Udinese Calcio

Udinese Calcio

Infobox Football club
clubname = Udinese

fullname = Udinese Calcio SpA
nickname = "Bianconeri" ("White-blacks"), "Zebrette" ("little zebras")
founded = 1896
ground = Stadio Friuli, Udine, Italy
capacity = 30,900 | chairman = flagicon|Italy Franco Soldati
mgrtitle = Head Coach
manager = flagicon|Italy Pasquale Marino
league = Serie A
season = 2007-08
position = Serie A, 7th
pattern_la1= _pinstripesonwhite|pattern_b1=_thinstripesonwhite|pattern_ra1= _pinstripesonwhite

Udinese Calcio is an Italian football club based in Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, which currently plays in Serie A.

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 30,900. It has a large number of fans in Friuli and surrounding areas, and it is sometimes seen as the best symbol of Friulian pride.


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 2-0; however this title but is not recognised as official.

On July 5, 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 against Juventus Palmanova, and won 6-0.

It was only in 1912-13 when 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 Serie A, then known as 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 1920-21 season, which ended with the Friuliani eliminated in the "Eliminatoria Veneta", was memorable because it was the debut of Gino Bellotto, who is still the player who has played more seasons with Udinese than any other, spending a total of 17 seasons with the "Zebrette".

In 1922, Udinese, taking advantage the absence of big clubs, entered the C.C.I. Italian Football Championship and reached the Coppa Italia final losing 1-0 against F.C. Vado, thanks to an extra time goal.

In the league, Udinese came 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 sides in the competition.

The 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 August 24, 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 Second Division in which they came fourth.

The 1924-25 season was memorable. The team was included in Group F II Div. The championship was very even and at the end of the tournament, three teams were in contention to win: Udinese, Vicenza and Olympia River. Playoffs were needed to determine who would reach the final round.

Udinese beat in 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 to win as Vicenza fielded an ineleigble 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, to Prima Categoria. In the following season, Udinesefinished 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, not lost in the play-off against Legnano and lost their place in the top flight.

They remained in Seconda Categoria until the end of the 1928-29 season when Serie A and Serie B were created, with Prima Categoria becoming 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 Prima Categoria, 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 Friuliani 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 1954-55 season, when they came second only behind Milan. It was after that season, however, that Udinese was relegated because of an offence committed on May 31, 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 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 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 1985-86 season, the team was embroiled in a betting scandal and was penalised nine points for the 1986-87 season. Despite a desperate comeback the towards the end of the season, Udinese were relegated to Serie B. Had they not been deducted points, Udinese would have survived the drop.

The 90s and 2000s: Europe

During the following years, Udinese became a yo-yo club, frequently being promoted to Serie A and relegated back to B. This situation lasted until the 1995-96 season, from which point on, they established themselves in Serie A.

The 1996-97 season saw Udinese qualify for the UEFA Cup, with Alberto Zaccheroni as manager. The following season, they managed a resounding third place finish behind Juventus and Inter, 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 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 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, Werder Bremen and F.C. Barcelona. Despite their first match ending in a brilliant 3-0 win over PAO, courtesy of a brilliant Vincenzo Iaquinta hattrick, the team failed to qualify for the knockout rounds, coming third in their group, equal on points with second placed Werder and behind eventual champions Barcelona.

After a year in the Champions League, Udinese finished 10th and returned once more to midtable 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 2007-08 season started well with a draw at home against champions Internazionale, but the enthusiasm was quickly erased after the first home match which finished in a 5-0 loss to newly promoted Napoli. After this match, Udinese's fortunes changed, starting with a victory over Juventus thanks to a late Antonio Di Natale goal. Approaching the end of the season, Udinese found themselves in fourth position surprising everyone. They could not maintain this pace however, and fell to 7th. The team continued to fight until the penultimate round for a Champions League place with Milan and Sampdoria, however had to settle for a place in the UEFA Cup.

At the start of the 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.


*UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1

*Mitropa Cup: 1

*Anglo-Italian Cup: 1

*Ciutat de Barcelona Trophy: 1

*Coppa Italia Primavera: 1

Current squad

"As of October 4 2008" [cite web|publisher=Udinese Calcio|language=Italian|accessdate=2008-07-22|url=http://www.udinese.it/squadra/|title=Udinese Calcio 2008/2009]

Out on loan

"For all transfers and loans pertaining to Udinese for the current season, please see: 2007–08 transfers".

Notable former players

"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"

*flagicon|Italy Valerio Bertotto
*flagicon|Italy Marco Branca
*flagicon|Italy Franco Causio
*flagicon|Italy Morgan De Sanctis
*flagicon|Italy Francesco Dell'Anno
*flagicon|Italy Luigi Del Neri
*flagicon|Italy Giuliano Giannichedda
*flagicon|Italy Vincenzo Iaquinta
*flagicon|Italy Paolino Pulici
*flagicon|Italy Dino Zoff

*flagicon|Brazil Edinho
*flagicon|Brazil Zico
*flagicon|Brazil Márcio Amoroso

*flagicon|Germany Oliver Bierhoff
*flagicon|Germany Carsten Jancker

*flagicon|Argentina Roberto Nestor Sensini
*flagicon|Argentina Abel Balbo
*flagicon|Argentina Daniel Bertoni

*flagicon|Spain Ricardo Gallego

*flagicon|Denmark Thomas Helveg
*flagicon|Denmark Martin Jørgensen

*flagicon|Ghana Sulley Muntari
*flagicon|Ghana Stephen Appiah

Czech Republic
*flagicon|Czech Republic Marek Jankulovski

*flagicon|Chile David Pizarro

*flagicon|Belgium Johan Walem

*flagicon|Peru Gerónimo Barbadillo

Managerial history

World Cup winners

* Franco Causio (Spain 1982)
* Vincenzo Iaquinta (Germany 2006)

Famous coaches

*flagicon|Italy Alberto Zaccheroni
*flagicon|Italy Luciano Spalletti


External links

* [http://www.udinese.it Official website] it icon

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