Top 10: Twinned clubs

Posted on 20/10/2010


Not everyone hates each other in Italian football as we unveil 10 of the bestGemellaggi between clubs on the peninsula

10. Parma and Empoli
During a League game in 1984, thick fog descended on to Parma’s Tardini home. Empoli won 1-0 with a goal before half-time, at the opposite end from Empoli’s small contingent. Only after a group of friendly Parma supporters started congratulating the Azzurri fans at full-time did they realise they’d even scored. Ever since, both sets of fans are constantly present at each other’s games.

9. Genoa and Pisa/Livorno
Genoa were once linked with Pisa, causing games between the Rossoblu and Livorno to become riddled with crowd trouble. However, after the link with Pisa was broken, Genoa duly paired up with Livorno! This lasted several years until November 2009, when after a Livorno home win, Genoa fans rampaged through the port city, causing thousands of Euros worth of damage and the bond was severed.

8. Inter and Verona
A link formed after Milan lost twice at Verona’s Stadio Bentegodi in the 80s costing them the Scudetto on both occasions, much to Inter’s delight. Games between the two were un-policed due to the friendly fan nature until 2001 when both sides decided to break during a Serie A tie at San Siro, after perceived insults at a game earlier in the season.

7. Bari and Salernitina
The brotherhood was formed after a game in May 2009. Salernitana had already clinched safety in B while Bari were chasing promotion to Serie A. Before the game fans of both sides sang together and Bari Ultras were allowed on the pitch to fly their flag. Despite the Salerno side winning 3-2, the link has lasted ever since, with a mutual dislike of Napoli strengthening the bond.

6. Roma and Juventus
This twinning was famous for being a one-off with Juventus vying for the 1999-2000 Scudetto. Juventus needed a win at Olimpico to stay ahead of challengers Lazio. Roma’s Curva Sud made it clear to their players they expected them to stand aside and allow a Juve win. However Roma won, meaning Lazio leapfrogged Juve and left Roma’s fans furious with their side.

5. Genoa and Torino
A strong bond was built up between the two following the sale to Torino of Gigi Meroni and lasted from the 60s all the way until a game in May 2009. Torino were on the brink of relegation and expected Genoa to ‘allow’ them the three points. However, a last minute Diego Milito goal all but sent Toro down, and after the game Toro fans broke the bond by attacking Genoa supporters.

4. Milan and Brescia
This twinning was created purely through the mutual hatred of Bergamo and its club, Atalanta. Games between Milan and Brescia are basically an anti-Bergamo rally with fans expressing their distaste for Atalanta and their fans. Milan-Atalanta games will always see Brescia fans in Milan’s Curva Sud and vice-versa.

3. Verona and Fiorentina
These supporters have probably the strongest bond in calcio. Every Verona game will see at least one Viola banner, while Hellas fans are invited on Fiorentina’s away trips. The link was formed in the 80s and was strengthened when the Curva Fiesole came out in support of Verona Ultras Brigate Gialloblu after the group disbanded in protest regarding police treatment in 1991.

2. Genoa and Napoli
Fans of these clubs first linked in 1982, but it became famous after a 0-0 draw at Marassi in 2007 meant both sides were promoted from Serie B, ensuing wild celebrations. Genoa’s Gradinata Nord held a banner proclaiming ‘Welcome, Neapolitan brothers!’ and both sets of fans partied together long after the final whistle. This twinning now ensures Napoli and Sampdoria games are even feistier than before.

1. Lazio and Inter
A brotherhood that had lasted years, Inter arrived at the Olimpico on May 5, 2002, needing simply a win to secure their first Scudetto since 1989. Lazio fans openly supported Inter, willing their team to lose and prevent Juventus, or worse Roma, winning the title. Inter inexplicably lost 4-2 meaning Juve won the League, much to the annoyance of Laziali everywhere.

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