Bologna are known in Italy as the first club from the peninsula to beat an English team. Chelsea were the victims, going down 4-1 to the Rossoblu in the 1937 Final of the now-defunct Exhibition Cup in Paris. That victory added prestige to Bologna, a club that had already established itself among Italy’s elite.
Formed in 1909, Bologna quickly emerged as a force to be reckoned with, partly thanks to the patronage of the Bolognese FIGC President Leandro Arpinati who had a hand in the club’s first Scudetto in 1925.
A golden era in the 1930s inspired by World Cup winner Angelo Schiavio and legendary President Renato Dall’Ara brought four more League titles and cemented Bologna’s reputation as a serious rival to Italy’s traditional heavyweights.
Their seventh and last Scudetto came in 1964, the only championship to be decided by a play-off when the Rossoblu defeated European champions Inter.
Despite lifting the Coppa Italia in 1970 and 1974, their recent history has been one of ups and downs, even if the fans are reassured by the knowledge that Bologna are still Italy’s sixth most successful club, more triumphant than Roma, Fiorentina, Napoli and Lazio.
In 2014 a lengthy takeover bid by North American duo Joe Tacopina and Joey Saputo was completed, and they scraped back into Serie A at the first time of asking via the play-offs. Despite a dismal start under Delio Rossi and a club row that saw Tacopina depart, the Rossoblu recovered for comfortable safety under the guidance of Coach Roberto Donadoni.
He failed to take Bologna into the top half, so now Filippo Inzaghi has the task of reviving one of Serie A’s historic clubs.