U.S. Sassuolo Calcio
Unione Sportiva Sassuolo|
|Nickname(s)||I Neroverdi (The Black and Greens)|
|Founded||17 July 1920|
|Manager||Roberto De Zerbi|
|2017–18||Serie A, 11th|
Unione Sportiva Sassuolo Calcio (Italian pronunciation: [sasˈswɔːlo]) is an Italian professional football club based in Sassuolo, in the province of Modena. Their colours are black and green, hence the nickname "neroverdi".
Founded in 1920, Sassuolo have played in Serie A from the 2013–14 season, joining a select group of teams not belonging to a provincial capital city: Empoli, Legnano, Pro Patria, Carpi and Casale.
The club was founded in 1920 and played in the Emilian amateur divisions for most of its history until its first promotion to Serie D in 1968. In this era, the club merged with other local football teams to eventually form the current US Sassuolo Calcio in 1974. In 1984, it first gained promotion to Serie C2, the lowest level of professional football in Italy. However, they were relegated again in 1990 and subsequently spent most of the decade back in Serie D. In 1998, a second-place finish ensured promotion back to Serie C2.
Sassuolo reached Serie C1 in 2006 after winning the Serie C2 promotion play-offs by beating Sansovino in the final. In the following years, Sassuolo proved to be a serious contender for promotion to Serie B, barely missing it in 2007, with Gian Marco Remondina as head coach, as they lost immediate promotion to Grosseto in the final season days, and were defeated by fifth-placed Monza in the play-off semi-finals. Remondina then left Sassuolo to join Serie B's Piacenza, and former Serie A player Massimiliano Allegri was then chosen as new head coach.
Under Allegri, Sassuolo quickly revived their hopes to obtain promotion to Serie B; this ultimately came on 27 April 2008, when they won the Serie C1/A title, thus ensuring a historical promotion to Serie B, the first in the club's history.
Following Sassuolo's promotion to the Italian second tier, Allegri left Sassuolo to fill the head coaching position at Serie A team Cagliari. On July 2008, the club appointed former Atalanta and Siena boss Andrea Mandorlini for the 2008–09 season.
Sassuolo had a surprisingly good start to the 2008–09 campaign and held a promotion playoff place for very long time. They only won two points in their last five matches to eventually finish in seventh place. Despite a successful season, Mandorlini left Sassuolo by mutual consent in June 2009, whereupon the team then appointed former Piacenza coach Stefano Pioli on 11 June 2009.
In the 2012–13 season, however, under the guidance of new head coach Eusebio Di Francesco, Sassuolo won the Serie B title, thus achieving direct promotion to Serie A and ensuring a first top-flight campaign ever for the 2013–14 season.
During pre-season training, Sassuolo won the TIM Trophy after losing to Juventus on penalties then beating Milan 2–1, marking the first time a team other than Milan, Internazionale or Juventus have won the Cup.
On 25 August 2013, Sassuolo played their first-ever Serie A match, a 2–0 loss away at Torino. The team's second match was their first at home, against Livorno, where striker Simone Zaza scored Sassuolo's first top-flight goal as they lost 4–1. On 22 September 2013, Sassuolo endured a heavy 7–0 defeat at home to Internazionale. The team earned their first point in their fifth match, on 25 September away to Napoli. Zaza equalised as the game finished 1–1, ending the hosts' perfect start to the season. This was followed by a first home point on 29 September, a 2–2 draw with Lazio. On 20 October 2013, Sassuolo won their first Serie A game, defeating Bologna 2–1 at home with goals from Domenico Berardi and Antonio Floro Flores, moving the club off bottom place. Sassuolo won away for the first time in Serie A on 3 November against Sampdoria, with Berardi scoring their first top-flight hat-trick to win 4–3. Since the following match, a 1–1 draw at Roma on 10 November, the club has been outside the relegation zone. On 12 January 2014, Berardi was the only player in the season to score four goals in a game, as Sassuolo came from 2–0 down to win 4–3 against Milan. Towards the end of January 2014, Sassuolo were in bottom place and so manager Di Francesco was relieved of his duties and Alberto Malesani was brought in. The managerial change did not have the desired effects and so in early March, Sassuolo re-entrusted the side to the management of Di Francesco. Sassuolo won its away match against Fiorentina 4–3 on 6 May 2014, and after winning 4–2 against Genoa on 11 May, Sassuolo guaranteed its place in Serie A for the 2014–15 season. Berardi finished in equal 7th place in the Serie A top scorers list, with 16 goals for the season.
The Neroverdi had a much better 2014–15 Serie A season, finishing comfortably beyond relegation in 12th place. Berardi was once more the club's top goalscorer with 15 league goals.
Sassuolo improved again in the 2015–16 Serie A season, finishing ahead of the likes of Milan and Lazio in sixth place. The season included an opening day win over Napoli, a Round 10 1–0 victory over Juventus at Mapei Stadium and a 1–0 victory over Inter at the San Siro.
On 21 May 2016, Sassuolo achieved their first ever Europa League qualification after finishing sixth in Serie A courtesy of a Juventus Coppa Italia win over Milan as Milan would have gone to Europe instead if they had won the final. On 25 August 2016, Sassuolo qualified for the Europa League group stage after beating Red Star Belgrade 4–1 on aggregate in the playoff round.
Starting from the 2013–14 season, the first Serie A campaign for the club, Sassuolo plays in Reggio Emilia at the renovated Stadio Città del Tricolore (formerly Stadio Giglio) in a venue-sharing agreement with Lega Pro Prima Divisione club Reggiana.
- As of 13 August 2018
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.