Calcio Catania

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Full nameCalcio Catania SpA
Nickname(s)Rossazzurri ("Red and light-blues"),
Gli Elefanti ("The Elephants"),
Etnei ("Etneans")
Founded1908 (Educazione Fisica Pro Patria)[1]
1946 (Club Calcio Catania)
GroundStadio Angelo Massimino,
Catania, Italy
Ground Capacity23,420
OwnerAntonino Pulvirenti
PresidentAntonino Pulvirenti
Head Coach

Beppe Sannino

league = Serie B
2013–14Serie A, 18th (relegated)
WebsiteClub home page
Current season
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Full nameCalcio Catania SpA
Nickname(s)Rossazzurri ("Red and light-blues"),
Gli Elefanti ("The Elephants"),
Etnei ("Etneans")
Founded1908 (Educazione Fisica Pro Patria)[1]
1946 (Club Calcio Catania)
GroundStadio Angelo Massimino,
Catania, Italy
Ground Capacity23,420
OwnerAntonino Pulvirenti
PresidentAntonino Pulvirenti
Head Coach

Beppe Sannino

league = Serie B
2013–14Serie A, 18th (relegated)
WebsiteClub home page
Current season

Calcio Catania is an Italian football club founded in 1908 and based in Catania, Sicily. They currently compete in Serie B after climbing back up the football pyramid.

The club has achieved moderate success in the top league, the highest position ever reached by the club is 8th in Serie A for three times: during the early 1960s (twice) and again in 2012–13. The farthest Catania have progressed in cup competitions is the final of the Coppa delle Alpi. Catania have a long-standing rivalry with fellow islanders Palermo, with whom they have contested the Derby di Sicilia since 1936.


The origins of football being played by representatives of the Province of Catania can be traced back to English cargo ships, thanks to the workers who brought the game to Sicily. Specifically the earliest Catania team can be traced to match which took place on 2 May 1901 at San Raineri di Messina against Messina, the team was named Royal Yacht Catania; an English ship with a local Catanian crew.[2]

Earliest club photograph; as Pro Patria in 1908.

The ship workers team was just a pastime however, Catania's first professional and most stable football club was founded on 19 June 1908, by Italian film director Gaetano Ventimiglia and Francesco Sturzo d'Aldobrando, who founded the club under the name A.S. Educazione Fisica Pro Patria. Early on they would always play against sailors visiting the port of Catania, particularly foreign ships. Though their first ever match was against the Italian battleship Regina Margherita, the game ended in a 1–1 draw and the Catania line-up that day consisted of; Vassallo, Gismondo, Bianchi, Messina, Slaiter, Caccamo, Stellario, Binning, Cocuzza, Ventimiglia and Pappalardo. Just two years later they changed the name to Unione Sportiva Catanese.[3]

In the North of Italy, football was more organised and those clubs competed in the early Italian Football Championships, while Catania and other Southern clubs competed in competitions such as the Lipton, Sant' Agata and Agordad cups. US Catanese survived the First World War and just after it played in the local Coppa Federale Siciliana. Seven seasons later in 1927 they were entered into the Campionato Catanese, which was won in the 1928–29 season. As they gained promotion the club were entered into the Second Division, and changed their name first to Società Sportiva Catania. They first competed in Serie B in the 1934–35 season[4] where they finished 4th; that season Genoa won the Serie B title.

Catania played in the league for 3 seasons during this period, before being relegated. Down in Serie C, Catania were crowned champions in the 1938–39 season, finishing above Sicilian rivals Siracusa and Messina (who came in 2nd and 3rd respectively). Their return to Serie B was not a pleasant one, the club finished bottom of the league and won only three games that season. The club's name was briefly changed to Associazione Calcio Fascista Catania during the 1942–43 season in Serie C, which ended prematurely because of the 2nd World War.


Calcio Catania during 1946.

