Fiorentina face off in their third friendly of the training camp today against Hellas Verona.
The opposing squad was founded originally in 1903 by a group of students and was known as Hellas. Serie A, as it is structured today, began in 1929, when the Campionato Nazionale turned into a professional league. Still an amateur team, Hellas merged with two city rivals, Bentegodi and Scaligera, to form AC Verona. Hoping to build a first class contender for future years the new team debuted in Serie B in 1929. It would take the gialloblu 28 years to finally achieve their goal. After first being promoted to Serie A for one season in 1957–58, in 1959 the team merged with another city rival (called Hellas) and commemorated its beginnings by changing its name to Hellas Verona AC.
Coached by Nils Liedholm, the team returned to Serie A in 1968 and remained in the elite league almost without interruption until 1990. Along the way it scored a famous 5–3 win in the 1972–1973 season that cost AC Milan the scudetto (the Serie A title). The fact that the result came late during the last matchday of the season makes the sudden and unexpected end to the rossoneri's title ambitions all the more memorable.
Although the 1984–1985 squad was made up of a healthy mix of emerging players and mature stars, at the beginning of the season no one would have regarded the team as having the necessary ingredients to make it to the end. Certainly the additions of Hans-Peter Briegel in midfield and of Danish striker Preben Elkjær to an attack that already featured the wing play of Pietro Fanna, the creative abilities of Antonio Di Gennaro and the scoring touch of Giuseppe Galderisi were to prove crucial.
To mention a few of the memorable milestones on the road to the scudetto: a decisive win against Juventus (2–0), with a goal scored by Elkjær after having lost a boot in a tackle just outside the box, set the stage early in the championship; an away win over Udinese (5–3) ended any speculation that the team was losing energy at the midway point; three straight wins (including a hard fought 1–0 victory against a strong AS Roma side) served notice that the team had kept its polish and focus intact during their rival's final surge; and a 1–1 draw in Bergamo against Atalanta secured the title with a game in hand.
Hellas Verona finished the year with a 15–13–2 record and 43 points, 4 points ahead of Torino with Inter and Sampdoria rounding out the top four spots.
in 2001, despite many players that would ultimately become famous, including Adrian Mutu, Mauro Camoranesi, Alberto Gilardino, Martin Laursen, Massimo Oddo, and Marco Cassetti, Verona were unable to remain in Serie A and were relegated in 2002. The team remained in Serie B until the 2006-07 season when they were relegated to C1 after after 64 years of play in the two highest divisions.
After four years of turmoil and trouble, Verona finally won promotion to Serie B last season.
FIORENTINA: Lupatelli, Cassani (c), Roncaglia, Nastasic, Pasqual, Acosty, Olivera, Lazzari, Romulo, Ljajic, Jovetic. A disp: Lezzerini, Gulin, Vargas, Felipe, Taddei, Ashong, Di Tacchio, Cerci, Seferovic, Capezzi, Zohore. All. Montella
HELLAS VERONA: De Andrade, Crespo, Fatic, Bacinovic, Maietta, Pesoli, Rivas, Laner, Gomez, Hallfredsson, Gross. A disp: Andrande, Ceccarelli, Pugliese, Russo, Jorginho, Carrozza, Berrettoni, Bjelanovic, Huston, Verdun, Sluga. All. Mandorlini