Main Listening Report: The Genoese Derby
Genoa is an historic port city in the north west of Italy and is famous for its pesto and loved by several famous writers, such as Henry James, Joseph Conrad and Flaubert. We can add to its famous cuisine, architecture and visitors the fact that it has two of Italy’s most famous teams – Genoa and Sampdoria. The former team’s full name is Genoa Cricket and Football Club, which hints at its English roots: it was founded by a group of Englishman in 1893, and is the oldest football club in Italy. Genoa is also the English version of Genova, the Italian name for the city. Sampdoria, on the other hand, grew out of two teams, Andrea Doria and Sampierdarenese, after they were combined after World War Two. The two teams have histories stretching back for several decades before the merger, and these histories are shown in the Sampdoria’s colours, which combine the blue of Andrea Doria and the white, red and black of Sampierdarenese
The two clubs share the impressive Luigi Ferraris stadium, which can seat 36,000 and is one of the oldest grounds still being used – it was built in 1911. Originally it was Genoa’s ground but the Il Grifone, the Griffins as Genoa are known, agreed to share with the newly created Sampdoria in 1946. Traditionally the north stand is for the Genoa fans, decked in red and blue, and the south is for Sampdoria supporters.
The Clubs Records
Genoa, as one of the founders of the Italian league, has had most of its success in its early years, with nine titles, all coming before 1925. Samp on the other hand have only one title, in 1991, with Gianluca Vialli firing them to the title with 19 goals. In Europe, Sampdoria have had some success finishing runners up in the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup in 1989 and then wining the competition outright in 1990. Since then, it has been a pretty barren period for both teams, with a Coppa Italia success coming for Sampdoria in 1994. Genoa have struggled in the top flight in recent years, flirting with relegation in 2103.
Known as the Derby of the Lighthouse, or Lantern, referring to the famous Genoese landmark in the port, this game is traditionally a tight affair, with 34 draws coming out of the 90 meetings. As you would expect, Sampdoria edge their rivals with 33 wins to Genoa’s 23. Last year, honours were shared, with Genoa losing 1-0, but gaining revenge with a 3-0 thrashing. The fact that the fans are so close to the pitch in this atmospheric ground, makes this Italian derby one of the highlights to the season.
stand: an area of a stadium; there are usually four stands in older stadiums
la Samp: Sampdoria’s nickname; also, il Doria
firing them to…: helping them achieve … by scoring a lot of goals
runners up: second place; beaten finalist
a tight affair: a close match; a game in which neither team dominates
the top flight: the top league; here – Serie A
flirting with: coming close to; nearly getting something
edge: beat/win by a small margin