1972 and 1978; the Viola did win the Anglo-Italian League Cup in 1974 and won the Coppa Italia again in 1975. The team consisted of young talents like Vincenzo Guerini and Moreno Roggi, who had the misfortune to suffer bad injuries, above all Giancarlo Antognoni, who would become an idol to Fiorentina's fans; the young average age of the players led to the team being called Fiorentina Ye-Ye.
In 1980, Fiorentina was bought by Flavio Pontello. He changed the team's anthem and logo, leading to some complaints