Cagliari Calcio – 100 Years

Often referred to as the ‘Stonehenge of the Mediterranean Sea‘ the Regione Autonoma della Sardegna is the second-largest island in Europe after Sicily. With a land mass that sits just South of the French island of Corsica, to the west of Sardinia sits the Sea of Sardinia and to the east the Tyrrhenian Sea both of which form as part of the Mediterranean 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 further back to 1920. This makes 2020 the 100th year of the club.

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.

A large part of 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 rise would be meteoric; eventually achieving promotion to the top tier Serie A in 1964.

Managing to challenge at the top against the traditional heavyweights of Serie A would prove to be tough for a club from the distant Sardinian Island but they eventually made a mark that has never been forgotten.

It was in the 1968-69 season that Cagliari first real emerged as serious Serie A title contenders with a three-horse race involving them, Fiorentina and AC Milan.

Fiorentina would eventually win the title that season. But with the next season seeing Angelo Domenghini joining the club Cagliari won the title on 12th April 1970 with a record of only two Serie A games lost and 11 goals conceded.

This title was the first time a club south of Rome had ever won an Italian league title; Riva once again finished the season as top-scorer with 21 goals.

Coach Scopigno nicknamed the Philosopher had knitted together a relatively small squad of only 16 players with Gigi Riva ending as the top scorer.

Domenghini would go onto play in the Italy’s side that reached the 1970 World Cup Final in Mexico. Alongside his fellow Calgiari teammates Riva, Albertosi, Niccolai, Cera, Domenghini and Gori he would leave the Sardinian title party for Mexico 1970.

All would become key protagonists at the Mexico World Cup challenging Pelè’s unrivaled Brazil.

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