Cagliari Calcio

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Cagliari Calcio 1920.svg
Full nameCagliari Calcio S.p.A.
Nickname(s)Gli Isolani (The Islanders)
Casteddu (Cagliari in Sardinian language)
Rossoblù (Red and Blue)
I Sardi (The Sardinians)
Founded30 May 1920; 102 years ago (1920-05-30)
1935; 87 years ago (1935) (re-founded)
GroundUnipol Domus
OwnerFluorsid Group
PresidentTommaso Giulini
Head coachFabio Liverani
LeagueSerie B
2021–22Serie A, 18th of 20 (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Cagliari Calcio, commonly referred to as Cagliari (Italian: [ˈkaʎʎari] (listen)), is an Italian football club based in Cagliari, Sardinia. In the 2022-23 season, they compete in Serie B. As of 2021–22, the team is temporarily playing their home games at the 16,416-seat Unipol Domus, adjacent to their future new stadium site.

Founded in 1920, they won their only Scudetto in 1969–70, when they were led by the Italian national team's all-time leading scorer, Gigi Riva. The triumph was also the first by a club from south of Rome. The club's best European performance was in the 1993–94 UEFA Cup, losing in the semi-finals to Internazionale.

As with the flag of its city, Cagliari's colours are blue and red. The club badge incorporates the flag of Sardinia.


Before Serie A[edit]

1930–31 Club Sportivo Cagliari

Cagliari became the first ever out-right champions of Serie C during the 1951–52 season; prior to that in the league, the championship was shared amongst more than one team. They spent the 1950s from then on in Serie B, losing a promotion play-off in 1954. After descending to Serie C in the early 1960s, Cagliari's rise would be meteoric, eventually achieving promotion to Serie A in 1964.

First Serie A adventure: 1964–1976[edit]

The squad for the Rossoblu's debut season in Serie A featured players like defender Mario Martiradonna, midfielders Pierluigi Cera, Nené and Ricciotti Greatti, and forward Gigi Riva. A poor first half of the season, however, saw Cagliari in last place with nine points at the halfway mark. An astonishing second half of the season saw Cagliari defeat the likes of Juventus and Milan and finish in seventh place with 34 points. Two seasons later, Riva finished as Serie A's top scorer for the first time while Cagliari finished with the league's best defensive record.

Forward Gigi Riva led Cagliari to their first Serie A title in 1969–70.

During the summer of 1967, Cagliari played a season in North America as part of a fledgling league called the United Soccer Association. This league included teams from Europe and South America set to play in American and Canadian cities, with each club bearing a local name. Cagliari played as the Chicago Mustangs, and finished joint second in the league's Western Division with 13 points, two behind the division champion and eventual league champion Los Angeles Wolves. The league's leading scorer was Chicago/Cagliari's Roberto Boninsegna, who scored ten goals while playing in 9 of the team's 12 games.

Cagliari first emerged as serious Serie A title contenders in 1968–69 with a three-horse race involving them, Fiorentina and Milan. Fiorentina would win the league, but the following season would bring ultimate glory. With Angelo Domenghini joining the side, Cagliari would win the title in 1970 with only two games lost, 11 goals conceded (the fewest in any major European league to date) and Riva as league top scorer once more. Players like Albertosi, Niccolai, Boninsegna, Gori, Cera, Domenghini and Riva played in Italy's 1970 World Cup final team.

The 1970s would see a gradual decline (though were title contenders two years after their one and only Scudetto win). Cagliari were finally relegated in 1976, with Riva's career having effectively ended during that season.

Up and down again: 1976–87[edit]

After relegation, Cagliari lost a play-off for promotion the following season and would return to Serie A in 1979. Players like Franco Selvaggi, Mario Brugnera (a survivor of the 1970 team) and Alberto Marchetti ensured a respectable four-year stay in the top flight before a second relegation in 1983. The 1980s would then prove to be a darker time compared to the previous two decades with relegation to Serie C1 in 1987.

There and back: 1987–2000[edit]

Cagliari spent two seasons in Serie C1. In the first one it barely avoided relegation in Serie C2. In 1988, Claudio Ranieri was appointed coach, and led the team to two successive promotions, to Serie B in 1989 and to Serie A in 1990. The first two seasons back in Serie A saw Cagliari fight relegation, with safety being achieved by excellent second half runs. But the 1992–93 season would see Cagliari fight for a European place and succeed under the management of Carlo Mazzone. The following season saw a best-ever run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, taking out Juventus in the quarter-finals before being eliminated 5–3 on aggregate by compatriots Internazionale, having won the first leg 3–2 at home.[1]

The next few years would see Cagliari return to mid-table anonymity, before a struggle in 1996–97 saw Cagliari relegated after losing a play-off to Piacenza. Once more they bounced back after just one year, but their next stay in Serie A lasted just two seasons.