After World War II ended, a local competition was organised, the Campionato Siciliano. US Catanese were back; at the end of that season a local team named Elefante Catania[5] were merged into the club. The merged club kept the Catanese name and competed in Serie C during the 1945–46 season, but finished last. In the same league that season a team called Virtus Catania were also present and finished 8th.[6]

At the end of the season, Catanese and Virtus merged to form Club Calcio Catania, with the first president as Santi Manganaro-Passanisi (who had been president of Catanese). They were entered into Serie C where they spent three seasons, after an epic duel with Reggina for first place Catania prevailed with stars such as Goffi, Messora, Ardesi and Prevosti, gaining promotion to Serie B during 1948–49.

Golden years[edit]

The late 1950s through 1960s are considered the golden years for the Catanian club, as they managed to achieve promotion to Serie A on two separate occasions during this time. Their first promotion from Serie B came, when in the 1953–54 season Catania beat out Cagliari and Lombardy side Pro Patria to be crowned champions of the division. Their first season in Serie A, saw Catania achieve a respectable 12th place finish, but the club were forcibly relegated due to financial scandal (as were Udinese).

Calcio Catania during their second spell in Serie A, in the 1960s.

Under the management of Carmelo Di Bella (who had played for the club in the late '30s) Catania gained promotion from Serie B in the 1959–60 season. The race for promotion in third spot went down to the last day of the season and was very tense. Catania had lost their final game 4–2 to Brescia and needed Parma to get a good result against Triestina for the Sicilian club to secure promotion. That is exactly what happened and Catania had thus gained promotion once more.

Catania returned into Serie A for the 1960–61 season, to begin what would be a six-year stay in the league. Their return season was emphatic as the newly promoted club finished in 8th above top Italian clubs such as Lazio and Napoli. This season produced several notable wins; they beat Napoli and Bologna twice, Sampdoria 3–0 at home and most notably they beat AC Milan 4–3 in Sicily and then on the final day of the season they beat Internazionale 2–0, with goals from Castellazzi and Calvanese. This rubbed the salt into the wounds of Inter who lost the closely contested title that year to Juventus.

Four years later in 1965 they would also finish 8th in the league, this time above Roma and Sicilian rivals Messina. Many of the club's most notable stars played around this time, such as; midfielders Alvaro Biagini and the Brazilian Cinesinho, along with wingers Carlo Facchin and Giancarlo Danova in the side. Catania more than held their own amongst the giants of Italian football, with wins against Juventus (2–0), Fiorentina (2–0) and Lazio (1–0).

Mixed fortunes in the '70s and '80s[edit]

After their relegation in 1966 Carmelo Di Bella left and Catania stayed in Serie B; clashing with Palermo in the Sicilian derby before the Palermitan club were promoted. Catania followed in 1969–70 with a third place finish; though their stay in Serie A this time was very brief and they were relegated back down after one season. Their most impressive results that season was 3–1 win against Lazio and a draw at home against AC Milan, Catania lacked goalscorers at the time as they only scored 18 goals altogether in 30 games. Worse was to come for the club, who in 1973–74 were relegated down to Serie C, but fortunately for the club they were able to bounce straight back with a promotion into Serie B as champions. A similar situation happened in 1976–77, where they were relegated down to Serie C. This time however, they were not able to bounce right back; they finished 2nd and then 3rd before finally being crowned champions of what was now known as Serie C1 in 1979–80.

After three short seasons, Catania were promoted in 3rd place behind AC Milan and Lazio, into Serie A. They played the 1983–84 season in Italy's top league, but it proved to be an especially dismal season, with only one win (which came against Pisa) and 12 points despite the presence of Claudio Ranieri and Brazilian imports Luvanor and Pedrinho.

Decline and revival[edit]

The decline of Catania started most evidently after its last relegation to Serie B. The team was no longer able to reach the top division of Italian football, and instead continued to decline, being relegated for a while into Serie C1 for the latter part of the 1980s. The lowest point of the club's history, however, was reached in 1993, when the team was cancelled by the FIGC because of financial irregularities.

However, after a long judicial battle, the magistrature declared the Italian Federation decision as invalid, and forced it to include the team back into the footballing fold. Catania was thus included in the Sicilian Eccellenza (the sixth tier of Italian football), but in the meantime another Sicilian football team, Atletico Leonzio from Lentini (in the Province of Syracuse), had been relocated in the city and renamed Atletico Catania. Despite all of this, the "real" Catania was able to rise back to Serie C in a relatively small number of years, and even back to Serie B in 2002.

