Calcio Catania

Calcio Catania

Football club infobox
clubname = Catania

fullname = Calcio Catania SpA
nickname = "Rossazzurri" ("Red and light-blues"),
"Gli Elefanti" ("The Elephants"),
"Etnei" ("Etneans")
founded = 1908 (Educazione Fisica Pro Patria) [cite web|url=||accessdate=2007-06-20]
1946 (Club Calcio Catania)
ground = Stadio Angelo Massimino,
Catania, Italy
capacity = 23,420
chairman = flagicon|Italy Antonino Pulvirenti
manager = flagicon|Italy Walter Zenga
league = Serie A
season = 2007-08
position = Serie A, 17th
pattern_sh1=_red stripes
pattern_sh2=_red stripes

Calcio Catania is an Italian football club founded in 1908 and are based in Catania, Sicily. The club has spent much of its history in Serie B, gaining promotion to Italy's top league Serie A five times. They currently compete in Serie A after climbing back up the football pyramid.

The club has achieved moderate success in the top league, the highest position ever reached by the club is 8th in Serie A twice, both during the early 1960s. The furthest Catania have progressed in cup competitions is the final of the Coppa delle Alpi.


The origins of football being played by representatives of the Province of Catania can be traced back to English cargo ships, thanks to the workers who brought the game to Sicily. Specifically the earliest Catania team can be traced to match which took place on 2 May 1901 at "San Raineri di Messina" against Messina, the team was named Royal Yacht Catania; an English ship with a local Catanian crew. [cite web|url=||accessdate=2007-06-20]

The ship workers team was just a pastime however, Catania's first professional and most stable football club was founded on 19 June 1908, by Italian film director Gaetano Ventimiglia and Francesco Sturzo d'Aldobrando, who founded the club under the name A.S. Educazione Fisica Pro Patria. Early on they would always play against sailors visiting the port of Catania, particularly foreign ships. Though their first ever match was against Regina Margherita an Italian battleship, the game ended in a 1-1 draw and the Catania line-up that day consisted of; Vassallo, Gismondo, Bianchi, Messina, Slaiter, Caccamo, Stellario, Binning, Cocuzza, Ventimiglia and Pappalardo. Just two years later they changed the name to Unione Sportiva Catanese. [cite web|url=||accessdate=2007-06-20]

In the North of Italy, football was more organised and those clubs competed in the early Italian Football Championships, while Catania and other Southern clubs competed in competitions such as the Lipton, Sant' Agata and Agordad cups. U.S. Catanese survived the First World War and just after it played in the local Coppa Federale Siciliana. Seven seasons later in 1927 they were entered into the Campionato Catanese, which was won in the 1928-29 season. As they gained promotion the club were entered into the Second Division, and changed their name first to Società Sportiva Catania. They first competed in Serie B in the 1934-35 season [cite web|url=||accessdate=2007-06-20] where they finished 4th; that season Genoa won the Serie B title.

Catania played in the league for three seasons during this period, before being relegated. Down in Serie C, Catania were crowned champions in the 1938-39 season, finishing above Sicilian rivals Siracusa and Messina (who came in 2nd and 3rd respectively). Their return to Serie B was not a pleasant one, the club finished bottom of the league and won only three games that season. The club's name was briefly changed to Associazione Calcio Fascista Catania during the 1942-43 season in Serie C, which ended prematurely because of the 2nd World War.


After World War II ended, a local competition was organised, the Campionato Siciliano. US Catanese were back; at the end of that season a local team named Elefante Catania [cite web|url=||accessdate=2007-06-20] were merged into the club. The merged club kept the Catanese name and competed in Serie C during the 1945-46 season, but finished last. In the same league that season a team called Virtus Catania were also present and finished 8th. [cite web|url=||accessdate=2007-06-20]

At the end of the season, Catanese and Virtus merged together to form Club Calcio Catania, with the first president as Santi Manganaro-Passanisi (who had been president of Catanese). They were entered into Serie C where they spent three seasons, after an epic duel with Reggina for first place Catania prevailed with stars such as Goffi, Messora, Ardesi and Prevosti, gaining promotion to Serie B during 1948-49.

Calcio Catania's Golden years

The late 1950s through 1960s are considered the "golden years" for the Catanian club, as they managed to achieve promotion to Serie A on two separate occasions during this time. Their first promotion from Serie B came, when in the 1953-54 season Catania beat out Cagliari and Lombardy side Pro Patria to be crowned champions of the division. Their first season in Serie A, saw Catania achieve a respectable 12th place finish, but the club were forcibly relegated due to financial scandal (as were Udinese).

