The majestic fusion in 1946 between Sampierdarenese and Andrea Doria who were active since the beginning of the 20th century led to the creation of Unione Calcio Sampdoria. The teams did not only merge their names, but their colours as well. While the team can only boast about one Scudetto, they have proven their worth in the world if Italian football.
Sampierdarenese and Andrea Doria both have fantastic stories from their past and them merging truly resulted in the best of both worlds. The rise, fall, and rebirth of the team are all united as the topic of this piece.
The team came to be as some very enthusiastic Britons wanted to extend their knowledge of the game to Italy. In 1901, Sezione Calcio Autonoma, or the football section of The Società Ginnastica Sampierdarenese was born and already competing in the tournaments.
Sampierdarenese started competing after World War I. Before that, it was not focused on football, but gymnastics. Andrea Doria, on the other hand, was very much football-oriented from the get-go, competing since 1903. The two teams were friendly rivals until they were merged in 1929 under the name La Dominante. Didn’t we say that the clubs fused in 1946? Yes, but this was the first time they came together, under a fascist regime. The team was rebranded after a bad season but still lost in the Serie B under their new name, Liguria.
The bitter defeats made the clubs get back to their original positions, as two separate entities. After World War II, when both clubs climber to the top of Serie A, they came together again. The logo and the kits were designed to show that both clubs had an equal part in the new team and neither was more important than the other.
Ups and Downs
While the new team would fall back in Serie B, it was soon taken over by one Paolo Mantovani in 1979. Not only did they return to Serie A, but they also won their first Coppa Italia in 1985. Sadly, as Sampdoria approached the end of the millennium, their performance started to decline. The morale of the team was not strengthened by the death of their benefactor Mantovani, though his son did show promise.
Sampdoria dropped out of Serie A in 1999, and their position in Italian football was anything but stable. As fine as its players were, the club did not achieve qualification for European competitions for the last couple of years. Still, the team has its merits, in spite of the fact that it was relegated to Serie B a few times. We must remember that Serie A is the top national tournament in Italy, as well as the fact that it is not easy to get a proper position when you are pitted against the likes of Juventus, Inter Milan, and A.C. Milan.
Speaking of other teams, the most notable rivals of Sampdoria are Genoa, a team that is slightly older than both of Sampdoria’s parents. Interestingly enough, they come from the same city, so the rivalry is strong.