ACF Fiorentina, commonly known as Fiorentina, is one of the most successful clubs in Italian professional soccer.
Based in Florence, Tuscany, the club was founded by a merger in August 1926, and then refounded in 2002 following bankruptcy and relegation to the fourth-tier of Italian soccer.
Fiorentina have been a consistent presence at the top level of Italian soccer for the vast majority of their existence, with only four clubs having played more seasons in Serie A.
In their history, Fiorentina have won two top-flight Italian Championships, six Coppa Italia trophies, one Supercoppa Italiana, and one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
With a number of prominent former players and a few long-standing, passionate rivalries, Fiorentina continue to play a hugely significant role in Italian soccer.
This ultimate guide will take an in-depth look at Fiorentina as a club, including a detailed timeline of their history, a list of their main honors, and some of the club’s most significant records.
Moreover, we’ll also provide some information about Fiorentina’s stadium, their owners, managerial history, prominent former players, and much more.
- Location: Florence, Tuscany, Italy
- Founded: 1926
- Ground: Stadio Artemio Franchi
- Nickname: La Viola (The Purple One), Viola (The Purples)
- Kit Color: Purple
- Owner: Rocco B. Commisso
- League: Serie A
- Current Manager: Vincenzo Italiano
- Current Captain: German Pezzella
- Winners: 1955-56, 1968-69
- Runners-Up: 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1981-82
- Winners: 1930-31, 1938-39, 1993-94
- Winners: 1939-40, 1960-61, 1965-66, 1974-75, 1995-96, 2000-01
- Winners: 1996
- Runners-Up: 2001
European Cup / Champions League:
- Runners-Up: 1956-57
- Runners-Up: 1989-90
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
- Winners: 1960-61
- Runners-Up: 1961-62
Club History and Timeline
ACF Fiorentina was founded in 1926 by a local noble and National Fascist Party member Luigi Ridolfi. Their founding was a merger of two older Florentine clubs, PG Libertas and CS Firenze.
The main aim of the merger was to provide Florence with a strong club that could rival those of the more dominant Italian Soccer Championship teams of the time from Northwest Italy.
After a difficult start and three seasons in the lower leagues of Italian soccer, Fiorentina reached Serie A in 1931. This was also the year that they moved into their new stadium, originally named after Giovanni Berta, a prominent fascist, but now named Stadio Artemio Franchi.
The stadium was a masterpiece of engineering and ahead of its time. Despite enjoying an impressive first season in the top-flight and in their new stadium finishing fourth, Fiorentina were relegated the following year.
It didn’t take long for the club to return to the top division, however, and they soon won their first major trophy – the 1939-40 Coppa Italia.
Unfortunately for Fiorentina, they were unable to build on their success and consistency during the 1940s due to World War II and other troubles off the pitch.
First Title Win and Successful 50s & 60s
In the 1950s, Fiorentina started to achieve consistently high finishes in the top-flight, helped by a talented group of players, including the likes of Giuliano Sarti, Julinho and Miguel Montuori.
In the 1955-56 campaign, Fiorentina won their first scudetto (Italian Championship), finishing 12 points ahead of nearest challengers AC Milan.
The following season Milan got their revenge on the league, but more significantly, Fiorentina became the first Italian club to play in a European Cup final, losing 2-0 to Alfredo Di Stefano’s Real Madrid.
Fiorentina were again runners-up in the three subsequent seasons in the league, but secured their second Coppa Italia title a couple of years later in 1961.
What’s more, they also achieved European success in the same campaign, winning the first Cup Winners’ Cup against Scottish club Rangers.
After their several runner-up finishes between 1957 and 1960, Fiorentina slightly dropped away in the early and mid-1960s, falling outside the top-four positions. Despite their drop-off, the club were still able to secure a third Coppa Italia triumph in 1966.
Coming into the 1968-69 season, nobody believed that Fiorentina could challenge for the title. Their consistency over the past couple of decades was impressive, but sides such as Milan were seen by many as too strong.
