is a football (soccer) club from Italy.
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Udinese Calcio is an Football in Italy club based in Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and currently plays in the Serie A. Founded in 1896, Udinese is the second oldest club in the Serie A, after Genoa C.F.C..
The traditional team home kit is black and white striped shirt, black shorts, and white socks. The club plays in the Stadio Friuli, which has a capacity of 41,652 (although it is currently limited to 30,900). It has a large number of fans in Friuli and surrounding areas.
Foundation and early years
Udinese Calcio was established in 1896 as part of the Società Udinese di Ginnastica e Scherma
, (Udinese Society of Gymnastics and Fencing). In its inaugural year, the club won the Torneo FNGI in Treviso beating Ferrara Calcio 2–0; however this title is not recognised as official.
On 5 July 1911, some gymnasts of Udinese, headed by Luigi Dal Dan, founded the A.C. Udinese which joined the FIGC. The new side made its debut in a friendly match against Juventus Palmanova, and won 6–0.
It was only in Italian Football Championship 1912-13 that Udinese first took part in an official FIGC championship. In that year they enrolled in the Campionato Veneto di Promozione
, which consisted of just three teams (the others were Petrarca and Padova). With two victories against Padova (3–1 and 5–0), Udinese finished the tournament in second place behind Petrarca and were promoted to first-level Prima Categoria. In Prima Categoria, Udinese failed to reach the national stage, always knocked out in the Eliminatoria Veneta
The 20s: Coppa Italia final
The Italian Football Championship 1920-21 season, which ended with the Friulani eliminated in the Eliminatoria Veneta
, was memorable because it was the debut of Gino Bellotto, who is still the player who has played the most seasons with Udinese, spending 17 seasons with the Zebrette
In 1922, Udinese, taking advantage of the absence of big clubs, entered the Italian Football Championship 1921-22 (F.I.G.C.) and reached the Coppa Italia final losing 1–0 against F.C. Vado, thanks to an overtime goal.
In the league, Udinese finished second in Girone Eliminatorio Veneto
, which allowed them to remain in the top flight for the next season, despite a reform of the championships that reduced the number of teams in the competition.
The Italian Football Championship 1922-23 season was a disastrous one for Udinese, as they came last in and were relegated to the second division. The team risked failure for debts in 1923. On 24 August 1923, AS Udinese separated from AC Udinese Friuli, and the club was forced to set up a budget and an autonomous board. Fortunately, all debts were paid by President Alessandro Del Torso through the sale of some of his paintings and Udinese could thus join the Serie B in which they came fourth.
The 1924–25 season was memorable. The team was included in Group F II Division. The championship was very even and at the end of the tournament three teams were in contention to win: Udinese, Vicenza Calcio and Olympia River. Playoffs were needed to determine who would reach the final round.
Udinese beat Olympia in a playoff 1–0 and drew 1–1 with Vicenza. In the play-off standings, Udinese and Vicenza were still in the lead with 3 points each. Another play-off was then played to determine the winner. After a first encounter finished 0–0, Udinese lost a replay 2–1 but were awarded the win as Vicenza fielded an ineligible player, a Hungarian called Horwart. Udinese reached the finals in place of Vicenza.
In the final round, Udinese finished first and was promoted, alongside Parma F.C., to Prima Divisione. In the following season, Udinese finished 10th and was relegated again. However, the format of the championship was again reformed and Udinese had another chance to reclaim their place in the top flight. They competed in play-offs with seven other sides for the right to play in Serie A. The winner would remain in the top flight. The club, however, lost the playoff against Legnano and lost their place in the top flight.
They remained in Second Division until the end of the 1928–29 season when Serie A and Serie B were created, with Udinese falling into the third tier (Terza Serie). The first season in Terza Serie was a triumphant one and Udinese were promoted up to Serie B.
The 30s and 40s
The stay in Serie B lasted only two years, and after the 1931–32 season, the team returned to the third division. Udinese remained in the third tier (later renamed Serie C in 1935) until 1938–39, when coming second in Girone Finale Nord di Serie C, they were promoted to Serie B.
The Zebrette remained in Serie B for a dozen years, with average performances and were relegated to Serie C at the end of the 1947–48 season due to a reform of the championships. This relegation, however, was followed by two consecutive promotions, and thanks to an excellent second place finish in the Serie B 1949-50, the Friulani won a historic promotion to Serie A.
The 50s: Second place in A, and relegation back to B
Udinese remained in Serie A for five seasons and almost claimed an historic Scudetto in the Serie A 1954-55 season, when they came second only behind A.C. Milan. It was after that season, however, that Udinese was relegated because of an offence committed on 31 May 1953, the last day of the championship, which was exposed two years later. The Friuliani returned to Serie A after one season in B and in the following season was confirmed among the best Italian teams with an excellent fourth place finish.