During 2003, Catania was at the centre of a controversy that led to the enlargement of Serie B from 20 to 24 teams, known as Caso Catania. The club claimed that Siena fielded an ineligible player in a 1–1 tie, a result which saw Catania relegated, whereas the two extra points from a victory would have kept them safe. They were awarded a 2–0 victory, before the result being reverted, and then re-awarded again. In August, the FIGC decided to let Catania, along with Genoa and Salernitana stay in Serie B, the newly-reborn Fiorentina were also added for the 2003–04 season. The ruling led to protests and boycotts by the other Serie B clubs that delayed the start of the season.

The league went down to 22 teams for 2004–05, while at the same time Serie A expanded from 18 to 20 teams. During the start of that season, Antonino Pulvirenti, chairman of the flight company Windjet and owner of Acireale, a Sicilian Serie C1 team, bought the club. Catania's new ownership let the team enjoy a revival, and in 2005–06 Catania ended in second position, earning promotion to Serie A.

Against Atalanta in Serie A during 2006.

Return to Serie A[edit]

The 2006–07 season saw Catania in Serie A for its first appearance in 22 years. In their first season back, Catania began well, and though they recorded a couple of heavy defeats, their home form saw them peak as high as fourth after 20 games.

Their return season changed drastically on 2 February 2007, due to the 2007 Catania football violence incident. It happened during the Sicilian derby with Palermo, where policeman Filippo Raciti was killed during football-related violence caused by Catania ultras outside the Massimino stadium.[7] The event led FIGC commissioner Luca Pancalli to cancel all football-related events in the country for a period of time, including league and national team matches. Catania chairman and owner Antonino Pulvirenti announced his willingness to leave the football world, stating it was not possible to go on producing football in Catania.

After the Italian football league restarted, Catania continued on but dropped in form largely. In truth, their slump in form had started just before the derby incident and all together they failed to win for 12 games in a row before beating Udinese 1–0 in late April 2007, where[8] they eventually finished 13th.

The following season, with Marino leaving for Udinese and Silvio Baldini taking charge of the team, proved to be much harder. Poor results in the league table were however coupled with impressive performance in the Coppa Italia, where Catania reached a historical place in the semi-finals, then lost to Roma. Meanwhile, Baldini resigned from his post on 31 March 2008, being replaced by Walter Zenga in a somewhat surprise appointment (at least due to Zenga's lack of expertise at the Serie A level). Despite this, Zenga managed to lead the rossazzurri off the relegation zone, saving his side from falling down to Serie B in a heated final week game, a 1–1 home tie to Roma, with an equaliser goal scored by Jorge Andrés Martínez at the 85th minute. Zenga was successively confirmed in charge of the team for the upcoming 2008–09 season.

On 5 June 2009, Walter Zenga left Catania to be the manager at arch-rival Palermo. He was replaced by Gianluca Atzori, a relative coaching neophyte with just one year's experience at Lega Pro Prima Divisione team Ravenna. Atzori was noted for using an attacking 4–3–3 formation at Ravenna and was expected to continue a similar approach with the Elefanti.

On 8 December 2009, Siniša Mihajlović was appointed new head coach of Catania, taking over from Gianluca Atzori. He signed a contract until June 2011 with the Elefanti. Arriving at the club that was dead last in the Serie A standings, Mihajlović debuted with a loss against Livorno. The following week, however, his team pulled off a stunning upset by beating heavily favoured Juventus away in Turin with a 2–1 scoreline. After Mihajlović's departure to Fiorentina, Catania appointed Marco Giampaolo as new head coach for the 2010–11 season; on January 2011, Catania decided to remove Giampaolo from his position due to poor results and replace him with former Argentine star Diego Simeone, who had no previous experience at Serie A level but managed to guide the Sicilians to safety before to part company by the end of the season, after only four months in charge of the team. As a replacement, Catania appointed 37-year-old Vincenzo Montella at his second managerial experience after having served as caretaker at Roma during the final part of the 2010–11 season.