However, against all odds, La Viola outlasted fellow challengers Milan and Cagliari to win their second, and to date, last national top-flight title.
In the European Cup competition the following campaign, Fiorentina continued their momentum with some good results, but were eventually eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Celtic.
Stable 70s & the Pontello Era
Coming into the 1970s with the scudetto sewed onto the kit’s breast, optimism was high. Unfortunately, this period wasn’t the most successful for the team, with mid-table finishes almost every single year. Fiorentina even flirted with relegation in both 1972 and 1978.
While their league form was far below par, the club continued to add to their trophy cabinet. First the Anglo-Italian League Cup in 1974, then the Coppa Italia again in 1975,
In 1980, Fiorentina was bought by Flavio Pontello who quickly changed both the team’s logo and anthem, leading to some protests from the supporters.
However, Pontello brought in a host of high-quality players, and in 1982, Fiorentina had a close title battle with rivals Juventus.
The league was decided on the final day of the season when La Viola were denied a goal against Cagliari and Juventus then secured the title with a disputed penalty. This controversy intensified the rivalry between the two clubs even further.
The following years in the 1980s were strange for Fiorentina, as they alternated between high finishes and relegation battles. The club also secured the signature of a young Roberto Baggio.
In the 1989-90 campaign, Fiorentina avoided relegation on the final day, but did reach the UEFA Cup final, where they lost to rivals Juventus.
There was controversy again as the second leg of the final was played in Avellino – a city with lots of Juventus supporters – rather than Fioretina’s home ground which was suspended. Furthermore, emerging star Baggio was sold to Juventus on the day of the final.
This was a sign of things to come, as Pontello – suffering from economic difficulties – was selling many of the club’s star performers, and was soon forced to leave the club following serious riots in Florence’s streets.
Champions League to Bankruptcy
With Pontello forced out of the club, Fiorentina was then acquired by famous filmmaker Mario Cecchi Gori. Immediately the club began rebuilding and signed some notable players such as Brian Laudrup, Fransesco Baiano and Gabriel Batistuta.
After a few steady seasons, Fiorentina were relegated to Serie B in 1993. In a bid to bounce straight back, Claudio Ranieri was brought in as coach, and the decision had the desired effect as the club dominated the division and earned promotion back to Serie A at the first time of asking.
Fiorentina soon re-established themselves as a solid Serie A team, winning the Coppa Italia in the 1995-96 campaign and challenging for the league title in 1998-99.
The latter saw them finish third, gaining qualification into the Champions League, where they beat the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, only to be eliminated in the second group stage.
At the turn of the 21st century, Fiorentina won their sixth and final Coppa Italia title.
However, the terrible state of the club’s finances was soon revealed, with debts up to around $50 million. The club were relegated in 2001-02 and went into judicially-controlled administration.
This form of bankruptcy prevented them from having a place in Serie B for the 2002-03 campaign, and as a result, the club effectively ceased to exist.
Rise Through the Leagues and Stabilization
The club was quickly re-established in August 2002 as Associazione Calcio Fiorentina e Florentia Viola, and was admitted into the fourth tier of Italian soccer – Serie C2.
Unsurprisingly, they won the league with ease, which would ordinarily have led to a promotion to Serie C1 (third tier).
However, the club skipped Serie C1 and was admitted straight into Serie B. This was only made possible by the Italian Football Federation’s decision to increase the number of trams in Serie B from 20 to 24, with Fiorentina promoted for “sports merits”.
In 2003, prior to their Serie B campaign, the club purchased back the right to use the Fiorentina name and the famous shirt design – officially re-incorporating itself as ACF Fiorentina.
They subsequently finished the 2003-04 season in sixth place and won the playoff to secure their return to the top-flight.
In July 2006, Fiorentina were relegated to Serie B because of their involvement in the Serie A match-fixing scandal and given a 12-point penalty.
