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Football News: A To Z: ChievoVerona

A To Z: ChievoVerona
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A To Z - Chievo Verona

 


A is for A

Chievo only made it into Serie A for the 2001/02 season after years clawing their way up from the bottom levels of amateur Italian football. They even managed to top the Serie A table for six consecutive weeks in their first ever top flight season, before ending in 5th and earning themselves European football for the following season.

 


B is for B

Serie B is where the team plies their trade currently. The team took until 1993 to reach that level and managed to get up to Serie A a few years later, since then they have mostly retained their place in the top flight until dropping back down in 2019.

 


C is for Campedelli

Luigi Campedelli was named chairman in 1964 with Chievo mired in the lower league amateur football of Italy. He led them all the way up the footballing pyramid to reach Serie D after the 1974/75 season. With Chievo now in Serie C1, Luigi died of a heart attack and his son Luca, just 23 at the time, took over as chairman.

 


D is for Donkeys

One of the club's nicknames is 'I Mussi Volanti' which translates from Venetian to mean 'The Flying Donkeys'. They were given the nickname by rival Verona side Hellas' supporters in the days before they made it into Serie A. Hellas fans chanted in the first meeting between the two sides: "Quando i mussi volara, il Ceo in Serie A" - "Donkeys will fly before Chievo are in Serie A.". When Chievo achieved their promotion to Serie A, the fans started to call themselves 'The Flying Donkeys' then.

 


E is for Europe

Chievo qualified for the UEFA Cup in their first season in the top flight, surprising everyone by finishing the season in fifth. Even better they actually made the Champions League in 2006-07, due to the Calciopoli scandal. They had finished in a UEFA Cup qualifying spot, only for Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina all to be banned from European competition.

 


F is for Fenomeno

Chievo's impressive form inspired a 2002 book, Fenomeno Chievo. Economia, costume, societa. The book on football economics by Marco Vitale came about after they earnt promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history and then finished 5th, qualifying for the UEFA Cup.

 


G is for Giaccherini

Former Sunderland, Juventus and Napoli midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini is now playing for Chievo, following a loan spell from Napoli originally. The former Italian international is now 35 and has been on a downward slope since joining the Mackems from Juventus back in 2013.

 


H is for Hellas

There is a bitter rivalry with crosstown team Hellas Verona, the two clubs sharing the same Marc'Antonio Bentegodi stadium. The comparative size of the two teams' followings is brought home to Chievo fans when they play 'home' fixtures against Hellas and have to house their fans in the away end, due to many times larger Hellas fanbase.

 


I is for Iachini

Now Fiorentina boss Giuseppe Iachini led Chievo to a Serie B title in 2008 to return to the top flight. Unfortunately for him, the season got off to a poor start and he was sacked on 4th November 2008, following a 3-0 loss to Palermo.

 


J is for Jokic

Before his loan spell at Nottingham Forest, 98 cap Slovenian international Bojan Jokic had a loan spell with Chievo, which was made permanent in 2010. After 69 appearances and 2 goals, Jokic left on a free transfer to Villareal.

 


K is for Kerlon

Chievo brought the 'seal dribble' to Europe in July 2009 for just over £1million, before selling him on to Inter Milan just a year later. The deal was done before bringing in Kerlon from Cruzeiro, with Inter in essence using Chievo's foreign player quota to enable them to sign Kerlon when they were already maxed out. However there were a number of third party owners such as Mino Raiola who had a cut of his ownerships. Knee injuries derailed his career and he made just 4 appearances for Chievo before his career petered out completely.

 


L is for Late-comers

Chievo only made the professional ranks in 1986, when they reached Serie C2. Prior to that they had climbed all the way through the amateur and semi-professional leagues to reach Serie D in 1975.

 


M is for Mayele

Jason Nono Mayele was a Chievo forward who sadly died aged just 26 in 2002 in a car accident while he was driving to catch the Chievo team bus for a game against Parma. His shirt number of 30 was retired in honour of the Democratic Republic of Congo international who was part of the Chievo team that qualified for Europe in their first season ever in the top flight.

