Juventus
    05.12.2013 12:27 - in: Serie A S

    Bologna in the spotlight

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    Juventus.com takes an in-depth look at Bologna, who face the Bianconeri on Friday evening at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara

    Club

    Bologna, who play in the city’s red and blue colours, are a historic club who have won the Italian league championship seven times.

    It was an Austrian, Emilio Arnstein, who was the key figure in the club’s inception in 1909, seeking out fellow players of what was then a strange and minor game and assembling a team in the city.

    In their first two games, played on the same afternoon in 1910, the new outfit won 10-0 and 9-1 against Sempre Avanti and Virtus respectively, before entering the league championship for the first time in 1910/11.

    The Rossoblu’s first Scudetto title arrived in 1924/25, when Alba Roma were conquered 6-0 on aggregate in the final.

    And a golden generation, many of whom were also consecutive world champions with Italy in 1934 and 1938, brought five more league titles before World War II.

    But the side then experienced a dip in form, and it wasn’t until 1963/1964 that they won another one, their seventh and last Scudetto win.

    In 1970, the Rossoblu won their first Coppa Italia title in their inaugural year under ex-Azzurri manager Edmondo Fabbri, and they lifted it again in 1974 with victory over Palermo in Rome.

    Following that, the club came increasingly close to relegation from Serie A until the final blow was struck at the end of the 1981/82 season, though a positive memory for the fans that year was a 16-year-old Roberto Mancini playing all 30 games and becoming the team’s top scorer with nine.

    But the supporters were left broken hearted again the following year when they witnessed another relegation, this time to Serie C.

    Having risen back up to Serie A, in 1998 they tasted European success as one of the Intertoto Cup winners and remained in the top flight until 2005.

    The 2006/07 Serie B season saw them compete with eventual winners Juventus, and after promotion to the top flight the following year the club celebrated its centenary in 2009/10.

    Last season, the Rossoblu finished in a solid 13th position in the Serie A table, bolstered by top scorer Alberto Gilardino’s haul of 13 goals.

    Stadium

    Bologna play their home games at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, named after the famous club president who passed away three days before the side won the 1963/64 Scudetto title.

    The history of the stadium began in 1925, when King Vittorio Emanuele III put the very first stone in place, and it was opened by Benito Mussolini as the Stadio Littoriale a year later.

    The first match played there, in front of a record 60,000-strong crowd, was between Italy and Spain in 1927.

    The 42-metre-high Torre di Maratona was completed in 1929. The red-brick tower, which sits in the stand, has become the symbol of the stadium.

    The ground witnessed the World Cup qualifiers’ quickest ever goal when San Marino’s Davide Gualteri netted after just nine seconds against England, and it has also hosted Italian rugby test matches. 

    Transfer Activity

    The most high-profile arrival in the Bologna ranks is former Manchester City man and ex-Torino captain Rolando Bianchi from the Granata.

    The 30-year-old striker will be asked to fill the shoes of two striking departures: last season’s top scorer Alberto Gilardino, who has moved to Genoa, and star of Italy’s Under 21 World Cup campaign Manolo Gabbiadini, let go on a co-ownership deal between Juventus and Sampdoria.

    Inter youngster Denis Alibec has arrived on loan, while major talent Saphir Taider has moved the other way and Marco Motta has returned to Juventus after spending the season on loan with the Rossoblu.

    Current Team

    The team talisman is undoubtedly attacking midfielder Alessandro Diamanti. With 11 assists last season, he has found his best ever form of late, cementing a regular place in the Azzurri team and scoring the winning penalty in their Euro 2012 quarter-final win over England.

    Playing alongside him in midfield are Greek duo Panagiotis Kone and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, both talented creative forces.

    Experienced left wing-back Marek Cech has had spells at Sparta Prague, Porto, West Bromwhich Albion and Trabzonspor in the past, and has long been a member of the Slovakia national side.

    Usually lining up in defence, but suspensded on this occasion, is ex-Juve Danish Under 21 international Frederik Sorensen. He joined the Bianconeri youth academy in 2010 and made 17 appearances for the senior side before joining the Rossoblu on a co-ownership agreement in 2012.

    Manager

    Stefano Pioli is the man leading Bologna through their 2013/14 campaign.

    A former defender, the 48-year-old began his career at Parma in 1982, but made his Serie A debut with none other than Juventus two years later. In 1989, he then moved to Fiorentina, where he had the longest spell of his playing career.

    From 1999 to 2002, Pioli coached the Bologna youth team, winning an Allievi Nazionali championship there, before making his senior Serie A managerial debut with his home-town club Parma.

    After mixed success with Serie B clubs Grosetto, Piacenza and Sassuolo, he was back in a top-flight hotseat at Chievo Verona in 2010. He held the Palermo job for just 90 days in 2011, and he then returned to where he started with Bologna in October of that year.

     

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