After appeal, the club were reinstated to Serie A, but with a 19-point penalty for the 2006-07 campaign. This was later reduced to 15 points, and despite the penalty, Fiorentina were still able to secure a spot in the UEFA Cup.
A number of successful years followed, including a run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 2007-08.
After several, largely mediocre, mid-table finishes, Fiorentina had a similarly successful campaign in 2014-15, reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League (renamed UEFA Cup).
Since 2015, the club have recorded consistent finishes in Serie A – barring the 2018-19 campaign where they finished 16th.
Club Net Worth
Currently owned by Rocco B. Commisso, an Italian American billionaire businessman, the estimated combined net worth of ACF Fiorentina is roughly $5.5B.
Since 1931, Fiorentina have played their home matches at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, which currently has a capacity of 43,147. It was originally named after Florentine fascist Giovanni Berta when it was first constructed, and has used several names since.
The stadium is built completely of reinforced concrete with a 70-meter (230 ft) tower that holds the stadium’s flagstaff.
The tower is named the “Tower of Marathon”, and around its base are spiral ramps which lead from the ground floor up to the upper edge of the grandstand.
The Stadio Artemio Franchi has undergone several renovations, with the most significant happening prior to the 1990 World Cup. This renovation included removing the stadium’s running track and increasing the seating capacity.
At the 1990 World Cup, the ground hosted four matches in total, including Argentina’s win over Yugoslavia in the quarter-finals. Furthermore, the stadium has hosted several matches for the Italy national soccer team.
Over the years the Stadio Artemio Franchi has also been used as a popular music venue for prestigious concerts. Some of the most significant artists to play at the ground include David Bowie, Madonna (twice), and Bruce Springsteen.
As mentioned earlier, Fiorentina are currently owned by Rocco B. Commisso, an Italian American billionaire businessman. Commisso is also the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Mediacom – the fifth biggest cable television company in the US.
Commisso purchased the club in June 2019 for around $150-200 million. This change of ownership marked the end of previous owner Diego Della Valle’s 17-year association with the Florentine club.
According to Forbes’ calculation, Commisso has a net worth of $7.2B. He’s previously stated his intention to grow Fiorentina’s brand in the US market, reflected by their participation in the preseason tournament, the International Champions Cup in 2019.
Since their formation nearly 95 years ago, Fiorentina have had a number of legendary players on their books. Listed below are 10 of the most prominent.
Kurt Hamrin (1958-1967)
- 362 Appearances / 208 Goals
Giancarlo Antognoni (1972-1987)
- 429 Appearances / 72 Goals
Daniel Passarella (1982-1986)
- 139 Appearances / 35 Goals
Roberto Baggio (1985-1990)
- 136 Appearances / 55 Goals
Gabriel Batistuta (1991-2000)
- 331 Appearances / 203 Goals
Francesco Toldo (1993-2001)
- 335 Appearances
Rui Costa (1994-2001)
- 276 Appearances / 50 Goals
Manuel Pasqual (2005-2016)
- 356 Appearances
Riccardo Montolivo (2005-2012)
- 261 Appearances / 19 Goals
Federico Chiesa (2016-Present)
- 150 Appearances / 33 Goals
All Time Top Goalscorer
The club’s record goalscorer is Kurt Hamrin, who scored a total of 208 goals throughout his time with Fiorentina (1958-1967). Hamrin is widely regarded as one of the club’s greatest ever players, with the Swede making 362 appearances in his nine years at the club.
Fiorentina have had a number of managers and coaches throughout their history. The longest-serving manager they’ve had in the role has been Cesare Prandelli who’s had two separate spells in charge of the club (2005-2010 & 2020-2021).
The current manager of the side is Vincenzo Italiano who took charge in June 2021. Italiano is the 72nd manager/coach that Fiorentina have hired since their formation in 1926.
The very first manager for the club was Hungarian Karoly Csapkay, who took charge for two years until 1928.
