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Ciao a ACF Fiorentina

25 Feb 2016

ACF Fiorentina, commonly referred to as simply Fiorentina , is a professional Italian football club from Florence, Tuscany. On Thursday they were here at Cheshunt FC , making final preparations for their Europa Cup match against Spurs that evening. The full squad, with coaches , interpreters, physios and manager Paolo Sousa ( the former Portugeuse international midfielder) arrived in the morning and were keen to get to work on the new 3G facility.

We have received enquiries before from European and Premier League clubs about using our facilities to prepare for matches in London, but certainly in recent times we have felt the need to be honest with them and suggest we perhaps didn’t have quite the standard they would like, (unless they were planning on playing at Wembley circa 1970 when we think our training area out the back probably had the edge) however with the revamped stadium, club facilities and the 3G available, this time we were confident we could meet expectations. Meetings with Dean & Ria were held and calls exchanged, and so Fiorentina become the first top flight team to train at Cheshunt in recent times. We hope they will be the first of many to come and try the Cheshunt experience.

Founded by a merger in 1926, and refounded in 2002 following bankruptcy, Fiorentina have played at the top level of Italian football for the majority of their existence; in fact only four clubs have played in more Serie A seasons. Fiorentina has won two Italian Championships, in 1955–56 and again in 1968–69, as well as six Coppa Italia trophies and one Supercoppa Italiana. On the European stage, Fiorentina won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1960–61 and lost the final one year later. They finished runners-up in the 1956–57 European Cup, losing against Real Madrid, and also came close to winning the 1989–90 UEFA Cup, finishing as runners-up against Juventus.

Claudio Ranieri the current Leicester manager is a former manager, as is the most famous Italian manager Giovanni Trappatoni.  Remember Roberto Baggio? He made his Serie A debut with Fiorentina. Those of you old enough to remember Gazzeta Football Italia, the Saturday morning channel 4 show will recall the all violet kit of Fiorentina was a regular feature, along with the goals of Gabriel Batistuta a prolific centre forward who Ranieri built his team around, signing a young Rui Costa & the Brazilian Marcio Santos who had won the World cup with Brazil the previous summer.

We thoroughly enjoyed being able to host Fiorentina, their representatives were wonderful to work with, Vanda who organised the visit, club official Mr Montana was very interested in Cheshunt FC and wore his Cheshunt hat & scarf at the match v Spurs (because we have his hat!) , club manager Roberto helped us with the photos & team manager Paulo was very generous with his time and pleased to help us in return for our hosting his team.

Paulo kindly left us with a souvenir shirt signed by the squad, which has been sent away to be framed & will be on display at the club.
As we go to print we don’t know how our new friends fared in their Europa Cup match, perhaps a blessing with so many of you being diehard Spurs fans (ask Tim about the origins of the term ‘die hard’ ) , but we hope they enjoyed their brief stay with us and we look forward to seeing them again. We will now add Serie A to our Football Webpages link to check their results, along with our own.
Forza Fiorentina !   Come On You Ambers !


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