U.C. AlbinoLeffe

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AlbinoLeffe
Albinoleffe logo.png
Full nameUnione Calcio AlbinoLeffe S.r.l.
Nickname(s)La Celeste (The Light-Blue)
Seriani
Bluceleste
Founded1998
GroundAlbinoLeffe Stadium,
Zanica, Italy
Capacity1,791
ChairmanGianfranco Andreoletti
Head coachMichele Marcolini
LeagueSerie C Group A
2020–21Serie C Group A, 7th of 20
WebsiteClub website

Unione Calcio AlbinoLeffe is an Italian association football club representing Albino and Leffe, two small towns located in Val Seriana. The club played in Serie B for nine consecutive years and narrowly missed promotion in Serie A at the end of the 2007–08 season. It currently plays in Serie C and has been in the Italian third tier since its relegation in 2011–12.

History[edit]

The performance of AlbinoLeffe in the Italian football league structure since the first season of a unified Serie A (1929/30). The club's first season was 1998/99.

The club was created in 1998 as a result of the merger between former Serie C2 (fourth division) teams Albinese Calcio and Società Calcio Leffe, respectively from Albino and Leffe, two neighboring towns. In their first season, the club finished 2nd in the Serie C2 and won a promotion having defeated A.C. Prato in the Girone A Play-offs final. After rising to Serie C1 (the Italian third division), they performed at the middle of the pack, finishing 9th in 2000 and 13th in 2001.

However, in 2002, the Seriani went to the finals of the Coppa Italia Serie C, where they defeated Livorno 2–1 at home before losing 2–3 on the road. They won the tournament on the tiebreaker (most away goals scored). In league play they again finished 13th. In 2003, AlbinoLeffe, under coach Elio Gustinetti, finished second in league play before heading to the promotion play-off. There, they defeated Padua in the semifinals, then had a surprising triumph over Pisa Calcio, which pushed them up to Serie B.

The team moved from the small Martinelli Stadium in Leffe, where they used to play home matches before promotion to Serie B, to the bigger Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia located in Bergamo, the chief-town of the province where both Albino and Leffe are located. Even though AlbinoLeffe was considered to be an outsider in Serie B, which historically includes several former Scudetto winners, the team remarkably managed to avoid relegation in the last two seasons. In 2005–2006, after a great comeback in the second half of the season following the appointment of Emiliano Mondonico as new head coach, Albinoleffe ended the season in eighteenth place and managed to save itself from relegation by prevailing in the playouts against Avellino (score: 2–0, 2–3). The 2006–2007 Serie B campaign, the fourth consecutive for the small Lombard team, ended with a good tenth place, well ahead of the relegation zone.

Historically, AlbinoLeffe's home games have been characterized by very low attendance, as shown by the average 2,400 spectators per game in the 2006–07 season, the most successful in the club history.[1]

With local hero Gustinetti back in charge of the team and despite a lineup composed of relative unknowns, the club's 2007–08 campaign started surprisingly well, with the team leading the Serie B table for a few weeks and arousing the interest of the national media, which began providing regular coverage of the team's games. This has thus far failed to improve the club's low home attendance, however. During the season, AlbinoLeffe confirmed as a potential candidate for direct promotion to Serie A, however a string of poor results, ended with four consecutive home defeats, the final one being a 0–4 loss to Rimini, denied them the chance to achieve a place in the top two, and persuaded club chairman Gianfranco Andreoletti to sack Gustinetti, who then confirmed not to be in good relationships with the chairman, and appoint youth team coach Armando Madonna as caretaker boss for the final regular season match and the following promotion playoffs.[2] Even after a 1–0 loss to Brescia, AlbinoLeffe managed to win at home in the second leg (2–1) and qualified for the final against Lecce. In the first leg they suffered a 1–0 loss. On 15 June, the second match was played in Lecce and its result was 1–1, so AlbinoLeffe did not reach Serie A.

At the end of the 2011–12 season, it was relegated to Lega Pro Prima Divisione after 9 consecutive years in Serie B.

AlbinoLeffe following the systematic match fixing as a club controlled by Singapore-based organized crime[3][4][5] was penalized 10 points in the 2012–13 Lega Pro Prima Divisione.

Stadium and colors[edit]

From the 2003–04 Serie B season and until 2019, AlbinoLeffe played its home games at the Atleti Azzurri d'Italia stadium in the city of Bergamo. Previously they played in Stadio Carlo Martelli of Leffe.

