Verona vs Sampdoria. 1984

Before Leicester city won their famous Premier League, there was Hellas Verona’s 1984/85 season.

While the side from the north of Italy had been building a relatively strong team in the preceding years, finishing 8th the year before, they were competing in the strongest and most competitive league in the world at that time. In this year Maradona, Zico, Sócrates, Platini, Falcao and Ruminegge were all playing their trade for different sides up and down the country.

Many within the club felt something was building, the signing of Danish international Preben Elkjaer, a star at the European Championships held the previous Summer was seen as a major coup, especially as they reportedly beat out Madrid and Milan to his signature.

It helped, as with Leicester 30 years later, that many of the dominant sides were in a rebuilding phase or struggling to gel; but it takes nothing away from the stunning achievement of the side, who just three years previously were fighting for promotion from Serie B.

To lose just two games against that caliber of opposition was a stunning achievement and testament to the work of manager Osvaldo Bagnoli and the spirit of the side. Bravo.

Words by Andy Gallagher


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