|Full name||Associazione Calcio Firenze Fiorentina SpA|
|Nickname(s)||Viola (purple), Gigliati (Lilies)|
|Founded||1926 (AC Fiorentina)
2002 (ACF Fiorentina)
|Ground||Stadio Artemio Franchi
|Owners||Diego and Andrea Della Valle|
|Head coach||Vincenzo Montella|
|2011–12||Serie A, 13th|
|Website||Club home page|
ACF Fiorentina, commonly referred to as simply Fiorentina, is a professional Italian football club from Florence, Tuscany. Founded by a merger in 1926 (refounded in 2002 following bankruptcy), Fiorentina have played at the top level of Italian football for the majority of their existence; only four clubs have played in more Serie A seasons.
Fiorentina have won two Italian Championships, in 1955–56 and again in 1968–69, as well as winning six Coppa Italia trophies and one Italian Super Cup. 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, and also came close to winning the UEFA Cup, finishing as runners-up in the 1989–90 season.
Since 1931, the club have played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, which currently has a capacity of 47,282. The stadium has used several names over the years and has undergone several renovations. Fiorentina are known widely by the nickname Viola, a reference to their distinctive purple colours.
Foundation to World War II 
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. 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.
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, originally named Giovanni Berta, after a prominent fascist, but now known as Stadio Artemio Franchi. At the time, the stadium was a masterpiece of engineering, and its inauguration was monumental. In order 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 quickly 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.
First scudetto and '50–'60s 
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 (Italian championship) in 1955–56, 12 points ahead of second-place Milan. Milan beat Fiorentina to top spot the following year, but more significantly 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 by 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 also successful in Europe, winning the first Cup Winners' Cup against Rangers.
After several years of runner-up finishes, Fiorentina dropped away slightly in the 1960s, bouncing from fourth to sixth place, although the club won the Coppa Italia and the Mitropa Cup in 1966.
Second scudetto and '70s 
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 match day 7, they lost to Bologna and were overtaken by Gigi Riva's Cagliari. Fiorentina, after an unimpressive start, then 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, Cagliari, and Fiorentina. Milan fell away, instead focusing their efforts on the European Cup, and it seemed that Cagliari would retain top spot. After Cagliari lost against Juventus, however, Fiorentina took over at the top. The team then won all of their remaining matches, beating rivals Juve in Turin on the penultimate matchday to seal their second, and 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 eventually 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 especially fruitful for the team. After a fifth place finish in 1971, they finished in mid-table almost every year, even 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, and above all Giancarlo Antognoni, who would later become an idol to Fiorentina's fans. The young average age of the players led to the team being called Fiorentina Ye-Ye.
Pontello era 
In 1980, Fiorentina was bought by Flavio Pontello, who came from a rich house-building family. He quickly changed the team's anthem and logo, leading to some complaints by the fans, but he started to bring in high-quality players such as Francesco Graziani and Eraldo Pecci from Torino; Daniel Bertoni from Sevilla FC; Daniele Massaro from Monza; and a young Pietro Vierchowod from Sampdoria. The team was built around Giancarlo Antognoni, and in 1982, Fiorentina were involved in an exciting duel with rivals Juventus. After a bad injury to Antognoni, the league title was decided on the final day of the season when Fiorentina were denied a goal against Cagliari and were unable to win. Juventus won the title with a disputed penalty and the rivalry between the two teams erupted.
The following years were strange for Fiorentina, who vacillated between high finishes and relegation battles. Fiorentina also bought two interesting players, El Puntero Ramón Díaz and, most significantly, the young Roberto Baggio.
In 1990, Fiorentina fought to avoid relegation right up until the final day of the season, but did reach the UEFA Cup final, where they again faced Juventus. The Turin team won the trophy, but Fiorentina's tifosi once again had real cause for complaint: the second leg of the final was played in Avellino (Fiorentina's home ground was suspended), a city with a lot of Juventus' fans, and emerging star Roberto Baggio was sold to the rival team on the day of the final. Pontello, suffering from economic difficulties, was selling all the players and was forced to leave the club after serious riots in Florence's streets. The club was then acquired by the famous filmmaker Mario Cecchi Gori.
Cecchi Gori era: from Champions League to bankruptcy 
The first season under Cecchi Gori's ownership was one of stabilization, after which the new chairman started to sign some good players like Brian Laudrup, Stefan Effenberg, Francesco Baiano and, most importantly, Gabriel Batistuta, who became an iconic player for the team during the 1990s. In 1993, however, Cecchi Gori died and was succeeded as chairman by his son, Vittorio. Despite a good start to the season, Cecchi Gori fired the coach, Luigi Radice, after a defeat against Atalanta, 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, Italy's second division. Upon their return to Serie A, Ranieri put together a good team centred around new top scorer Batistuta, signing the young talent Rui Costa from Benfica and the new world champion Brazilian defender Márcio Santos. The former became an idol to Fiorentina fans, while the second disappointed and was sold after only a season. The Viola finished the season in 10th place.