Following Atalanta's renovation works on the stadium, the club reached a venue sharing agreement with Giana Erminio from the nearby city of Gorgonzola allowing the club to play their home matches for the 2019–20 Serie C season at the Stadio Città di Gorgonzola.[6]

In 2021, the club opened a brand-new stadium in the town of Zanica with a capacity of 1,791 (with possibility of expansion to up to 5,500 in case of a promotion in Serie B) built next to the club's headquarters and training centre; the stadium was formally approved by the Italian National Olympic Committee in March 2019.[7] The stadium makes AlbinoLeffe the first Serie C team to own their home stadium. the inauguration match was played on 21 December 2021, a Serie C league game against Pro Patria.[8]

The club's official colors are dark blue and azure blue, also used for home matches, while the outfit worn by the players for away matches is red and yellow.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 4 September 2021[9]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
3 DF Italy ITA Ruggero Riva
4 MF Italy ITA Marco Nichetti
5 DF Italy ITA Diego Borghini
6 DF Italy ITA Mirko Saltarelli
7 FW Italy ITA Giacomo Tomaselli
8 MF Italy ITA Marco Piccoli
9 FW Italy ITA Sacha Cori
10 FW Italy ITA Jacopo Manconi
11 FW Italy ITA Alessandro Galeandro
12 GK Italy ITA Matteo Rossi
14 DF Italy ITA Michael Ntube
15 DF Italy ITA Ivan Michelotti
16 DF Romania ROU Mihai Gușu
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 MF Italy ITA Carmine Giorgione (captain)
18 MF Italy ITA Issa Doumbia
19 FW Italy ITA Mario Ravasio
20 MF France FRA Gaël Genevier
21 MF Italy ITA Amedeo Poletti
22 GK Italy ITA Andrea Pagno
23 MF Italy ITA Francesco Gelli
24 DF Italy ITA Stefano Marchetti
26 GK Italy ITA Alberto Savini
27 DF Italy ITA Armando Miculi
30 MF Italy ITA Riccardo Martignago
99 MF Italy ITA Luca Petrungaro

Seasons[edit]

Season Div Pos League record Other
P W D L F A Pts
1998–99 Serie C2/A 2nd 34 16 10 8 44 35 58 [10]
1999-00 Serie C1/A 9th 34 11 12 11 36 37 45
2000–01 Serie C1/A 13th 34 7 18 9 27 31 39
2001–02 Serie C1/A 13th 34 8 17 9 33 35 41
2002–03 Serie C1/A 2nd 34 17 12 5 62 36 63 [10]
2003–04 Serie B 18th 46 13 15 18 47 59 54
2004–05 Serie B 11th 38 14 13 15 55 51 55
2005–06 Serie B 18th 38 10 16 16 38 52 46 [11]
2006–07 Serie B 10th 38 11 20 11 46 48 53
2007–08 Serie B 4th 38 23 9 10 67 48 78 [12]
2008–09 Serie B 9th 38 15 13 14 49 49 58
2009–10 Serie B 11th 42 14 13 15 59 56 55
2010–11 Serie B 18th 42 13 10 19 55 66 49 [13]
2011–12 Serie B 22nd 42 6 12 24 39 60 30 [14]
2012–13 Serie C1/A 6th 32 13 14 5 44 27 47
2013–14 Serie C1/A 7th 30 12 7 11 42 40 43 [15]
2014–15 Lega Pro/A 20th 38 7 11 20 27 51 32 [16]
2015–16 Lega Pro/A 17th 34 4 8 22 23 57 20 [17]
2016–17 Lega Pro/B 9th 38 12 16 10 38 34 52
2017–18 Serie C/B 5th 34 13 10 11 36 31 49
2018–19 Serie C/B 14th 38 9 16 13 31 35 43
2019–20 Serie C/B 8th 27 10 9 8 29 24 39
2020–21 Serie C/A 7th 38 14 15 9 43 36 57

Former players[edit]

Former managers[edit]

Honours[edit]

Winner in 2002
Play-off Finals in 2008
Promotion gained as runner-up in 2003
Promotion gained as runner-up in 1999

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Serie B 06-07 attendances". Retrieved 20 June 2007.
  2. ^ "Albinoleffe, via Gustinetti" (in Italian). Corriere dello Sport. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
  3. ^ "La gola profonda: "L'organizzazione controllava l'Albinoleffe"". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Un pari dell'AlbinoLeffe valeva 6,5 milioni di euro". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Il caso AlbinoLeffe: "Oltre sei milioni su quel pareggio con il Piacenza"". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  6. ^ "L'ALBINOLEFFE ALLO STADIO CITTÀ DI GORGONZOLA" (in Italian). AS Giana Erminio. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Stadio dell'AlbinoLeffe a Zanica Via libera dal Coni al progetto" (in Italian). L'Eco di Bergamo. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Zanica, debutta lo stadio dell'AlbinoLeffe: è il primo impianto di proprietà in serie C" (in Italian). L'Eco di Bergamo. 18 December 2021. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Rosa AlbinoLeffe - Serie C 2020/21". www.albinoleffe.com (in Italian). Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  10. ^ a b promoted through playoffs
  11. ^ won relegation playoffs to Avellino
  12. ^ lost promotion playoff finals to Lecce
  13. ^ won relegation playoff against Piacenza
  14. ^ relegated to Lega Pro Prima Divisione
  15. ^ lost in quarterfinals of promotion playoffs to Cremonese
  16. ^ relegated to Serie D, but reinstated in Lega Pro by Italian Football Federation
  17. ^ relegated to Serie D for the second time, but reinstated one more time in Lega Pro by Italian Football Federation

External links[edit]