Then came Rolando Moran in 2012/2013 season who guided Calcio Catania to a freakish record-breaking season where they accrued 56 points from 38 Serie A matches. The season also saw Catania take a record amount of home wins in one season, its record number of victories overall in a single top flight campaign, as well as its record points total in Serie A for the fifth consecutive season. They also finished ahead of Inter Milan at the conclusion of the season and were only 5 points away from competing in the Europa League which would have be an incredible achievement.

Colors and badge[edit]

The colours of the team are red and light-blue.

Current squad[edit]

First team[edit]

As of 19 September 2014.[9]

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

1ItalyGKAlberto Frison
2ArgentinaDFGino Peruzzi
3ArgentinaDFNicolás Spolli
4ArgentinaMFSergio Almirón
5UruguayDFAlexis Rolín
6BrazilMFRaphael Martinho
8ArgentinaMFGonzalo Escalante (on loan from Argentina Boca Juniors)
9ItalyFWEmanuele Calaiò
10ItalyFWAlessandro Rosina
11ArgentinaFWSebastián Leto
12ItalyGKGiuseppe Ficara
13ItalyMFSergio Garufi
14SloveniaFWMaks Barišič
15ArgentinaDFGastón Sauro (on loan from Switzerland Basel)
16ArgentinaMFAdrián Calello
17AlbaniaFWEdgar Çani
18ArgentinaDFFabián Monzón
19ArgentinaMFLucas Castro
20PolandMFMichał Chrapek
21ArgentinaMFFabián Rinaudo
22ItalyGKPietro Terracciano
23SlovakiaDFNorbert Gyömbér
24ItalyDFCiro Capuano (captain)
25ArgentinaMFGonzalo Piermarteri
26ItalyGKLuca Anania
27SerbiaMFFilip Janković (on loan from Parma)
28ItalyDFTino Parisi
ItalyFWFabio Aveni

On Loan 2014/15[edit]

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

10ItalyMFFrancesco Lodi (at Parma)
14ItalyDFGiuseppe Bellusci (at England Leeds United)
26ItalyMFFederico Moretti (at Vicenza)
27ItalyDFMichele De Matteis (at Aversa Normanna)
Costa RicaDFErick Cabalceta (at Costa Rica Cartaginés)
SenegalFWSouleymane Doukara (at England Leeds United)
CroatiaFWBruno Petković (at Varese)
ItalyFWEmiliano Tortolano (at Cosenza)

Loan deals expire 30 June 2015.

Youth team[edit]

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


Notable former players[edit]

Presidential history[edit]

Catania have had several 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 list of them from 1946 onwards.

Santi Passanisi Manganaro1946–48
Lorenzo Fazio1948–51
Arturo Michisanti1951–54
Giuseppe Rizzo1954–56
Agatino Pesce
Michele Giuffrida
Ignazio Marcoccio1959–69
Angelo Massimino1969–73
Salvatore Coco1973–74
Angelo Massimino1974–87
Angelo Attaguile1987–91
Salvatore Massimino1991–92
Angelo Massimino1992–96
Grazia Codiglione1996–00
Riccardo Gaucci2000–04
Antonino Pulvirenti2004–

Managerial history[edit]

Catania have had many managers and trainers throughout the history of a club, in some seasons more than one manager was in charge. Here is a chronological list of them from 1946 onwards.[10]