The following season, Cecchi Gori bought other important players, namely Stefan Schwarz. The club again proved its mettle in cup competitions, winning the Coppa Italia against Atalanta and finishing joint-third in Serie A. In the summer, Fiorentina became the first non-national champions to win the Supercoppa Italiana, defeating Milan 2–1 at the San Siro.
Fiorentina's 1995–96 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 Luís 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 in Spain 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 1998–99 but finished the season in third, earning them qualification for the Champions League. The following year was disappointing in Serie A, but Viola played some historical matches in the Champions League, beating Arsenal 1–0 at the old Wembley Stadium and Manchester United 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 Roma, who eventually won the title the following year. Fiorentina played well in 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.
The year 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 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 2002–03 season, and as a result effectively ceased to exist.
The 2000s: 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 the club 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. Due to the bizarre Caso Catania (Catania Case), however, 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 finished the 2003–04 season in sixth place and won the playoff against Perugia to return to top-flight football.
In their first season back in Serie A, however, the club struggled to avoid relegation, only securing survival on the last day of the season on head-to-head record against Bologna and Parma. In 2005, Della Valle decided to appoint Pantaleo Corvino as new sports director, followed by the appointment of Cesare Prandelli as head coach in the following season. The club made several signings during the summer transfer market, most notably Luca Toni and Sébastien Frey. This drastic move earned them a fourth place finish with 74 points and a Champions League qualifying round ticket. Toni scored 31 goals in 38 appearances, the first player to pass the 30-goal mark since Antonio Valentin Angelillo in the 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 match fixing 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 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. In spite of this penalty, they managed to secure a place in the UEFA Cup.
Despite Toni's departure to Bayern Munich, Fiorentina had a strong start to the 2007–08 season and were tipped by Italian national team coach Marcello Lippi, among others, as a surprise challenger for the Scudetto, and although this form tailed off towards the middle of the season, the Viola managed to qualify for the Champions League. In Europe, the club reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup, where they were ultimately defeated by Rangers on penalties. The 2008–09 season continued this success, a fourth place finish assuring Fiorentina's spot in 2010's Champions League playoffs. Their European campaign was also similar to that of the previous run, relegated to the 2008–09 UEFA Cup and were eliminated by AFC Ajax in the end.
In the 2009–10 season, Fiorentina started their domestic campaign strongly before steadily losing momentum and slipped to mid-table positions at the latter half of the season. In Europe, the team proved to be a surprise dark horse: after losing their first away fixture against Olympique Lyonnais, they staged a comeback with a five-match streak by winning all their remaining matches (including defeating Liverpool home and away). The Viola qualified as group champions, but eventually succumbed to Bayern Munich due to the away goals rule. This was controversial due to a mistaken refereeing decision by Tom Henning Øvrebø, who allowed a clearly-offside goal for Bayern in the first leg. Bayern eventually finished the tournament as runners-up, making a deep run all the way to the final. The incident called into attention the possible implementation of video replays in football. Despite a good European run and reaching the semi-finals in the Coppa Italia, Fiorentina failed to qualify for Europe.
During this period, on 24 September 2009, Andrea Della Valle resigned from his position as Chairman of Fiorentina, and announced all duties would be temporarily transferred to Mario Cognini, Fiorentina's Vice-President until a permanent position could be filled.
The 2010s: Post-Prandelli Era 
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 Italian national team. Catania's young Siniša Mihajlović was appointed to replace him. Come the 2010–11 Serie A, despite not having the distraction of a European competition, Fiorentina spent the early weeks of the season in last place. This season was plagued with a widespread injury problems that saw most of the starting XI sidelined for significant portions of the year, particularly first-choice goalkeeper Sébastien Frey, who ended his season early, and star man Stevan Jovetić, who missed the season entirely. The team's form later improved and the Viola finished ninth.
In spite of pressures, Mihajlović remained at the helm for the 2011–12 season. At this point pillars from the Prandelli era were allowed to leave, including Adrian Mutu and Sébastien Frey. With these apparent signs of decline, coupled with mediocre performances in the league, pressures were again mounting, as the club looked no closer of achieving the immediate post-Prandelli objective of returning to Europe. Following a 1–0 defeat to Chievoin November, Mihajlović was sacked and replaced by Delio Rossi.
Supporters warmed to Rossi, but after a brief period of improvements, the Viola was again dragged down to battle the relegation dogfights. By early 2012, the team had also lost striker Alberto Gilardino and sporting director Pantaleo Corvino—the latter was sacked following a 0–5 home defeat to Juventus. With top player Riccardo Montolivo set to leave on Bosman in the summer, Fiorentina steadily moved away from their 2009 side. Despite poor records, their bid for survival was kept alive by a number of upset victories away from home, particularly at Roma and Milan—the latter was significant as it allowed Juventus to leapfrog Milan to the top of the table, where they remained for the remainder of the season. The lowest point of the campaign was the home game against Novara: trailing 0–2 within half an hour, manager Rossi decided to substitute midfielder Adem Ljajić early. The latter sarcastically applauded him in frustration, but Rossi retaliated by physical assault. Montolivo's second-half brace salvaged a point by making it 2–2, and the team was faced with needing one point to avoid the drop with only two matches to go. Despite the obvious crisis that would have resulted in firing a manager at this delicate stage, the club was forced to sack Rossi following the Ljajić incident. In the next match away at Lecce (who were also battling relegation), Fiorentina secured survival under caretaker manager Vincenzo Guerini by winning it 1–0 courtesy of a lone Alessio Cerci goal. They finished thirteenth.
