Sampdoria was created in 1946 by the merger of Andrea Doria and Sampierdarenese, going on to mixed results until their relegation to Serie B in 1966. The Blucerchiati earned immediate promotion and held mid-table status for a decade, but the 1970s were their darkest hour with a series of mediocre Second Division performances.
Beloved President Paolo Mantovani took charge in 1979 and oversaw what was to become one of Italy’s historic sides. The culmination of this project, with Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini leading the way, was the 1991 Scudetto, Cup-Winners’ Cup, Italian Super Cup and four Coppa Italia trophies. Perhaps Mantovani’s greatest regret was seeing his side beaten by Barcelona during extra time of the 1992 European Cup Final at Wembley.
After Mantovani’s death Samp struggled with financial woes, selling off all their top stars, and spent four years in Serie B. But a massive injection of funds from owner Riccardo Garrone, an oil baron, saw them return. Another prolific strike partnership in the form of Giampaolo Pazzini and Antonio Cassano helped them clinch qualification to the Champions League Play-offs in 2010 while giving the outfit their best Serie A finish since 1994.
Riccardo’s son Edoardo took over running of the club following his passing, before selling it to Massimo Ferrero in 2014. The film producer’s first act was to award Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic a new contract.
Samp lost their Coach to Milan after a successful 2014-15 that saw them qualify for the Europa League at the expense of rivals Genoa, leaving Walter Zenga with the reins. The former goalkeeper lasted only a few months and heir Vincenzo Montella, another ex-Sampdoria player, did no better. It remains to be seen how Marco Giampaolo will deal with the troubled team.