Under the management of Carmelo Di Bella (who had played for the club in the late '30s) Catania gained promotion from Serie B in the 1959-60 season. The race for promotion in third spot went down to the last day of the season and was very tense. Catania had lost their final game 4-2 to Brescia and needed Parma to get a good result against Triestina for the Sicilian club to secure promotion. That is exactly what happened and Catania had thus gained promotion once more. .

Catania returned into Serie A for the 1960-61 season, to begin what would be a six-year stay in the league. Their return season was emphatic as the newly promoted club finished in 8th above top Italian clubs such as Lazio and Napoli. This season produced several notable wins; they beat Napoli and Bologna twice, Sampdoria 3-0 at home and most notably they beat AC Milan 4-3 in Sicily and then on the final day of the season they beat Internazionale 2-0, with goals from Castellazzi and Calvanese. This rubbed the salt into the wounds of Inter who lost the closely contested title that year to Juventus.

Four years later in 1965 they would also finish 8th in the league, this time above Roma and Sicilian rivals Messina. Many of the club's most notable stars played around this time, such as; midfielders Alvaro Biagini and the Brazilian Cinesinho, along with wingers Carlo Facchin and Giancarlo Danova in the side. Catania more than held their own amongst the giants of Italian football, with wins against Juventus (2-0), Fiorentina (2-0) and Lazio (1-0).

Mixed fortunes in the 70s and 80s

After their relegation in 1966 Carmelo Di Bella left and Catania stayed in Serie B; clashing with Palermo in the Sicilian derby before the Palermitan club were promoted. Catania followed in 1969-70 with a third place finish; though their stay in Serie A this time was very brief and they were relegated back down after one season. Their most impressive results that season was 3-1 win against Lazio and a draw at home against AC Milan, Catania lacked goalscorers at the time as they only scored 18 goals all-together in 30 games. Worse was to come for the club, who in 1973-74 were relegated down to Serie C, but fortunately for the club they were able to bounce straight back with a promotion into Serie B as champions. A similar situation happened in 1976-77, where they were relegated down to Serie C. This time however, they were not able to bounce right back; they finished 2nd and then 3rd before finally being crowned champions of what was now known as Serie C1 in 1979-80.

After three short seasons, Catania were promoted in 3rd place behind AC Milan and Lazio, into Serie A. They played the 1983-84 season in Italy's top league, but it proved to be an especially dismal season, with only one win (which came against Pisa) and 12 points despite the presence of Claudio Ranieri and Brazilian imports Luvanor and Pedrinho.

Decline and revival

The decline of Catania started most evidently after its last relegation to Serie B. The team was no longer able to reach the top division of Italian football, and instead continued to decline, being relegated for a while into Serie C1 for the latter part of the 1980s. The lowest point of the club's history, however, was reached in 1993, when the team was cancelled by the FIGC because of financial irregularities.

However, after a long judicial battle, the magistrature declared the Italian Federation decision as invalid, and forced it to include the team back into the footballing fold. Catania was thus included in the Sicilian Eccellenza (the sixth level of Italian football), but in the meantime another Sicilian football team, Atletico Leonzio from Lentini (in the Province of Syracuse), had been relocated in the city and renamed Atletico Catania. Despite all of this, the "real" Catania was able to rise back to Serie C in a relatively small number of years, and even back to Serie B in 2002.

During 2003, Catania was at the centre of a controversy that led to the enlargement of Serie B from 20 to 24 teams, known as "Caso Catania". The club claimed that Siena fielded an ineligible player in a 1-1 tie, a result which saw Catania relegated, whereas the two extra points from a victory would have kept them safe. They were awarded a 2-0 victory, before the result being reverted, and then re-awarded again. In August, the FIGC decided to let Catania, along with Genoa and Salernitana stay in Serie B, the newly-reborn Fiorentina were also added for the 2003-04 season. The ruling led to protests and boycotts by the other Serie B clubs that delayed the start of the season.

The league went down to 22 teams for 2004-05, while at the same time Serie A expanded from 18 to 20 teams. During the start of that season, Antonino Pulvirenti, chairman of the flight company Windjet and owner of Acireale, a Sicilian Serie C1 team, bought the club. Catania's new ownership let the team enjoy a revival, and in 2005-06 Catania ended in second position, earning promotion to Serie A.