To engineer a resurrection, the Della Valle family invested heavily in the summer of 2012. Sporting director Daniele Prade, appointed earlier as Corvino's successor, staged a major overhaul of the team's roster. Arrivals of particular note were new coach Vincenzo Montella, goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano, and a quartet of playmakers: Matías Fernández, Borja Valero, Alberto Aquilani, and David Pizarro. The scale of the turnaround was so large that 17 out of the 26 senior players were new players, 9 of which are among the starting XI. By the end of the transfer window, only two players, Jovetić and Manuel Pasqual, remained from the Champions League class of 2009.
The effects were immediate, as the new Viola closed 2012 in joint third place. There was a dip in form in January, but the month also saw them securing the services of Villarreal CF striker Giuseppe Rossi, the third Villarreal player signed during the season.
Current squad 
- As of 31 January 2013
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan 
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Reserve Team 
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
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.
Club strip 
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.
Today's logo is a kite shaped double lozenge bordered in gold. The outer lozenge has a purple background with the letters "AC" in white and the letter "F" in red, standing for the club's name. The inner lozenge is white with a gold border and the red fleur-de-lis of Florence. 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 €2.5 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 lilies 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 
World Cup winners 
- Mario Pizziolo (Italy 1934)
- Giancarlo Antognoni (Spain 1982)
- Francesco Graziani (Spain 1982)
- Giovanni Galli (Spain 1982)
- Pietro Vierchowod (Spain 1982)
- Daniele Massaro (Spain 1982)
- Daniel Passarella (Mexico 1986)
- Luca Toni (Germany 2006)
- Alberto Gilardino (Germany 2006)
National titles 
Europeans titles 
- Runners-up (1): 1956–57
- Runners-up (1): 1989–90
Minor titles 
- Winners (1) : 1966
- Winners (1) : 1975
Serie C2 (as Florentia Viola)
- Winners: 2002–03
ACF Fiorentina as a company 
|Operating income||(€49,772,471) (2011)|
|Net income||(€32,474,084) (2011)|
|Total assets||€156,972,324 (2011)|
|Total equity||€50,612,014 (2011)|
|Owner(s)||Diego Della Valle & C. Sapa (98.98%)
Andrea Della Valle (1.02%)
|Parent||Diego Della Valle & C. Sapa|
|Subsidiaries||Campus Viola srl
Firenze Viola srl
Promesse Viola srl
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 the 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 €17.7 million to €24 million. However the club suffered from 2006 Italian football scandal, meant the club did not qualify for 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 outweighed by the increase in wage. In the 2009 financial year, Fiorentina made a net profit of €4,442,803, largely due to the profit on selling players (€33,631,489 from players such as Felipe Melo, Giampaolo Pazzini and Zdravko Kuzmanovic; increased from about €3.5 million in 2008). However it also offset by the write-down of selling players (€6,062,545, from players such as Manuel da Costa, 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. In the 2011 financial year, the turnover slipped to €67,076,953, as the club's lack of capital gains from selling players and 2010 financial year still included the instalments from UEFA for participating 2009–10 UEFA Europa League. Furthermore, the gate income had dropped from €11,070,385 to €7,541,260. The wage bill did not fall much and in reverse the amortization of transfer fee had sightly increased due to new signing. La Viola had saving in other cost but counter-weighted by huge €11,747,668 write-down for departed players, due to D'Agostino, Frey and Mutu, but the former would counter-weight by co-ownership financial income, which all made the operating cost remained high as worse as last year. Moreover in 2010 the result was boosted by acquiring the asset from subsidiary (related to AC Fiorentina) and the re-valuation of its value in separate balance sheet. If deducting that income (€14,737,855), 2010 financial year was net loss 24,342,208 and 2011 result was worsen €8,131,876 only in separate balance sheet.
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 and 2011 financial year.
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- UEFA.com. "1960/61: Fiorentina hold off Rangers' brave challenge".
- ACF Fiorentina Report and Accounts on 31 December 2006 (Italian)
- ACF Fiorentina Report and Accounts on 31 December 2007 (Italian)
- ACF Fiorentina Report and Accounts on 31 December 2008 (Italian)
- ACF Fiorentina Report and Accounts on 31 December 2009 (Italian)
- ACF Fiorentina Report and Accounts on 31 December 2010 (Italian)
- "Bilancio Fiorentina 2010: in perdita, nonostante la cessione del ramo commerciale". ju29ro.com (in Italian). 6 September 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Bilancio Fiorentina 2011: perdita da rendimento sportivo" (in Italian). Ju29ro.com. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- ACF Fiorentina SpA Report and Accounts on 31 December 2011 (Italian)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: ACF Fiorentina|
- Official website (Italian)
- Team page at Goal.com
- Team page at ESPN Soccernet
- Team Page at Football-Lineups.com
|UEFA Cup Winners Cup Winners