Thursday, October 25, 2007

History of Udinese Calcio

The club was founded in 1896 as part of the Società Udinese di Ginnastica e Scherma. In its very first season, the club won a regional tournament organised by the National Federation of Gymnastics (FGNI). This is considered by some the first national Italian football title.

The club played in the regional leagues until 1929 when it joined Serie B. Never outstandingly successful, the club was quickly relegated and did not return to that division until 1939. Promotion to the top division was first achieved in 1950, and a final second place was reached in 1955, but the club was relegated in that same year, following a nine point deduction for irregularities; the club bounced back the next season.

The club was relegated in 1961-62 and fell all the way to Serie C by 1964. The club remained in C for fourteen seasons before returning to B, and then reaching A in 1979. The club stayed in A until 1987 and then moved between the top two divisions for a time before re-establishing themselves in A from 1995, with the club's second highest finish after 1955 coming in 1997-98 when they were third.

The club has never had success at the top level or in European competition. They have been Serie B champions twice (1955-56 and 1978-79), Serie C champions three times (1938-39, 1948-49, and 1977-78), they won the Anglo-Italian Cup once (1978), the Mitropa Cup once (1980) and the UEFA Intertoto Cup once (2000).

At the end of 2004-2005 season, the club gained the fourth position in the Italian league, and subsequently qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its history, however not achieving qualification from the group stage.

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