Return to Serie A

The 2006-07 season saw Catania in Serie A for its first appearance in 22 years. In their first season back Catania began well, though they recorded a couple of heavy defeats, their home form saw them peak as high as 4th after 20 games.

Their return season changed drastically on 2 February 2007, due to the 2007 Catania football violence incident. It happened during the Sicilian derby with Palermo, policeman Filippo Raciti was killed during football-related violence caused by Catania ultras outside the Massimino stadium. [ [ "Italian league halted by violence"] - BBC News] The event led FIGC commissioner Luca Pancalli to cancel all football-related events in the country for a period of time; including league and national team matches. Catania chairman and owner Antonino Pulvirenti announced his willingness to leave the football world, stating it was not possible to go on producing football in Catania.

After the Italian football league restarted, Catania continued on but dropped in form largely. In truth their slump in form had started just before the derby incident and all together they failed to win for twelve games in a row, before beating Udinese 1-0 in late April 2007, [cite web|url=||accessdate=2007-06-20] they eventually finished 13th.

The following season, with Marino leaving for Udinese and Silvio Baldini taking charge of the team, proved to be much harder. Poor results in the league table were however coupled with impressive performance in the Coppa Italia, where Catania reached a historical place in the semi-finals, then lost to Roma. Meanwhile, Baldini resigned from his post on March 31, 2008, being replaced by Walter Zenga in a somewhat surprise appointment (at least due to Zenga's lack of expertise at the Serie A level). Despite this, Zenga managed to lead the "rossoblu" off the relegation zone, saving his side from falling down to Serie B in a heated final week game, a 1–1 home tie to Roma, with an equaliser goal scored by Jorge Andrés Martínez at the 85th minute. Zenga was successively confirmed in charge of the team for the upcoming 2008–09 season.

Current squad

"As of 2008-09-01" [cite web|url=|author=La Gazzetta dello Sport|title=Catania - Campionato di Serie A |accessdate=2008-09-01|language=Italian]

Out on loan

Notable former players

*flagicon|Italy Enzo Bearzot
*flagicon|Italy Amedeo Biavati
*flagicon|Italy Riccardo Carapellese
*flagicon|Italy Fabio Gatti
*flagicon|Italy Claudio Ranieri
*flagicon|Italy Ennio Mastalli
*flagicon|Italy Giovanni Vavassori
*flagicon|Brazil Pedrinho
*flagicon|Brazil Cinesinho
*flagicon|Belgium Luis Oliveira
*flagicon|Belgium Johan Walem
*flagicon|Peru Juan Vargas
*flagicon|Romania Nicolae Dică"See Also: "

Presidential history

Catania have had several presidents over the course of their history, some of which have been the owners of the club, others have been honorary presidents, here is a list of them from 1946 onwards.

Managerial history

Catania have had many managers and trainers throughout the history of a club, in some seasons more than one manager was in charge. Here is a chronological list of them from 1946 onwards. [ [] ]

tadium information

*Name: Stadio Angelo Massimino
*Location: Catania
*Capacity: 23,420
*Inauguration: 27 November 1937
*Pitch Size: 110 x 70 metres

Catania first made their debut at the Stadio Angelo Massimino, then called the Stadio Cibali in 1937. The stadium was renamed in honour of former president Angelo Massimino in 2002. Massimini had been president of the club from 1969 until this death in 1996.

It has been proposed that the club would move to a 33,765 seater stadiun named Stadio Dèi Palici, which is to be located in the southern outskirts of the city of Catania in an industrial zone called Pantano d'Arci. [cite web|url=||accessdate=2007-06-20]


Serie B
*Champions: 1953-54
*Promoted: 1959-60, 1969-70, 1982-83, 2005-06

Coppa delle Alpi
*Runners-up: 1964

Serie C / Serie C1
*Champions: 1938-39, 1947-48, 1948-49, 1974-75, 1979-80
*Promoted: 2001-02

Serie C2
*Champions: 1998-99

Serie D
*Champions: 1994-95

Eccellenza Sicily
*Promoted: 1993-94

Club records

*Highest League Position: 8th, in the 1960-61 and 1964-65 seasons.
*Most League Appearances: 281, Damiano Morra between 1975 and 1984.
*Most League Goals: 47, Guido Klein and Adelmo Prenna.
*Most Serie A Appearances: 150, Giuseppe Vavassori between 1961 and 1966.


External links

* [ Catania's official website]

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