Hellas Verona Football Club (commonly known simply as Verona, or Hellas within the city of Verona itself) plays in Serie A of the Italian league. Verona was founded in 1903 by a group of high school students but the modern history of the team as a force in Italian football dates from 1968 when it returned to Serie A where it was to stay until 1990.
Among the highlights of those years was a 5–3 win in the 1972–73 season that cost Milan the scudetto (the Serie A title), a result from the last day of that season. The following year Verona thought they had escaped relegation by finishing fourth from bottom but were sent down due to a scandal. However after one season, they returned to the top tier.
In the 1975–76 season, the team had a successful run in the Coppa Italia, knocking out highly-rated teams such as Torino, Cagliari and Internazionale from the tournament. However, disappointment was to await them in their first ever final in the competition, where Verona were trounced 4–0 by Napoli.
Their highest league placing during this period was fourth in 1982-83 a year when Verona again lost out in the Coppa Italia final, a loss which was to be repeated in 1983-84 in the final minutes of the return match against defending Serie A champions Roma.
The ultimate success was to come in the 1984-85 season when Verona won the League championship for the first and only time. Among the players who helped them on their way was Antonio Di Gennaro who had the knack of scoring goals at crucial moments, Giuseppe Galderisi, Hans-Peter Briegel in midfield and Danish striker Preben Elkjær.
Later years saw fortunes ebb and Verona spent several years away from the top, including a sojourn in the third division. However the 2013-14 season saw the team restored to the top league, finishing tenth with a slight drop to thirteenth in 2014-15. The team’s top scorer was Luca Toni with 22 goals whilst Icelander Emil Hallfreðsson had a notable nine assists.
Hellas Verona, together with its local rivals Chievo plays in the Stadio Marc ‘Antonio Bentegodi, regarded as one of Italy's iconic stadiums. Built in 1963, the venue's only fault is that it may be too big for the teams it houses. The ground was renovated for the World Cup in 1990 and became a superb arena for football, with an extra tier, a new roof, better visibility and fantastic transport connections to and from the city of Verona. In 2000, work began on the bottom tier as new improvements were needed, but unfortunately these were never finished. Nonetheless both the ground and Hellas Verona are well worth a visit.
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