Cagliari Calcio

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Club crest
Full name Cagliari Calcio SpA
Nickname(s) I Rossoblu (The Red-blues)
Gli Isolani (The Islanders)
I Sardi (The Sardinians)
Castéddu (Sardinian name for Cagliari)
Founded 30 May 1920; 94 years ago (1920-05-30)
Ground Stadio Sant'Elia,
Cagliari, Italy
Ground Capacity 11,650
President Tommaso Giulini
Head coach Zdeněk Zeman
League Serie A
2013–14 Serie A, 15th
Current season

Cagliari Calcio (Italian: [ˈkaʎʎari]; Sardinian: Casteddu) is an Italian football club based in Cagliari, Sardinia. The club was formed in 1920 and currently plays in Serie A, having spent recent years in Serie A and Serie B.

They won their only scudetto in 1970, when they were led by Italian national team's all-time leading scorer, Gigi Riva. The triumph was also the first by a club from south of Rome. Cagliari's colours are blue and red. The club's stadium is the 5,000 seater (expected to be 16,000 after the current renovation) Stadio Sant'Elia in Cagliari. During the 2012–13 season, however, the team temporarily played their home games at the Stadio Is Arenas, in Quartu Sant'Elena.

The club's best European performance was in the 1993–94 UEFA Cup, losing in the semi-finals to Inter Milan.


Before Serie A[edit]

Cagliari became the first ever out-right champions of Serie C during the 1951–52 season, prior to that in the league the championship was shared amongst more than one team. They spent the 1950s from then on in Serie B, losing a promotion play-off in 1954. After descending to Serie C in the early 1960s, Cagliari's rise would be meteoric- eventually achieving promotion to Serie A in 1964.

First Serie A adventure: 1964–1976[edit]

Forward Luigi Riva led Cagliari to their first Serie A title in 1969–70.

The squad for the Rossoblu's debut season in Serie A featured players like defender Mario Martiradonna, midfielders Pierluigi Cera, Nené and Ricciotti Greatti, and forward Luigi Riva. A poor first half of the season saw Cagliari in last place with 9 points at the halfway mark. An astonishing second half of the season saw Cagliari defeat the likes of Juventus and Milan and finish in 7th place with 34 points. Two seasons later Riva finished Serie A top scorer for the first time while Cagliari finished with the league's best defensive record.

During the summer of 1967, Cagliari played a season in North America as part of a fledgling league called the United Soccer Association. This league from Europe and South America to play in American and Canadian cities, with each club bearing a local name. Cagliari played as the Chicago Mustangs, and finished joint second in the league's Western Division with 13 points, two behind the division champion and eventual league champion Los Angeles Wolves. The league's leading scorer was Chicago/Cagliari's Roberto Boninsegna, who scored 10 goals while playing in 9 of the team's 12 games.

Cagliari first emerged as serious Serie A title contenders in 1968–69 with a three-horse race involving them, Fiorentina and Milan. Fiorentina would win the league, but the following season would bring ultimate glory. With Angelo Domenghini joining the side, Cagliari would win the title in 1970 with only two games lost, 11 goals conceded (the fewest in any major European league to date) and Riva as league top scorer once more. Players like Cera, Domenghini and Riva played in Italy's 1970 World Cup Final team.

The 1970s would see a gradual decline (though were title contenders two years after their one and only scudetto win) Cagliari were finally relegated in 1976 with Riva's career having effectively ended during that season.

Up and down again: 1976–87[edit]

After relegation, Cagliari lost a play-off for promotion the following season and would return to Serie A in 1979. Players like Franco Selvaggi, Mario Brugnera (a survivor of the 1970 team) and Alberto Marchetti ensured a respectable four-year stay in the top flight before a second relegation in 1983. The 80s would then prove to be a darker time compared to the previous two decades with relegation to Serie C1 in 1987.

There and back: 1987–2000[edit]

Cagliari spent two seasons in Serie C1. In the first one it barely avoided relegation in Serie C2. In 1988, Claudio Ranieri was appointed coach, and led the team to two successive promotions, to Serie B in 1989 and to Serie A in 1990. The first two seasons back in Serie A saw Cagliari fight relegation, with safety being achieved by excellent second half runs. But season 1992–93 would see Cagliari fight for a European place and succeed under the management of Carlo Mazzone. The following season saw a run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, unprecedented for the Sardinian club.

The next few years would see Cagliari return to mid-table anonymity, before a struggle in 1996–97 saw Cagliari relegated after losing a play-off to Piacenza. Once more they bounced back after just one year, but their next stay in Serie A lasted just two seasons.

