Genoa Football Club: The Complete Guide

Genoa C.F.C are the oldest team currently still active in Italian soccer, which is even more impressive when you consider they weren’t actually founded as a soccer team at all.

Originally known as Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club, it wasn’t long before they dropped the athletics entirely and moved to become Genoa Cricket and Football Club. Not long after that they stopped playing cricket, and moved focus solely to soccer.

Genoa have had some serious success in the Italian soccer leagues, although it did mostly occur at the start of the 1900s.

Genoa dominated top flight Italian soccer in the early years, making them one of the greatest teams in Italian history. Unfortunately, recent success hasn’t been quite so blistering.

There have been some incredibly rocky moments for Genoa in the past decades, including many seasons of relegation, and more than a few match fixing allegations.

Despite this, they still manage to frequently appear in the Italian Serie A, and their supporters are more loyal than ever. Genoa may be old, but they’re certainly still alive and kicking.

Basic Facts

  • Nicknamed Il Grifone (the Griffin), I Rossoblù (the Red and Blues), and Il Vecchio Baldoro (the Old Fool).
  • One of the first soccer teams founded in Italy, and the oldest Italian soccer team still active. Genoa C.F.C. was first established in 1893.
  • The fourth most successful Italian soccer team in terms of championships won, although all their victories have come before the 1930s.
  • Winners of the first ever organized Italian soccer championship.
  • Home grounds are found in the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, which they share with rival team Sampdoria.
  • Known for their fiercely loyal supporters, who are considered to be some of the most dedicated fans in Italian soccer.

Home Grounds

Genoa has its home grounds in Stadio Luigi Ferraris. They played against Internazionale to inaugurate the stadium on 22nd January 1911. The grounds are shared with U.C. Sampdoria, who joined in 1946. The stadium is also used to host the Italian national soccer team on occasion.

Main Trophies

  • Italian Football Championship/Northern League/Serie A Winners: 1898, 1899, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1914-15, 1922-23, 1924-24.
  • Italian Football Championship/Northern League/Serie A Runners-up: 1901, 1905, 1912-13, 1913-14, 1921-22, 1924-25, 1927-28, 1929-30.
  • Serie B Winners: 1934-35, 1952-53, 1961-62, 1972-73, 1975-76, 1988-89.
  • Serie C1 Winners: 1970-71.
  • Coppa delle Alpi Winners: 1962, 1964.
  • Anglo-Italian Cup Winners: 1996.

Club History

The history of Genoa C.F.C, is a slightly unusual one, partly because of how long it is. Genoa is one of the oldest soccer teams in Italy, and the oldest one still currently active.

They were originally founded on 7th September 1893 as the Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club, to represent England abroad. Soccer soon became the primary focus of the club.

Genoa were a major force in the early years of the Italian soccer league, and won the championship an incredible 9 times.

However, Genoa began to fall. By the end of World War II, they were no longer the dominant force they once were.

Strong Serie A appearances across the 80s and 90s kept Genoa among the teams to watch in Italy, but the 2000s brought with them some uniquely awful times.

Accusations of match-fixing saw Genoa relegated all the way to Serie C1, although they fought their way back up. Quick coaching changes and short term managers have often left Genoa struggling to keep up.

Recent years have seen Genoa again maintain a regular presence in Serie A, although they’ve yet to reach the heights of those early years.

Club Timeline

  • Genoa is founded in 1893 as Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club. It’s founded by Englishmen, as an English team abroad.
  • Soccer becomes a main focus of the club, and athletics is dropped. The Italian Football League plays their first championships in 1898, which is won by Genoa.
  • Genoa wins back to back titles, and establishes itself as a major player in Italian soccer. The name changes to Genoa Cricket and Football Club, dropping Athletic altogether.
  • 1902, Genoa adopts the blue and red kit.
  • Genoa becomes the first Italian team to play an international match, with a win against NVC Nice in France, in 1903.
  • Stadio Communale Luigi Ferraris, the Genoa home grounds, opens in 1911.
  • Because of their British connection, Genoa are forced to change their name by the Italian Fascist party in 1928. They become Genoa 1893 Circolo del Calcio.
  • The club begins to slip through the rankings, and faces their first ever relegation in 1934.
  • In 1945, Genoa changes their name back to Genoa Cricket and Football Club. Their local rivals, Sampdoria, emerge as a team to watch.
  • Post World War II, Genoa fails to make a mark at the top of the table. They become a solid mid-table club, and eventually slip into Serie B in the 50s. By the next season, they’re back into Serie A.
  • Genoa experiences some international success at the start of the 60s, but at home things are much worse. They’re relegated back into Serie B, and stay there for several seasons.
  • In 1970, Genoa are relegated into Serie C for the first time. A series of management changes makes it difficult for them to regain top form.
  • For most of the 1970s, Genoa remained a Serie B team, but with a few seasons in Serie A. However, repeated relegation causes them to lose key players.
  • At the start of the 80s, Genoa once again finds themselves in Serie A, but as a bottom of the table team. They’re relegated to Serie B at the end of the 1983-84 season.
  • Aldo Spinelli purchases the team in 1985.
  • A strong coach in Osvaldo Bagnoli and some fantastic talent sees Genoa finish 4th in Serie A in the 1990-91 season, their best placing in some time. They compete in the UEFA Cup, and make it to the semi-finals.
  • Spinelli becomes unpopular, selling key players to provide himself with profit, and failing to invest in the club.
  • Genoa are relegated after the 1994-95 season, and struggle badly due to financial issues, and endless managerial changes. Spinelli sells the team.
  • Enrico Preziosi buys Genoa in 2003. They manage to just about survive relegation to Serie C1, after Serie B expands the number of teams allowed in the league.
  • Allegations of match-fixing sees Genoa docked of points, and relegated to Serie C1 in 2005. They manage to move back to Serie B at the end of the season.
  • Having found their way back to Serie A for the 2007-08 season, Genoa have been able to remain in Serie A since. Although they’ve never regained the successes of their early years, they’ve still achieved some impressive results.