The 60s and 70s: Decline
A decline followed those good seasons, however, with Udinese first relegated back down to Serie B in 1961–62 and then to Serie C in 1963–64. Udinese remained in C for about fifteen years missing promotion back to B on numerous occasions. It was only after the 1977–78 season that the Friuliani, led by manager Massimo Giacomini, returned to B winning Girone A. In the same season, they won the Coppa Italia Semiprofessionisti
, beating Reggina Calcio and also won the Anglo-Italian Cup.
The 80s: Mitropa Cup and the scandal of 1986
During the next season, Udinese with Giacomini as their manager, won Serie B and returned after more than two decades to Serie A. In their first year back after so long, the team survived after a disappointing 15th place finish. In Europe, they fared much better, winning the Mitropa Cup, a European Cup for teams that had won the previous season of Serie B.
In subsequent seasons the team managed to survive relegation without any particular difficulty also managing an impressive sixth place in Serie A 1982-83. At that time Udinese had on its books one of the club's all time greatest players, the Brazilian Zico.
At the end of the Serie A 1985-86 season, the team was embroiled in a betting scandal and was penalized nine points for the Serie A 1986-87 season. Despite a desperate comeback towards the end of the season, Udinese were relegated to Serie B. Had they not been deducted points, Udinese would have survived.
The 90s and early 2000's: Europe
During the following years, Udinese were promoted to Serie A and relegated back to B on several occasions. This situation lasted until the Serie A 1995-96 season, from which point on, they established themselves in Serie A.
The Serie A 1996-97 season saw Udinese qualify for the UEFA Cup, with Alberto Zaccheroni as manager. The following season, they managed a third place finish behind Juventus F.C. and F.C. Internazionale Milano, largely thanks to Oliver Bierhoff's 27 goals.
In March 2001, Luciano Spalletti was appointed manager, replacing Luigi De Canio. Spalletti managed to lead the team to survival on the penultimate matchday. Following brief periods with Roy Hodgson and Giampiero Ventura on the bench, Spalletti was again appointed manager of Udinese at the beginning of the Serie A 2002-03 season, finding an organized and ambitious club which again reached the UEFA Cup, playing attacking and entertaining football.
The surprising fourth place finish at the end of the Serie A 2004-05 season saw Udinese achieve their first qualification for the UEFA Champions League in the history of the club. At the end of that same season, Spalletti announced his intention to leave Udinese.
The following season, Udinese played in the Champions League preliminary round, beating Sporting Lisbon 4–2 on aggregate. Udinese were drawn in a tough group alongside Panathinaikos FC, SV Werder Bremen and FC Barcelona.
After a year in the Champions League, Udinese finished 10th and returned once more to mid-table mediocrity. The turning point occurred during the summer of 2007, when the club announced the appointment of Sicilian manager Pasquale Marino and also made various quality purchases including Fabio Quagliarella and Gökhan Inler.
The Serie A 2007-08 season started well with a draw at home against champions F.C. Internazionale Milano, but the enthusiasm was quickly erased after the first home match which finished in a 5–0 loss to newly promoted S.S.C. Napoli. After this match, Udinese's fortunes changed, starting with a victory over Juventus thanks to a late Antonio Di Natale goal. Udinese remained in contention for the fourth Champions League spot with A.C. Milan, ACF Fiorentina and U.C. Sampdoria until the end of the season, but ultimately finished in seventh place, qualifying for the UEFA Cup 2008-09.
At the start of the Serie A 2008-09 season, during the press conference to present the new season's shirt, the new official website was also presented, and an absolute novelty in the Italian championship, the first Web TV channel dedicated to a football club called Udinese Channel was launched, totally free and visible worldwide.
In 2008–2009, Udinese had a mixed bag of results in Serie A with a 3–1 win at A.S. Roma and a 2–1 win over Juventus, but 1–0 losses against Reggina Calcio, A.C. ChievoVerona and Torino F.C. dented their hopes of Champions League qualification. In the UEFA Cup, Udinese found themselves in a group with potential favourites Tottenham Hotspur F.C., N.E.C. (football club), and NK Dinamo Zagreb, but eased through the group with a convincing 2–0 win against Tottenham. They beat Lech Poznań in the next round 4–3 on aggregate, and then beat holders FC Zenit St. Petersburg 2–1 on aggregate. In the quarterfinal against Werder Bremen, with injuries to star players Antonio Di Natale, Samir Handanović, and Felipe Dias da Silva dal Belo, they lost 6–4 on aggregate. Fabio Quagliarella managed eight goals in the campaign. They finished the Serie A 2008-09 season in 7th spot, missing out on any European football the following year.
