Unione Calcio Sampdoria (commonly nicknamed Blucerchiati, blue-ringed) is a football club based in Genoa, Italy. The club was formed in 1946 from the merger of two existing sports clubs whose roots can be traced back to the 1890s, Sampierdarenese and Andrea Doria. Both the team name and jersey do reflect this, the first being a crasis of the former names, the second incorporating the former teams' colours (blue-white and red-black) in a single design.
Sampdoria currently compete in the Italian Serie A. The team's colours are blue with white, red and black stripes, hence the nickname blucerchiati. Sampdoria play at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, capacity 36,536, which it shares with Genoa's other club, Genoa Cricket and Football Club. The derby between the two teams is commonly known as the Derby della Lanterna.
Sampdoria have obtained the scudetto once in their history, in the 1991 season. The club has also won the Coppa Italia four times (1985, 1988, 1989, and 1994). Their biggest European success came when they won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1990. They also reached the UEFA Champions League final in 1992 only to lose against the Spanish side FC Barcelona with an 1-0 score after extra time.
With the 1921-22 season, the Italian top league was split into two competitions; both of the clubs in Sampdoria's history were in separate competitions that year too. Sampierdarenese played in the F.I.G.C. run competition, whereas Andrea Doria played in the C.C.I. variation.
Sampierdarenese won the Ligura section and then went onto the semi-finals, finishing top out of three clubs; this lead them to the final against Novese. Both legs of the final ended in 0-0 draws, thus a repetition match was played in Cremona on May 21 1922. Still intensely difficult to separate, the match went into extra time with Novese eventually winning the tie (and the Championship) 2-1.
After the league system in Italy was brought back into one item, Sampierdarenese remained stronger than Andrea Doria by qualifying for the league. By 1924-25 the clubs were competing against each other in the Northern League; Doria who finished one place above their rivals won one game 2-1, while Sampierdarenese were victorious 2-0 in the other. At the end of the 1926-27 season, the clubs merged under the name La Dominante Genova.
Because of this, both Sampierdarenese and Andrea Doria reverted to their previous names as separate clubs. Sampierdarenese were back in Serie B for the 1932-33 season and finished in the upper part; the following year they were crowned champions and were promoted into Serie A for the first time. Andrea Doria on the other hand, battled out the 1930s down in Serie C.
The 15 July 1937 saw Sampierdarenese, melting itself with Corniglianese and Rivarolese with the club using the name Associazione Liguria Calcio; this saw them reach 5th place in Serie A during 1939. In the early 1940s, the club was relegated, but bounced straight back up as Serie B champions in 1941.
The first president of this new club was Piero Sanguineti, but the ambitious entrepreneur Amedeo Rissotto soon replaced him, while the first team coach during this period was a man from Florence named Giuseppe Galluzzi. In the same month of the merger, the new club demanded that they should share the Stadio Luigi Ferraris ground with Genoa; the agreement was carried off without problems. Consequently, the stadium was prepared to accommodate the games of both clubs.
As if to further show that the merger really was equal parts of both previous clubs, a new football kit was designed for the club; it implemented the blue shirts of Andrea Doria with the white, red and black mid-section of Sampierdarenese.
Since this period Sampdoria have made a limited number of appearances in European cup competitions. During the 1994/1995 campaign they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup before being eliminated on penalties in a memorable tie against Arsenal. The club also participated in the 1997/1998 UEFA Cup but were eliminated by Atletico Bilbao of Spain in the First Round. The 2005/2006 season also proved to be a significant one, with Sampdoria returning to European competition for the first time since their promotion back to Serie A, with the club narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification and entering the UEFA cup. During this campaign, the team was minutes away from qualification to the last 32 when Lens of France eliminated them by beating them 2-1. The club recently also took part in the 2007/2008 UEFA Cup, entering via the Intertoto cup. However it was to be a short and disappointing campaign, with Sampdoria being eliminated on away goals by AaB of Denmark in the First Round.
Despite this, in May 1999 Sampdoria were relegated from Serie A, and did not return to the top flight until 2002. Around this time Sampdoria was acquired by Riccardo Garrone, a known Italian oil businessman. Two of Garrone's most important initial moves were to inject new cash into the club and to appoint Walter Novellino as new head coach. Sampdoria returned to Serie A in 2003 lead by talisman Francesco Flachi, and ended their first season in eighth place. In the Serie A 2004-05 they lost a spot in the UEFA Champions League to Udinese in the final matchdays of the season, ending in fifth place. This was followed by a poor season; despite this, Novellino was confirmed for one more season and Sampdoria ended the 2006-07 Serie A campaign in ninth place. As the 8th placed team in Serie A were not granted a UEFA licence, Sampdoria was able to enter the UEFA Intertoto Cup 2007 as a result. Novellino announced his farewell to Sampdoria soon after, with Walter Mazzarri unveiled shortly after as his replacement.
The 2007-08 campaign started very early for Sampdoria, which defeated PFC Cherno More Varna in the Intertoto Cup and Hajduk Split in the second qualifying round of UEFA Cup, before being eliminated in the First Round proper by AaB on away goals. The club took actively part in the transfer market, persuading Vincenzo Montella to make a comeback at Samp and signing Antonio Cassano from Real Madrid on a loan basis. Having had such a successful loan period, Sampdoria have made the move permanent from the 2008/09 season. Sampdoria ended the season in sixth place of the Italian Serie A and qualified for the UEFA Cup 2008-09.
1990s - 2000s
The club crest features a sailor in profile known by the old Genoese name of Baciccia, which translates to Giovanni-Battista in Italian or John-Baptist in English. The image of a sailor is appropriate due to Sampdoria being based in the port city of Genoa.
The white, blue, red and black colours within the crest represent the clubs origins of a merger between two teams, Sampierdarenese and Andrea Doria, who wore respectively red/black and white/blue jerseys.
Genoa C.F.C. supporters often play jokes at the "cousins" four-coloured attire by dubbing them "cyclists" since striped jerseys were often associated with this sport in the 40s and 50s.
Serie B: 2
Coppa Italia: 4