Club Net Worth

Genoa has an estimated net worth of roughly 82 million Euros, or about 97 million US Dollars.


Genoa play their home matches in the Stadio Communale Luigi Ferraris, commonly known as the Marassi after the neighborhood it’s located in. First opened in 1911, it’s one of the oldest stadiums still in use in Italy.

The stadium is named after Luigi Ferraris, an Italian footballer and soldier who died during World War I. Ferraris had played his entire career at Genoa.

As well as being used for league matches, the Stadio Luigi Ferraris has also been used for International games. It hosted World Cup matches in both the 1934 and the 1990 World Cup.

Before being used for the 1990 World Cup group matches, the stadium was dismantled and rebuilt. It has a capacity of 36,600.

The Stadio Luigi Ferraris is the host of the Derby della Lanterna, or the “Derby of the Lantern” in which local sides Genoa and Sampdoria play. Both teams use the stadium as their home grounds, and there is a fierce rivalry.


Italian entrepreneur Enrico Preziosi is the current owner of Genoa. He acquired the club in 2003, and has been a controversial figure over the years.

Although Genoa has achieved some impressive results under his leadership, multiple accusations of match-fixing and dirty dealings has led Preziosi to be, on multiple occasions, threatened with being banned. At one point, having been banned from the stadium, Preziosi arranged for a life-size photo to be placed in his seat.

In recent years, Preziosi has implied a sale of the team is imminent. However, nothing has yet come through, much to the frustration of fans. When Preziosi does leave, few Genoa supporters will be sad to see him go.

Genoa have known more than their fair share of bad owners. Aldo Spinelli, who oversaw the team for much of the 90s, became deeply unpopular due to his habit of treating the team as nothing but a business. Many of his choices were motivated solely by increasing his own profits.

Best Players

Current captain Domenico Criscito is one of the best players currently on the team, with a quick technique and a versatile style of play. Mattia Destro, vice-captain Davide Biraschi, and Milan Badelj, are all strong members of the current first team.

Tomáš Skuhravý is one of the best players in Genoa’s history, alongside his teammate Carlos Aguilera. The two were a formidable team, and scored 15 goals apiece during the 1990-91 season.

Skuhravý was known for his old-fashioned finishing ability, and his single-minded devotion to finding the back of the net. He was among a talented team that included Brazilian international Branco, and Dutch international John van ‘t Schip.

Marco Rossi had a much longer career at Genoa, roughly 10 years, and became an indispensable member of the team during that time. His versatility on the pitch made him a regular starter, and his popularity meant that his shirt number was retired along with him in 2013.

All-Time Top Scorers

The all-time top scorer for Genoa is Edoardo Catto. He made 92 goals for the team across 199 appearances between 1921 and 1929. He’s closely followed by Virgilio Levratto, who scored 84 goals between 1925 and 1932.

In more recent times, Marco Nappi was a prolific goal scorer for Genoa between 1988 and 1991. Tomáš Skuhravý and Carlos Aguilera made an impressive goal scoring partnership for Genoa, each balancing the other’s talents to score multiple times.

Diego Milito also managed to find a place on the list across his limited time at Genoa – he scored 57 goals in 90 appearances.


Domenico Criscito is the current captain of Genoa, with Davide Biraschi as his vice-captain.

One noted captain from Genoa’s recent past is Marco Rossi. A midfielder who also made a skilled defender, he was captain in the 2006-07 season that saw Genoa return to the top tier.


Adrian Semper, Federico Marchetti, Salvatore Sirigu, and Lorenzo Andrenacci are all current or recent goalkeepers for Genoa.

Mattia Perin made 148 appearances for Genoa between the years 2010-18, and then another 53 while on loan for Genoa between 2020-21.

