Founded in 1906, Torino are amongst Italy’s most celebrated clubs. It took them a little over a couple of decades to grab the first of no fewer than seven League crowns. The next one came in 1943 and it heralded the opening of an era of unprecedented success for the Turin side. They won five Scudetti on the trot to match the performance of city rivals Juventus back in the 1930s.
The ‘Grande Torino’ side ran riot, rarely scoring less than 100 goals a season and containing most of the great players of the era including Valentino Mazzola, Ezio Loik, Romeo Menti and Mario Rigamonti. But on May 4, 1949, disaster struck as the team was on its way back from a friendly in Lisbon. Their plane crashed into the hills above Turin at Superga and everyone on board was killed. There were still four games left to play in the season but, after a 0-0 draw with closest rivals Inter, the Italian Federation awarded them their fifth Scudetto in a row and let them conclude the season with their youth team.
It took over a quarter of a century for the championship to return to Torino and it was an emotionally charged moment when they secured that title once more in 1976. Since then the club has known a dip in fortunes and bobbed up and down between Serie A and B, although they did memorably reach the UEFA Cup Final in 1992 only to lose out to Ajax.
Toro’s seventh place finish in 2013-14 earned them Europa League qualification, and 2014-15 saw them reach the Last 16 of that competition – the highlight of recent years, as the club continues to consolidate its status as an established top-flight side. Giampiero Ventura left to take the Italy job and Sinisa Mihajlovic will try to bring some of his legendary determination to the side.