Once and again: 2000 onwards[edit]

Cagliari spent the next four seasons in Serie B, for most part in mid-table mediocrity. But 2003–04 would see the Rossoblu, led by Sardinian-born Gianfranco Zola, mount a successful promotion challenge and the following season saw Cagliari hold their own in Serie A with a respectable mid-table finish. The following season was a quiet one for the Sardinians, they obtained a good mid-table position (12th place).

The 2005–06 season, the first without Zola, started in the worst way possible for Cagliari, who changed their manager three times, with Attilio Tesser, Daniele Arrigoni and Davide Ballardini alternating to the position of coach, before Nedo Sonetti, appointed in November, was able to save the team from a relegation, thanks to goals from Honduran striker David Suazo. For the 2006–07 season, Marco Giampaolo was signed as head coach, however he was fired after the 17th match and replaced by Franco Colomba. However, after a number of poor performances ending in a 2–0 home defeat to Lazio, Colomba was sacked, and chairman Cellino chose to reinstate Giampaolo as head coach. Giampaolo was confirmed for the 2007–08 season, and his contract was extended for two more years.

Cagliari spent the 2012–13 season at the Stadio Is Arenas in Quartu Sant'Elena

The 2007–08 season saw the flagship strikers David Suazo, Esposito and Langella leave for Internazionale, Roma and Atalanta respectively, and the experienced goalkeeper Chimenti leave for Udinese. The club reinforced itself with youngsters likes Acquafresca, Matri, Foggia, Argentine Larrivey and Slovenian Koprivec . Nedo Sonetti returned to coach the Rossoblu in November 2007 after Giampaolo was relieved of his duties as a result of poor results in the first part of the 2007–08 Serie A season that saw them sink to the bottom of the Serie A standings. In the January transfer window, Cagliari made changes to their squad with goalkeepers Vincenzo Marruocco and Marco Fortin replaced by Marco Storari and Luca Capecchi, along with experienced striker Jeda, and the Sardinian midfielder Andrea Cossu. With these new players Cagliari won many matches and continued their climb up the table eventually ending the season at 14th. The 2008–09 season saw Cagliari start their season badly losing their first 5 matches. However, despite their rough start, they went on to end the season at a comfortable 9th place, 19 points above relegation.

Cagliari's coach, Pierpaolo Bisoli, was fired on 15 November 2010 and replaced by former Italy and Napoli coach Roberto Donadoni which is sacked on 12 August 2011.

Cagliari started the 2011–12 season with Massimo Ficcadenti as head coach, then replaced by comeback man Davide Ballardini. A few weeks before the end of season, Ballardini was however removed as head coach due to poor results and Ficcadenti was reinstated. At the end of the season, Cagliari has played their home games at Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste, after the historical club stadium was closed down in March 2012. Cagliari used Stadio Is Arenas in Quartu Sant'Elena as its home venue for the 2012–13 season, coming back to the Sant'Elia (still under renovation) in the following season.

Colours, badge and nicknames[edit]

Cagliari's 2008 third kit
Cagliari's crest used prior to 1970
Cagliari's previous logo

The official red and blue colours of Cagliari mirror those featured on the stemma of Cagliari.[1] The red parts of the stemma are a reference to the coat of arms of the House of Savoy, a family which was previously the monarchy of Italy and more relevantly to Cagliari in particular, the Kingdom of Sardinia.[1] The blue part of the stemma features the sky and the sea, also a castle; this is because the old historic center of Cagliari is walled and called the Castello.[1] Due to the use of these colours on their shirt in halves, the club is commonly nicknamed rossoblu.[2]

Cagliari have had several different logo designs during their history, all of which feature the Flag of Sardinia.[3] Usually the badge also features the club colours, if there is a change the main difference has been the colour of the border or the shape.[3]

Currently the badge features an upright-oval which is coloured in blue and red halves, it features the club's name in black. Inside this is an Old French-shaped escutcheon with red and blue halves, with the colours the opposite way around to the outer layer; inside this is the flag of Sardinia and the club's foundation date, 1920 in black.[3] However, the badge was not changed to match the change in the Sardinian flag in 1992, when the Moors' heads were turned to the right; on the Cagliari logo the heads still look to the left.