He often struggled with injuries, but still managed to make an impact for Genoa. Other talented goalkeepers who played for the team are Giovanni Cervone, Marco Amelia, and Rubhino.


Domenico Criscito, Davide Biraschi, Paolo Ghiglione, Andrea Masiello, Lennart Czyborra, Stefano Sabelli, Laurens Serpe, Zinho Vanheusden, and Johan Vasquez are current and recent defenders for Genoa.

Genoa has had some solid defenders in the past, including Branco, who made 71 appearances for Genoa before lifting the FIFA World Cup with Brazil in 1994. Vincenzo Torrente racked up more than 400 games playing defense for Genoa over the course of 15 seasons.


Mattia Destro, Giuseppe Caso, Aleksander Buksa, Yayah Kallon, and Caleb Ekuban are current or recent strikers for Genoa.

Diego Milito is one of the best strikers to have played for Genoa in recent years. He scored 33 goals in 59 matches for the club, but was transferred when Genoa found themselves relegated to Serie C1.

A talented striker who could play multiple positions, Giuseppe Sculli had an impact at Genoa that was curbed slightly due to accusations of match-fixing.


Davide Ballardini is the current manager of Genoa, having worked there three times previously, but only for short periods. His first term as manager was terminated by owner Enrico Preziosi, for no clear reason.

He later returned, only to be let go again. Despite not having much time to make an impression, he’s generally liked by Genoa supporters.

Ballardini is one of many recent appointments at Genoa. He follows on from Roland Maran Davide Nicola, Thiago Motta, Aurelia Andreazollli, Cesare Prandelli, and Ivan Juric, who have all held the position since Ballardini was last in charge only a few years ago.

This isn’t unusual for Genoa. Their long history is full of managers who haven’t lasted for longer than a few seasons.


Davide Ballardini is the coach for Genoa. A recent appointment to the role, he’s popular amongst the ardent supporters of Genoa for his on pitch enthusiasm.

Alessio Scarpi is the goalkeeping coach, having previously played as keeper for the team. Roberto Beni, and Alessandro Pilati are also part of the coaching staff.

One very notable coach in the history of Genoa is William Garbutt. The Englishman began coaching Genoa in 1912, leading the team to multiple victories after a few lackluster years. He’s considered to be the first professional coach in Italian football history, and is credited with building the popularity of the game.

Many also believe that Garbutt’s teachings were instrumental in Italy winning the 1934 and the 1938 World Cup titles.

Assistant Coach

Carlo Regno is the current assistant coach at Genoa. He has been with the club for several years now.

Home Kit

The red and blue half shirt that Genoa adopted in 1901 has become an iconic symbol of the team ever since. It earned them the nickname Il Rossoblù – the red and blues.

As they were initially founded as an English club abroad, the original Genoa kit was in the colors of the English national team. This quickly changed to white and blue stripes, to represent Genoa as a port city. It wasn’t long after that they decided on the red and blue, and the kit has remained largely unchanged ever since.

Away Kit

The away kit for Genoa tends to feature references to the blue and red of the home kit. Currently, the away kit is a red background with a thick central stripe of red and blue.

Although the away kit changes regularly, it does tend to use a similar design of white background with patches of blue and red.

The logo for Genoa C.F.C features a gold griffin on the background of a shield. The shield features the flag of Genoa in the top quarter – a red cross on a white background in reference to St George.

The bottom three quarters are half blue and half red, in a vertical stripe. This design has led to Genoa being nicknamed Il Grifone, or the Griffin.

Club Academy

Genoa Youth Academy has been established to develop rounded youth players with a passion for the sport. Many of the players to pass through the academy have found themselves signed for professional teams.

The Genoa club academy intends to foster a passion for the sport among the youth, so they have the determination to succeed at an international level.

League Titles

  • Italian Football Championship/Northern League/Serie A Winners: 1898, 1899, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1914-15, 1922-23, 1924-24.
  • Serie B Winners: 1934-35, 1952-53, 1961-62, 1972-73, 1975-76, 1988-89.
  • Serie C1 Winners: 1970-71.

Other Titles

  • Coppa delle Alpi Winners: 1962, 1964.
  • Anglo-Italian Cup Winners: 1996.

Fun Facts

  • Despite being named the Genoa Cricket and Football Club, you’re unlikely to see any of the team playing cricket. In fact, they dropped the multisport aspect of the club very early on. In 2007, Genoa Cricket Club 1893 was formed by a group of Genoa C.F.C fans. They currently play in Serie A of the Italian cricket league.
  • The shirt number 12 is retired in honor of the fans, as they’re seen as the twelfth player for the team. The fans are incredibly proud of the club’s long history, and past success.
  • One famous supporter of Genoa was Italian sports journalist Gianni Brera, known for his rich use of language. His fondness for Genoa showed his love of the “heroic age” of Italian football. On his death, the original foundation charter for Genoa C.F.C was found among his papers. He created the nickname Vecchio Balordo, or Old Fool, for the club, in reference to their history.