Giovanni Degni1946–48
Nicolò Nicolosi1948
Miroslav Banas1948–49
Mario Magnozzi1949–50
Stanislav Klein1950
Lajos Politzer1950–51
Nereo Marini1951–52
Rodolfo Brondi1952
Giulio Cappelli1952–53
Fioravante Baldi1953
Piero Andreoli1953–56
Matteo Poggi1956–57
Riccardo Carapellese1957
Nicolò Nicolosi1958
Francesco Capocasale1958
Blagoje Marjanović1958–59
Carmelo Di Bella1959–66
Luigi Valsecchi1966
Dino Ballacci1966–67
Luigi Valsecchi1968
Egizio Rubino1968–71
Salvador Calvanese
Luigi Valsecchi
Carmelo Di Bella1972–73
Luigi Valsecchi1973
Guido Mazzetti1974
Adelmo Prenna1974
Gennaro Rambone1974–75
Egizio Rubino1975–76
Guido Mazzetti1976
Carmelo Di Bella1976–77
Luigi Valsecchi1977
Carlo Matteucci1977–78
Guido Mazzetti1978
Adelmo Capelli1978–79
Gennaro Rambone1979–80
Lino De Petrillo1980–81
Guido Mazzetti1981
Giorgio Michelotti1981–82
Salvo Bianchetti1982
Guido Mazzetti1982
Gianni Di Marzio1982–84
Giovan Battista Fabbri1984
Antonio Renna1984–85
Gennaro Rambone1985
Salvo Bianchetti1985–86
Antonio Colomban1986
Gennaro Rambone1986–87
Bruno Pace1987
Osvaldo Jaconi1987
Pietro Santin1987–88
Bruno Pace1988–89
Carmelo Russo1989–90
Angelo Benedicto Sormani1990–91
Giuseppe Caramanno1991–92
Franco Vannini1992
Salvo Bianchetti1992–93
Franco Indelicato1993–94
Lorenzo Barlassina1994
Pier Giuseppe Mosti1994–95
Angelo Busetta1995
Lamberto Leonardi1995
Aldo Cerantola1995–96
Mario Russo1996
Angelo Busetta1996–97
Giovanni Mei1997–98
Franco Gagliardi1998
Piero Cucchi1998–99
Giovanni Simonelli1999 – 30 Jun 2000
Ivo Iaconi1 Jul 2000 – 30 Sep 2000
Vincenzo Guerini15 Oct 2000 – 5 Dec 2000
Aldo Ammazzalorso23 Jun 2001 – 18 Dec 2001
Pietro Vierchowod2001
Francesco Graziani
Maurizio Pellegrino
Osvaldo Jaconi1 Jul 2002 – 31 Dec 2002
Maurizio Pellegrino20 May 2002 – 18 Nov 2003
John Toshack2002–03
Edoardo Reja29 Jan 2003 – 6 Apr 2003
Vincenzo Guerini6 Apr 2003 – 30 Jun 2003
Gabriele Matricciani
Stefano Colantuono
1 Jul 2003 – 30 Jun 2004
Maurizio Costantini2004–05
Nedo Sonetti2005
Pasquale Marino1 Jul 2005 – 4 Jun 2007
Silvio Baldini1 Jul 2007 – 31 Mar 2008
Walter Zenga1 Apr 2008 – 30 Jun 2009
Gianluca Atzori1 Jul 2009 – 7 Dec 2009
Siniša Mihajlović8 Dec 2009 – 24 May 2010
Marco Giampaolo30 May 2010 – 18 Jan 2011
Diego Simeone19 Jan 2011 – 1 Jun 2011
Vincenzo Montella9 Jun 2011 – 5 Jun 2012
Rolando Maran11 Jun 2012 – 20 Oct 2013
Luigi De Canio20 Oct 2013 – 16 Jan 2014
Rolando Maran16 Jan 2014 – 7 Apr 2014

Stadium information[edit]

Curva Nord supporters at Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania

Catania first made their debut at the Stadio Angelo Massimino, then called the Stadio Cibali in 1937. The stadium was renamed in honour of former president Angelo Massimino in 2002. Massimino had been president of the club from 1969 until his death in 1996.

It has been proposed that the club would move to a 33,765 seater stadium named Stadio Dèi Palici, which is to be located in the southern outskirts of the city of Catania in an industrial zone called Pantano d'Arci.[11]


Serie B

Coppa delle Alpi

Serie C / Serie C1

Serie C2

Serie D

Eccellenza Sicily

Club records[edit]


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  7. ^ "Italian league halted by violence"BBC News
  8. ^ "". Archived from the original on 1 June 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  9. ^ "Prima Squadra" [First Team]. Catania Calcio (in Italian). Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 20 June 2007. 

External links[edit]