The Serie A 2009-10 was an extremely disappointing ones for the players and fans alike. Even though Antonio Di Natale managed to score 29 goals in the league and finished top goalscorer, the season was spent battling against relegation. In the end they finished in 15th, 9 points and 3 places clear of the drop zone. The only highlight of the campaign was reaching the semi-final of the Coppa Italia, beating Lumezzane in the Round of 16, A.C. Milan in the Quarter Finals and eventually losing 2–1 to Roma over the two legs.
In the summer transfer window of 2010, Udinese sold a few key players: Gaetano D'Agostino, Simone Pepe, Marco Motta and Aleksandar Lukovic. They also brought in players that proved to be the key to their success in the Serie A 2010-11 Serie A. They were Mehdi Benatia and Pablo Armero, a stopper and fullback respectively. After a poor start to the season, losing their first four games and drawing the fifth, Udinese went on to record their highest points total in history and finished in 4th spot, again earning themselves a spot in the UEFA Champions League qualifying round. Antonio Di Natale, with 28 goals, became the first back-to-back capocannoniere since SS Lazio's Giuseppe Signori accomplished the feat in Serie A 1992-93 and Serie A 1993-94. A 0–0 home draw with A.C. Milan on the final matchday secured the Champions League spot for Udinese. Coach Francesco Guidolin kept his promise of "dancing like Boateng" if they qualified for the Champions League and did a little jig in the middle of the pitch. In the Coppa Italia, Udinese lost to U.C. Sampdoria in the round of 16 on penalties after the match ended 2-2.
The 2011- 2012 season continued in much the same fashion, even though Udinese lost three key players to larger clubs; Alexis Sanchez to Barcelona, Gokhan Inler to fellow Champions League club Napoli and Christian Zapata to Villareal. In the Champions League qualifying round Udinese were drawn against Arsenal, and lost the away leg 1-0. At the Stadio Friuli Udinese lost 2-1, 3-1 on aggregate, and entered the 2011-12 Europa League group phase. Antonio Di Natale missing a penalty that at the time would have taken Udinese through. Domestically, Udinese started strong but with their quality shown in defence, conceding the least of all teams after 15 games, only 7.
- UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1
- - UEFA Intertoto Cup 2000
- Mitropa Cup: 1
- - 1980
- Anglo-Italian Cup: 1
- - 1978
- Coppa Italia Primavera: 1
- - 1993
- Campionato Nazionale Primavera: 1
- - 1981
- Coppa Italia Serie C: 1
- - 1978
As of 4 January, 2012
(Captain (association football))
Out on loan
Returning from loan
Youth team squad
Including only players with at least 100 appearances in the club, a topscorer title during their stay with the club, or an appearance in a FIFA World Cup edition
- Guglielmo Bacci
- Valerio Bertotto
- Lorenzo Bettini
- Marco Branca
- Alessandro Calori
- Franco Causio
- Gaetano D'Agostino
- Luigi De Agostini
- Morgan De Sanctis
- Francesco Dell'Anno
- Antonio Di Natale
- Stefano Fiore
- Dino Galparoli
- Giuliano Giannichedda
- Vincenzo Iaquinta
- Roberto Muzzi
- Simone Pepe
- Alessandro Pierini
- Paolo Poggi
- Paolo Pulici
- Fabio Quagliarella
- Fabio Rossitto
- Luigi Turci
- Dino Zoff
- Abel Balbo
- Daniel Bertoni
- Mauricio Pineda
- Néstor Sensini
- Roberto Sosa (footballer)
- Johan Walem
- Márcio Amoroso
- Edino Nazareth Filho
- Felipe dal Belo
- David Pizarro
- Alexis Sánchez (footballer)
- Mauricio Isla
- Cristián Zapata
- Marek Jankulovski
- Thomas Helveg
- Martin Jørgensen
- Per Krøldrup
- Oliver Bierhoff
- Carsten Jancker
- Stephen Appiah
- Asamoah Gyan
- Sulley Muntari
- Marek Koźmiński
- Igor Shalimov
- Samir Handanovič
- Aleksandar Luković
- Ricardo Gallego
- Arne Selmosson
- Gökhan İnler
(1982 FIFA World Cup)
- Vincenzo Iaquinta (2006 FIFA World Cup)
Name: Udinese Calcio
President: Franco Soldati
Manager: Francesco Guidolin
Address: Via Agostino e Angelo Candolini, 2 - 33100 Udine