Once and again: 2000 onwards[edit]

Cagliari spent the next four seasons in Serie B, until in 2003–04 with Sardinian-born veteran striker Gianfranco Zola, the team won promotion.[2] In 2005–06, the first season without Zola, the team changed their manager three times before Nedo Sonetti, appointed in November, was able to save the team from relegation, especially thanks to the excellent goal contribution from Honduran striker David Suazo.

Apart from finishing 9th in 2008–09 season, Cagliari regularly finished in the bottom half of Serie A under a sequence of managers, before being relegated in 2014–15.[3] They gained promotion back the following season as champions of Serie B.[4]

In 2014 the company passed, after 22 years of Massimo Cellino's presidency, into the hands of Tommaso Giulini, president and owner of Fluorsid, a multinational in the chemical sector. Relegation took place in the first season but the team won the Serie B championship in 2016, returning permanently to the top division albeit always finishing in the second half of the table.


Cagliari played at the Stadio Sant'Elia from 1970 to 2017

Cagliari moved from the Stadio Amsicora to the Stadio Sant'Elia in 1970, after winning their only league title. It was renovated for Italy's hosting of the 1990 FIFA World Cup where it hosted all of England's group games, ostensibly to confine the team's notorious hooligans to an island.[5]

Disputes with the city council over renovation of the publicly owned stadium meant that Cagliari played their final home games of 2011–12 at the Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste on the Italian Peninsula.[6] For most of the following season, the club played at the Stadio Is Arenas in the neighbouring municipality of Quartu Sant'Elena. It was deemed unsafe by the league, forcing them to play behind closed doors before leaving the ground in April 2013.[7] The Sant'Elia was demolished for a new stadium in 2017, and the club moved to the temporary Sardegna Arena next to it.[8]

Colours, badge and nicknames[edit]

Cagliari's badge incorporates the flag of Sardinia

The official red and blue colours of Cagliari mirror those featured on the stemma of Cagliari.[9] The red parts of the stemma are a reference to the coat of arms of the House of Savoy, a family which was previously the monarchy of Italy and more relevantly to Cagliari in particular, the Kingdom of Sardinia.[9] The blue part of the stemma features the sky and the sea, also a castle; this is because the old historic centre of Cagliari is walled and called the Castello.[9] Due to the use of these colours on their shirt in halves, the club is commonly nicknamed rossoblu.[10]

Cagliari have had several different logo designs during their history, all of which feature the flag of Sardinia.[11] Usually the badge also features the club colours; if there is a change, the main difference has been the colour of the border or the shape.[11] Since June 2015, the badge features an "Old French"-shaped escutcheon with red and blue halves, with the club's name written in white just above the flag of Sardinia. The Moors' heads have, for the first time, been turned to the right as of 2015 so as to match the Sardinian flag after it was updated in 1992.[12]

Due to the fact that Cagliari are the main club from the island of Sardinia, they are nicknamed the "Isolani" ("Islanders").[13]


Divisional movements[edit]

Series Years Last Promotions Relegations
A 42 2021–22 - Decrease 6 (1976, 1983, 1997, 2000, 2015, 2022)
B 30 2022–23 Increase 6 (1964, 1979, 1990, 1998, 2004, 2016) Decrease 4 (1935✟, 1948, 1960, 1987)
C 13 1988–89 Increase 4 (1931, 1952, 1962, 1989) Decrease 1 (1940)
85 out of 91 years of professional football in Italy since 1929
Sardinia 6 1946–47 Increase 2 (1937, 1947√) never


Current squad[edit]