Due to the fact that Cagliari are the main club from the island of Sardinia, they are nicknamed the Isolani (Islanders).[4]


National titles[edit]

  • Serie B:
    • Runners-up (3): 1963–64, 1978–79, 2003–04
  • Serie C / Serie C1:
    • Winners (4): 1930–31, 1951–52, 1961–62, 1988–89
  • Campionato Sardo di I Divisione:
    • Winners (1): 1936–37

European titles[edit]


Current squad[edit]

First team[edit]

As of 3 February, 2015.[5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Italy GK Simone Colombi
2 Uruguay DF Alejandro González (on loan from Verona)
3 Italy DF Nicola Murru
4 Italy MF Lorenzo Crisetig (on loan from Inter)
5 Italy MF Daniele Conti (captain)
7 Italy MF Andrea Cossu (vice-captain)
8 Brazil DF Danilo Avelar
9 Italy FW Samuele Longo (on loan from Inter)
10 Brazil MF João Pedro
13 Brazil FW Caio Rangel
14 Italy DF Francesco Pisano
15 Italy DF Luca Rossettini
16 Italy MF Daniele Dessena
17 Brazil FW Diego Farias (on loan from Chievo)
18 Italy MF Nicolò Barella
No. Position Player
20 Sweden MF Albin Ekdal
21 Italy DF Antonio Balzano
22 Czech Republic MF Josef Husbauer (on loan from Sparta Prague)
25 Italy FW Marco Sau
27 Italy GK Alessio Cragno
28 Italy GK Werther Carboni
29 Italy MF Mattia Muroni
30 Ghana MF Godfred Donsah
32 Italy DF Luca Ceppitelli
33 Italy DF Marco Capuano
37 France DF Modibo Diakité
40 Democratic Republic of the Congo FW Paul-Jose M'Poku (on loan from Al-Arabi)
44 Serbia GK Željko Brkić (on loan from Udinese)
90 Croatia FW Duje Čop (on loan from Dinamo Zagreb)


Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
12 Italy MF Alessandro Capello (at Varese)
19 Italy FW Antonio Loi (at Carpi)
23 Colombia FW Víctor Ibarbo (at A.S. Roma)
24 Italy DF Simone Benedetti (at Bari)
26 Sweden MF Sebastian Eriksson (at IFK Göteborg)
Italy DF Davide Astori (at Roma)
No. Position Player
Italy DF Dario Del Fabro (at Leeds United)
Romania DF Ștefan Popescu (at Ternana)
Italy MF Andrea Demontis (at San Marino)
Italy MF Alessandro Masia (at Grosseto)
Italy MF Marco Piredda (at Ternana)

Retired numbers[edit]

11Italy Luigi Riva, Forward, 1963–78

Notable former players[edit]

Including only players with at least 100 appearances in the club, or an appearance in a FIFA World Cup edition

Presidential history[edit]

Cagliari have had numerous presidents over the course of their history, some of which have been the owners of the club, others have been honorary presidents, here is a complete list of them:[6]

  • Antonio Zedda (1921)
  • Gaetano Fichera (1920–21)
  • Giorgio Mereu (1921–22)
  • Angelo Prunas (1922–24)
  • Agostino Cugusi (1924–26)
  • Vittorio Tredici (1926–28)
  • Carlo Costa Marras (1928–29)
  • Enzo Comi (1929–30)
  • Giovan Battista Bosazza (1930–31)
  • Guido Boero (1931–32)
  • Vitale Cao (1932–33)
  • Enrico Endrich (1933)
  • Pietro Faggioli (1933–34)
  • Aldo Vacca (1934–35)
  • Mario Banditelli (1935–40)
  • Giuseppe Depperu (1940–43)
  • Eugenio Camboni (1944–46)
  • Umberto Ceccarelli (1946–47)
  • Emilio Zunino (1947–49)
  • Domenico Loi (1949–53)
  • Pietro Leo (1953–54)
  • Efisio Corrias (1954–55)
  • Ennio Dalmasso (1955–57)
  • Giuseppe Meloni (1958–60)
  • Enrico Rocca (1960–68)
  • Efisio Corrias (1968–71)
  • Paolo Marras (1971–73)
  • Andrea Arrica (1973–76)
  • Mariano Delogu (1976–81)
  • Alvaro Amarugi (1981–84)
  • Fausto Moi (1984–86)
  • Luigi Riva (1986–87)
  • Lucio Cordeddu (1987)
  • Antonio Orrù (1987–91)
  • Massimo Cellino (1991–05)
  • Bruno Ghirardi (2005–06)
  • Massimo Cellino (2006–14)
  • Tommaso Giulini (2014–present)

Managerial history[edit]

Cagliari have had many managers and trainers, some seasons they have had co-managers running the team, here is a chronological list of them from when they founded in 1920 onwards.[7]

World Cup winners[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Stemma Provincia di Cagliari". Comuni-Italiani. 24 June 2007. 
  2. ^ "Cagliari, e' Matri il primo colpo rossoblu: arriva dal Rimini". Eurosport. 24 June 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c "Cagliari Calcio". 24 June 2007. 
  4. ^ "Cagliari Calcio". 24 June 2007. 
  5. ^ "Prima squadra" [First team]. Cagliari Calcio (in Italian). Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Presidenti". 8 Jun 2007. 
  7. ^ "Allenatori Dal 1920 Ad Oggi". 27 Aug 2007. 

External links[edit]