- Pietro Terracciano
- Antonio Rosati
- Bartłomiej Drągowski
- Lucas Martinez Quarta
- Cristiano Biraghi
- Nikola Milenkovic
- Christian Dalle Mura
- Gabriele Ferrarini
- Aleksa Terzic
- German Pezzella
- Pol Lirola
- Lorenzo Venuti
- Luca Ranieri
- Giacomo Bonaventura
- Riccardo Saponara
- Gaetano Castrovilli
- Youssef Maleh
- Erick Pulgar
- Tofol Montiel
- Marco Benassi
- Alfred Duncan
- Sofyan Amrabat
- Jose Callejon
- Dusan Vlahovic
- Christian Kouame
- Nicolas Gonzalez
- Riccardo Sottil
- Louis Munteanu
- Aleksandr Kokorin
Home and Away Kits
When Fiorentina was first founded in 1926, the team wore red and white halved shirts. This color combination derived from the color of the city emblem.
The more famous and highly distinctive purple kit was adopted a couple of years later and has been used ever since. Needless to say, this is where the nickname ‘La Viola’ (The Purple One) comes from.
The away kit for Fiorentina has traditionally always been predominantly white. The shorts had been purple when the home kit was combined with white shorts.
The club’s third kit was first worn in the 1995-96 campaign and was all-red with purple borders and two lilies on the shoulders.
The red shirt has been the most common third shirt by Fiorentina, although they have also worn yellow shirts and a sterling version.
- 1978 – 1981: Adidas
- 1981 – 1983: J.D. Farrow’s
- 1983 – 1988: Ennerre
- 1988 – 1991: Abbigliamento Sportivo
- 1991 – 1993: Lotto
- 1993 – 1995: Uhlsport
- 1995 – 1997: Reebok
- 1997 – 2000: Fila
- 2000 – 2001: Diadora
- 2001 – 2002: Mizuno
- 2002 – 2003: Mizuno, Puma, Garman
- 2003 – 2005: Adidas
- 2005 – 2012: Lotto
- 2012 – 2015: Joma
- 2015 – 2020: Le Coq Sportif
- 2020 – present: Kappa
Fiorentina’s anthem “Canzone Viola” (Purple Song) is the oldest official anthem in Italy and one of the oldest in the world.
It’s better known nowadays as “Oh Fiorentina”, and was born only four years after the formation of the club. The song itself was written by a 12-year-old child, Enzo Marcacci, and musically arranged by Marco Vinicio.
The club has a number of rivalries with other Italian soccer clubs. They compete in the “Derby dell’Appennino” against Bologna, the “Derby dell’Arno” against Empoli, and the “Derby guelfi-ghibellini” against Siena.
However, their most passionate rivalry, and one that isn’t borne out of geographical proximity, is their long-standing competitiveness with Turin-based Juventus.
The rivalry between the two clubs has been fuelled by controversial matches in cup finals and competition in the transfer market. If a player transfers from one club to the other – particularly from Florence to Turin – they are usually branded a traitor by supporters.
Fun Facts and Records
- The player with the most appearances for the club is Giancarlo Antognoni who recorded 429 appearances during his 15-year spell at the club (1972-1987)
- Fiorentina’s top goalscorer in Serie A is Gabriel Batistuta with 151 goals, closely followed by Kurt Hamrin with 148
- The biggest winning margin in the club’s history is their 8-0 victory over Modena during the 1941-42 campaign
- The club’s heaviest defeat was against Juventus, losing 8-0 in the 1952-53 season
- Fiorentina were the first Italian side to play in a European Cup final in 1957
- The most wins Fiorentina have recorded in a single league season is 22 during the 2005-06 campaign
- The fewest defeats Fiorentina have suffered in a season is one (during both the 1955-56 and 1968-69 campaigns)
- The most goals the club have scored in a season is the 95 they managed in the 1958-59 season
- Fiorentina became the first Italian club to win an official UEFA competition in 1961, securing the European Cup Winners’ Cup trophy