As of 1 September 2022[23]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Serbia SRB Boris Radunović
2 DF Italy ITA Luigi Palomba
3 DF Italy ITA Edoardo Goldaniga
4 DF Italy ITA Alberto Dossena
5 MF Italy ITA Marco Mancosu
6 MF Croatia CRO Marko Rog
8 MF Uruguay URU Nahitan Nández
9 FW Peru PER Gianluca Lapadula
10 MF Italy ITA Nicolas Viola
12 GK Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH Eldin Lolić
14 MF Italy ITA Alessandro Deiola
15 DF Italy ITA Giorgio Altare
16 DF Argentina ARG Franco Carboni (on loan from Inter Milan)
18 GK Italy ITA Simone Aresti
19 FW Italy ITA Vincenzo Millico
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF Uruguay URU Gastón Pereiro
21 MF Italy ITA Nicolò Cavuoti
22 GK Italy ITA Giuseppe Ciocci
23 MF Italy ITA Nunzio Lella
24 DF Italy ITA Elio Capradossi
25 FW Italy ITA Filippo Falco (on loan from Red Star Belgrade)
27 DF Italy ITA Antonio Barreca
28 DF Italy ITA Gabriele Zappa
29 MF Republic of the Congo CGO Antoine Makoumbou
30 FW Italy ITA Leonardo Pavoletti
33 DF Slovakia SVK Adam Obert
39 MF Greece GRE Christos Kourfalidis
77 FW Angola ANG Zito Luvumbo
80 MF Argentina ARG Isaías Delpupo
99 DF Italy ITA Alessandro Di Pardo (on loan from Juventus)

Out on loan[edit]

As of 1 September 2022

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK Italy ITA Alessio Cragno (at Monza until 30 June 2023)
DF Italy ITA Raoul Bellanova (at Inter Milan until 30 June 2023)
DF Poland POL Sebastian Walukiewicz (at Empoli until 30 June 2023)
MF Romania ROU Răzvan Marin (at Empoli until 30 June 2023)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Italy ITA Alberto Cerri (at Como until 30 June 2023)
FW Italy ITA Gianluca Contini (at Olbia until 30 June 2023)
DF Italy ITA Salvatore Boccia (at Turris until 30 June 2023)
FW Italy ITA Jacopo Desogus (at Pescara Calcio until 30 June 2023)

Retired numbers[edit]

11Italy Gigi Riva, Forward (1963–78)
13Italy Davide Astori, Defender (2008–14) – posthumous honour[24]

Notable former players[edit]

This shortlist only includes players with at least 100 appearances for the club and/or an appearance in an edition of the FIFA World Cup.

Cagliari have a long history of Uruguayan players,[25][26] numbering 16 as of 2014; the most used of them was Diego López with 314 games, while others include Enzo Francescoli, José Herrera, Fabián O'Neill, Darío Silva, Nahitan Nandez and Diego Godin.[27] In addition, Uruguayan Óscar Tabárez managed the team from 1994 to 1995.[28]

Presidential history[edit]

Cagliari have had numerous presidents over the course of their history, some of which have been the owners of the club, others have been honorary presidents, here is a complete list of them:[29]

  • Antonio Zedda (1921)
  • Gaetano Fichera (1920–21)
  • Giorgio Mereu (1921–22)
  • Angelo Prunas (1922–24)
  • Agostino Cugusi (1924–26)
  • Vittorio Tredici (1926–28)
  • Carlo Costa Marras (1928–29)
  • Enzo Comi (1929–30)
  • Giovan Battista Bosazza (1930–31)
  • Guido Boero (1931–32)
  • Vitale Cao (1932–33)
  • Enrico Endrich (1933)
  • Pietro Faggioli (1933–34)
  • Aldo Vacca (1934–35)
  • Mario Banditelli (1935–40)
  • Giuseppe Depperu (1940–43)
  • Eugenio Camboni (1944–46)
  • Umberto Ceccarelli (1946–47)
  • Emilio Zunino (1947–49)
  • Domenico Loi (1949–53)
  • Pietro Leo (1953–54)
  • Efisio Corrias (1954–55)
  • Ennio Dalmasso (1955–57)
  • Giuseppe Meloni (1958–60)
  • Enrico Rocca (1960–68)
  • Efisio Corrias (1968–71)
  • Paolo Marras (1971–73)
  • Andrea Arrica (1973–76)
  • Mariano Delogu (1976–81)
  • Alvaro Amarugi (1981–84)
  • Fausto Moi (1984–86)
  • Gigi Riva (1986–87)
  • Lucio Cordeddu (1987)
  • Antonio Orrù (1987–91)
  • Massimo Cellino (1991–05)
  • Bruno Ghirardi (2005–06)
  • Massimo Cellino (2006–14)
  • Tommaso Giulini (2014–present)

Managerial history[edit]

Cagliari have had many managers and trainers, some seasons they have had co-managers running the team, here is a chronological list of them from when they founded in 1920 onwards.[30]

In Europe[edit]

Champions League[edit]

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate Reference
1970–71 First Round France Saint-Étienne 3–0 0–1 3–1 [32]
Second Round Spain Atlético Madrid 2–1 0–3 2–4

UEFA Cup[edit]

