FIORENTINA HISTORY

There were fears that Fiorentina would never play in the top flight again after the catastrophic summer of 2002. The Viola had just been relegated to Serie B and then plunged down another two Divisions after their financial collapse.

The club had lost everything, including their name for a short while as the new team were called Florentia Viola. However, they won promotion to Serie C1 at the first attempt only to be catapulted into Serie B after being ‘invited’ to join the expanded championship. A play-off victory against Perugia ensured that they had their Serie A status back after just 24 months away.

Fiorentina are one of the great clubs in Italian football despite their limited success. They’ve won Lo Scudetto just twice, along with numerous Italian Cups, but they’ve spent the majority of their lifetime in A. In fact they’ve only spent four years outside of the Division since 1931.

Their 2005-06 dream fourth-placed finish ended in tears after the Gigliati were found to be involved in the Calciopoli scandal. The Viola avoided demotion to Serie B on appeal, but despite an initial 19-point penalty managed to qualify for the UEFA Cup the season after.

Vincenzo Montella’s outfit have qualified for the rebranded Europa League for the last two consecutive seasons now, narrowly losing 2-1 on aggregate to Juventus in the quarter-finals last campaign. La Viola also reached their first Coppa Italia Final in 2013-14 since they last won it in 2000-01 but lost 3-1 to Napoli.