Cagliari – 100 Years

Often referred to as the ‘Stonehenge of the Mediterranean‘ the Regione Autonoma della Sardegna is the second-largest island in Europe after Sicily. With a land mass that sits just South of Corsica, to the west Ssits the Sea of Sardinia and to the east the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Calgiari Calcio are the pride of the whole Sardinian region. And while the 1970 Scudetto title proved to be the pinnacle of the club’s history the story of the Rossoblu side goes even further back to 1920.

The Beginnings

Organised football arrived in Italy in the 1890’s but it was not until 1920 that Calgiari Calcio were born.

The foundation of the club came thanks to a surgeon by the name of Gaetano Fichera who founded the club on 20th May 1920.

The first 50 years of the club can be tagged far from memorable. But after descending to Serie C in the early 1960s Cagliari’s revival would be meteoric.

They eventually achieved promotion to Serie A in 1964.

Challenging the traditional heavyweights of Serie A would prove to be tough for a club from the distant Sardinia. But they eventually made a mark on the Italian footballing landscape that has never been forgotten.

It was in the 1968-69 season that Cagliari first emerged as serious Serie A title contenders. A three-horse race for the title occurred between the Sardinians, Fiorentina and AC Milan.

Fiorentina would eventually win the title that season.

The following season saw Angelo Domenghini joining the club. Cagliari won Serie A on 12th April 1970 losing only 2 games.

This title was the first time a club south of Rome had ever won an Italian league title.

Coach Scopigno nicknamed ‘The Philosopher’ had knitted together a relatively small squad of only 16 players. Gigi Riva ended as the top scorer but only 11 goals were conceded all season.

Domenghini would go onto play in the Italian side that reached the 1970 World Cup Final in Mexico alongside his fellow Calgiari teammates Riva, Albertosi, Niccolai, Cera, Domenghini and Gori.

Due to the fact that Cagliari are the main club from the island of Sardinia, they are often referred to as the Isolani (the “Islanders”).

The club’s 100th year sees them riding high in Serie A in 6th place.

The club owners are hopeful of qualification for UEFA competition by the time the 100th birthday party arrives in May.

Postscript: Stadio Comunale Sant’Elia was best known for having been the home of Cagliari Calcio.

It hosted three matches during the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Today Cagliari play at the Unipol Domus.

Built in 2017 as the Sardegna Arena, it hosts Cagliari Calcio football matches with the original stadium of the club now partially demolished in readiness of redevelopment.