 


N is for Name

They were originally founded in 1929 by a small group of football fans in the borough of Chievo in Verona, but were not affiliated to the FIGC (Italian Football Federation). They did play a few amateur tournaments and friendly matches under a name forced on them by the country's fascist regime of the time, O.N.D. Chievo. In 1959 they were renamed Cardi Chievo as they were placed in the Seconda Categoria, the second bottom tier of the Italian football leagues. In 1986 they became Paluani Chievo, before in 1990 changing their name to its current incarnation A.C. ChievoVerona.

 


O is for Obinna

The much travelled Nigerian forward had two spells with Chievo. The Veronese side brought him in to European football from Enyimba Aba before selling him on to Inter Milan for £1m. After a number of loan spells while at Inter, including one with West Ham United, he joined Lokomotiv Moscow on a free transfer. While there he was loaned back to Chievo for a second spell.

 


P is for Paluani

Chievo are owned by bakery company Paluani and were at one point called Paluani Chievo. They have sponsored the club since 1981. Both club and company share the same chairman Luca Campedelli, whose family own the Paluani company. Chievo was still carrying the Paluani Chievo name when it finally reached Serie D in the 1970s, it only changed its name to the current one, A.C. ChievoVerona in 1990.

 


Q is for Quantity

Despite their relative success in recent years, the club struggles to build a fanbase and average under 10,000 fans at home matches. The stark difference between themselves and local rivals Hellas is thrown under the spotlight when derby matches come around at the stadium the two clubs share. Even at Chievo's home games, their fans are housed in the away end as there are so few of them comparatively to Hellas. It does mean a reliance on TV money during their periods in the top flight.

 


R is for Relegation

Chievo ended last season, 2018-19, with relegation to Serie B, which was sealed by a 3-1 loss against Napoli at home on 14th April 2019. Their cause was not helped by a 3 point deduction levied against them after being found guilty of false accounting in September 2018.

 


S is for Sergio

Sergio Pellissier is one of just two players who have had their number retired by Chievo. Pellissier joined Chievo in 2000 and played for the club until his retirement in 2019. He was club captain from 2007 and is the club's record appearance holder with 496 league appearances. He is also the club's all-time leading goalscorer and the oldest player to score for the club aged 39 years 9 months and 15 days. In recognition of his career, the number 31 was retired by Chievo.

 


T is for Titles

The club did manage to pick up a few titles on their climb up the leagues, winning Group C of the Campionato Interregionale in 1985-86, Serie C2 (Group B) in 1988-89 and Group A of Serie C1 in 1993-94. They also managed to win Serie B in 2007-08 as they returned to the top flight for a second spell. Unfortunately major trophies have yet to be picked up by Chievo.

 


U is for Unappreciated

It is often overlooked just what a fantastic achievement it is to have reached Serie A from their lowly start near the very bottom of the Italian league pyramid. They climbed from the very next-to-bottom league, the Seconda Categoria, right to the very top league and even qualified for European competition. Despite how well they did, they still struggle to attract crowds of 10,000 to their stadium to watch them.

 


V is for Verona

The home city of Chievo is more famous for being the setting for William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet than it is for football. The former Roman colony was a key defensive position for the empire, until it fell to the Ostrogoths in 489. For a time in the Napoleonic Era it was in the possession of Austria until the independence of Italy was achieved.

 


W is for Weighty

Chievo were forced to make a weighty decision last year following their relegation to Serie B and release fan favourite Stefano Sorrentino. The 40 year old (at the time) goalkeeper wanted to continue playing for Chievo but went into retirement after losing his place in Chievo's squad.

 


X is for Xanthocomic

I Gialloblu, The Yellow And Blues, is one of their nicknames, due to their kit colours. Their colours were originally blue and white and most fans still see Hellas Verona, rather than ChievoVerona, as the yellow and blues.

 


Y is for Yepes

Colombian defender Mario Yepes joined Chievo on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in August 2008. After 64 appearances, 63 in Serie A, the 102 cap international left for AC Milan in July 2010. The now 44 year old hung up his boots in January 2016.

 


Z is for Zaggle

Chievo were deducted 3 points after attempting to zaggle the FIGC. They were found guilty of false accounting on exchanging players with Cesena on 13th September 2018.

 


To read the previous A To Z: Paris Saint-Germain click here.

Written by Tris Burke July 13 2020 11:01:40

 

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