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate Reference
1972–73 First Round Greece Olympiacos 0–1 1–2 1–3 [33]
1993–94 First Round Romania Dinamo București 2–0 2–3 4–3 [34]
Second Round Turkey Trabzonspor 0–0 1–1 1–1 (a)
Third Round Belgium Mechelen 2–0 3–1 5–1
Quarter-Final Italy Juventus 1–0 2–1 3–1
Semi-Final Italy Internazionale 3–2 0–3 3–5

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup[edit]

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate Reference
1969–70 First Round Greece Aris Thessaloniki 3–0 1–1 4–1 [35]
Second Round East Germany Carl Zeiss Jena 0–1 0–2 0–3


  1. ^ Marucci, Lorenzo (30 March 2019). "30 marzo 1994, impresa del Cagliari: nella semifinale d'andata di Uefa batte 3–2 l'Inter" [March 1994, great Cagliari performance: they beat Inter 3–2 in UEFA semi-final first leg] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  2. ^ Eve, James (1 June 2004). "Zola continues to charm old friends". The Times. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Serie A Review: Berardi treble sinks nine-man Milan, Cagliari relegated". FourFourTwo. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Cagliari back in Serie A! – Football Italia". Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  5. ^ Williams, John (11 June 2004). "England Fans Pose a Massive Dilemma". Leicester Mercury. University of Leicester. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Calcio, il Cagliari giocherà a Trieste anche contro la Juve" [Calcio, Cagliari will play at Trieste against Juve as well]. La Nuova Sardegna (in Italian). 19 April 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Serie A: Cagliari cancel contract at Stadio Is Arenas in Quartu Sant'Elena". Sky Sports. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Cagliari, idea per lo stadio provvisorio a due passi dal Sant'Elia" [Cagliari, idea for provisional stadium stone's throw from the Sant'Elia] (in Italian). Cagliari News 24. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "Stemma Provincia di Cagliari". Comuni-Italiani. 24 June 2007. Archived from the original on 24 November 2007.
  10. ^ "Cagliari, e' Matri il primo colpo rossoblu: arriva dal Rimini". Eurosport. 24 June 2007. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Cagliari Calcio". 24 June 2007. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Cagliari, cambiano stemma e sito" [Cagliari, badge and website changed]. L'Unione Sarda (in Italian). 24 June 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Cagliari Calcio". 24 June 2007. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007.
  14. ^ Steve Holroyd; David Litterer (15 August 2008). "The Year in American Soccer - 1967". US Soccer History Archives. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  15. ^ Roberto Di Maggio; Igor Kramarsic; Alberto Novello (11 June 2015). "Italy - Serie A Top Scorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  16. ^ Roberto Di Maggio; Davide Rota (4 June 2015). "Italy - Coppa Italia Top Scorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Allegri's opportunity, Juve's gain?". Football Italia. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Riva, the Italian roar of thunder". Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Klavan, Ragnar" (in Estonian). ESBL.
  20. ^ "David Suazo: una pantera si aggira per la Serie A" (in Italian). 18 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Historique du meilleur footballeur africain BBC". BBC Afrique. 12 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Copa América 2016: Awards". Copa America Organisation. 27 June 2016. Archived from the original on 27 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Team". Cagliari Calcio (in Italian). Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Astori's number 13 shirt retired by Fiorentina and Cagliari following tragic passing". Archived from the original on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Cagliari, i giocatori dell'Uruguay in Sardegna: da Francescoli a Nandez" [Cagliari, the players from Uruguay in Sardinia: from Francescoli to Nández] (in Italian). Sky Sport. 5 November 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  26. ^ Lippi, Gabriele (30 January 2020). "Ranking definitivo degli uruguaiani del Cagliari" [Definitive ranking of Cagliari's Uruguayans]. (in Italian). Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  27. ^ Gaviano, Enrico (5 February 2014). "Sedici gli uruguaiani con la maglia rossoblù" [Sixteen Uruguayans in the red and blue shirt]. La Nuova Sardegna (in Italian). Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  28. ^ "Uruguay-Cagliari: con Godin può continuare la storia d'amore" [Uruguay-Cagliari: with Godin the love story continues] (in Italian). Cagliari News 24. 11 September 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  29. ^ "Presidenti". 8 June 2007. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  30. ^ "Allenatori Dal 1920 Ad Oggi". 27 August 2007. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  31. ^ In regional championships during the wartime period: (page 3) it.
  32. ^ "UEFA Champions League 1970–71". UEFA. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  33. ^ "UEFA Europa League 1971–72". UEFA. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  34. ^ "UEFA Europa League 1993–94". UEFA. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  35. ^ "Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1969–70". RSSSF. Retrieved 8 February 2020.

External links[edit]