Founded in 1903, Hellas Verona counts among one of Italy’s oldest clubs. Starting off in the regional division of Veneto and Emilia and then the Northern and old national league, the Gialloblu were admitted to Serie B upon the restructuring of the Italian football pyramid in 1929.
The team has spent the majority of its 113-year existence in the country’s second tier, barring nine seasons spent in Serie C in two separate spells and eight stints in Serie A, beginning with their promotion as champions in 1957, only to be relegated the following campaign.
Following one of the quieter decades in the club’s rollercoaster ride of a history, Verona reached the top-flight again in 1968 and they made a much better fist of things, with a number of mid-table finishes before their demotion to Serie B six years later.
After the next eight years spent yo-yoing between the top two tiers and losing the 1976 Coppa Italia final to Napoli, the club enjoyed its most fruitful period of all in the 80s, when Osvaldo Bagnoli led the Gialloblu to an impressive fourth place in 1983, another cup final in 1984 (won by Roma) and an historic Scudetto title in 1985.
This last achievement triggered a series of memorable European nights for Bagnoli’s men, including their reaching the Champions League last 16 in 1986 after a brace from legendary Danish striker Preben Elkjaer in each leg of their tie against PAOK Salonicco. In 1988, the Gialloblu went as far as they have ever gone in continental competition – the UEFA Cup quarter-finals, where they were eliminated by Werder Bremen.