|Full name||Mantova Football Club|
|Ground||Stadio Danilo Martelli,
|League||Lega Pro Seconda Divisione/A|
|2013–14||Lega Pro Seconda Divisione/A, 8th|
|Website||(italian) Club home page|
Mantova Football Club is an Italian football club, based in Mantua, Lombardy. Mantova had played consecutively in the Italian Serie B from the 2005–06 season to 2009–10 as Associazione Calcio Mantova, when they were relegated after ending the season in 20th place.
Mantova was founded in 1911. They played in Serie A for 7 seasons (1961/62, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1971/72), being nicknamed in its initial period as Little Brazil (Piccolo Brasile). The third team shirt, green and yellow, actually remembers that period, by far the best one in the team history. Mantova also played for 8 seasons in Serie B, and won it in 1970/71.
Mantova was cancelled two times from the Italian football panorama, in 1983 and 1994, both times because of insolvency.
Mantova was promoted from Serie C2 to Serie B in two consecutive seasons, in 2003–2004 season as league champions and in 2004–2005 as runners-up and playoff winners. Mantova begun the 2005/06 Serie B football campaign introducing itself as a strong potential candidate for promotion to Serie A, despite its lack of players experienced with these levels (almost the same squad which promoted to Serie B the previous season) and a coach, Domenico Di Carlo, on just his second year as first team football trainer. The team led the Serie B table for a long part of the season, gaining an unexpected interest by the media. However, Mantova was not able to maintain the head of the league in the end, and the team concluded its season in fourth place, gaining a spot in the promotion playoffs. Successively, AC Mantova won its playoff semifinal against Modena F.C. after two ties (0–0, 1–1), being qualified thanks to its best placement in the regular season. The first playoff final, against Torino, saw Mantova winning at home 4–2. However, Mantova was not able to maintain this advantage in the return match, lost 3–1 in Turin after extra time, which allowed Torino FC to be promoted in Serie A because of a better placement in the regular season.
During the 2006–07 season, they became the first team to beat Juventus F.C., La Vecchia Signora, in a Serie B match. They ended the season in eighth place, confirming themselves in the top side of the league table. Following Di Carlo's resignations, Mantova appointed Attilio Tesser as new head coach for their 2007–08 Serie B campaign. As part of an ambitious summer transfer market, Mantova signed on 23 August 2007 the former Italian international Stefano Fiore. However their campaign proved to be disappointing as the team failed to break into the promotion playoff zone, resulting in the sacking of Tesser in the mid-season. He was replaced by Giuseppe Brucato, a young manager with no previous experience in the league, who guided the club to a mid-table finish in the season.
Brucato was confirmed as head coach of Mantova for the 2008–09 season. As Fiore parted company with the club following an unimpressive season with the virgiliani, he was replaced by Tomas Locatelli. However, Mantova failed to assure themselves a place in the higher ranks of the league, causing the sacking of Brucato following a 1–3 home defeat to Parma. The club successively appointed former AC Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta as new head coach. Costacurta later resigned and was replaced by Mario Somma, who led the club to a final 13th place, only two points ahead the relegation play-off zone.
For the 2009–10 season, Mantova was guided by former Italian international Michele Serena. The financial situation of the club was deteriorated, which the club raised the short term profit by player exchange, but also raised the long term amortisation cost. The club had swapped Mondini with Jidayi on 30 June 2008 in co-ownership deal for €750,000, made the clubs had player selling revenue of €1.5 million. In June 2009 also saw Jidayi returned to Cesena and Mondini back to Mantua, both 50% rights also tagged for €750,000. However it became a financial burden for both clubs, which Mantova had to amortise Mondini's value (€1.5 million) in instalments as amortisation. In June 2008 Mantova also swapped Valerio Di Cesare (€1M) and Simone Calori (€0.5M) with Riccardo Fissore (€0.5M) and Mattia Marchesetti (€1M). Again, Mantova had to amortise €0.5M in for 3 seasons for Fissore (€166,667) and Marchesetti (€333,333).
At the beginning of 2010–11 season, Mantova went bankrupt and a new entity was admitted to Serie D. Mantova came first in Girone B and gained promotion to 2011–12 Lega Pro Seconda Divisione. They finished 16th and only escaped relegation after beating both Calcio Lecco 1912 and U.S. Vibonese Calcio in playoffs. The first leg against Vibonese was a 0-0 stalemate at home leading to fears that the club wouldn't survive the away leg but went on to record a famous 4-0 victory. The home leg was viewed by over 3,000 people and Mantova enjoyed some of the strongest support of the 40 sides in Lega Pro Seconda Divisione. Throughout the 11/12 season Mantova sacked three managers and three sporting directors.
In the 2012–13 Lega Pro Seconda Divisione, Mantova had a solid season finishing 9th, nine points off a promotion playoff place and eleven points above a relegation playoff place. In the off season, 70% of Mantova is sold to former A.C. Sambonifacese president Michele Lodi, who becomes the president of Mantova.
The Lega Pro Seconda Divisione underwent a reformatting. The first eight teams in each girone, plus one team winning the relegation playoff round from each division will remain in Lega Pro. The last six teams in each girone, plus three relegation play-out losers from each division will be relegated to Serie D. In all, eighteen teams will remain in Lega Pro, and eighteen teams will be relegated to Serie D.
Notable former players
- See also Category:Mantova F.C. players.
Notable former coaches
- See also Category:A.C. Mantova managers.
- Ottavio Bianchi
- Roberto Boninsegna
- Mario Corso
- Alessandro Costacurta
- Edmondo Fabbri
- Nándor Hidegkuti
- AC Cesena SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2009 (Italian)
- Vicenza Calcio SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2008 (Italian)
- http://www.mantovafootballclub.it/squadra.php%7Ctitle=La Squadra