A.C. ChievoVerona

Associazione Calcio ChievoVerona, commonly referred to as ChievoVerona or simply Chievo [ˈkjeːvo], is an Italian football club named after and based in Chievo, a suburb of 4,500 inhabitants in Verona, Veneto, and owned by Paluani, a bakery product company and the inspiration for their original name, Paluani Chievo. The club shares the 38,402 seater Marc'Antonio Bentegodi stadium with its cross-town rivals Hellas Verona.

Full nameAssociazione Calcio ChievoVerona S.r.l.
Nickname(s)I Gialloblu (The Yellow and Blues)
I Mussi Volanti ("The Flying Donkeys" in Venetian)
Céo ("Chievo" in Venetian)
Squadra della Diga (Dam Team)
Founded1929; 92 years ago (1929)
GroundStadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi
PresidentLuca Campedelli
Head coachMarco Zaffaroni
LeagueSerie D
2020–21Serie B, 8th of 20 (excluded)
WebsiteClub website
Current season
The progress of Chievo in the Italian football league structure since the first season of a unified Serie A (1929/30). Only seasons in the top four tiers appear in the graph.


Early years

The team was founded in 1929 by a small number of football fans from Chievo, a Verona frazione. Initially the club was not officially affiliated to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), but nonetheless played several amateur tournament and friendly matches under the denomination O.N.D. Chievo, a title imposed by the fascist regime. The club's formal debut in an official league was on 8 November 1931. The team colours at the time were blue and white. Chievo disbanded in 1936, however, due to economic woes but returned to play in 1948 after World War II, being registered in the regional league of Seconda Divisione (Second Division). In 1957, the team moved to the field "Carlantonio Bottagisio", where they played until 1986. In 1959, after the restructuring of the football leagues, Chievo was admitted to play the Seconda Categoria (Second Category), a regional league placed next-to-last in the Italian football pyramid. That year, Chievo changed its name to Cardi Chievo, after a new sponsor, and was quickly promoted to the Prima Categoria, from which it experienced its first-ever relegation in 1962.

Series of promotions

In 1964, Luigi Campedelli, a businessman and owner of the Paluani company, was named new Chievo chairman. Under Campedelli's presidency, Chievo climbed through the entire Italian football pyramid, reaching the Serie D after the 1974–75 season. Under the name "Paluani Chievo", the team was promoted to Serie C2 in 1986. As a consequence of promotion, Chievo was forced to move to the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, the main venue in Verona; another promotion, to Serie C1, followed in 1989. In 1990, the team changed its name to its current one, "A.C. ChievoVerona."

In 1992, President Luigi Campedelli, who had returned at the helm of the club two years before, died of a heart attack, and his son Luca Campedelli, aged just 23, became the new and youngest chairman of an Italian professional football club. Campedelli promoted Giovanni Sartori to director of football and named Alberto Malesani as the new head coach. Under Malesani, the team astonishingly won the Serie C1 and was promoted to Serie B, where city rival Hellas Verona was playing at the time. In 1997, after Malesani signed for Fiorentina, Silvio Baldini was appointed the new head coach. The following season, with Domenico Caso as the coach, saw the first dismissal of a coach during the presidency of Luca Campedelli, with Caso being fired and replaced with Lorenzo Balestro. It was during these years that the nickname "mussi volanti" ("flying donkeys") was born. It originated from supporters of their crosstown rivals Hellas, who would mock long-suffering Chievo supporters that Chievo will only be promoted if "donkeys could fly" (equivalent of the English language falsism "if pigs could fly", denoting an impossible dream).[2]

In 2000–01, Luigi Delneri was signed as coach and led Chievo, by virtue of its third-place finish in Serie B, to promotion to Serie A, the first time in team history that it had reached the top tier of Italian football.

Mussi Volanti (2001–2007)

In its 2001–02, Chievo's Serie A debut season, the team was most critics' choice for an instant return to Serie B. However, they became the surprise team in the league, playing often spectacular and entertaining football and even leading the league for six consecutive weeks. The club finally ended the season with a highly respectable fifth-place finish, qualifying the team to play in the UEFA Cup. Chievo's impressive performance inspired a 2002 book about soccer economics titled "Fenomeno Chievo. Economia, costume, società" by Marco Vitale.[3]

In 2002–03, Chievo debuted at the European level but were eliminated in the first round by Red Star Belgrade. The team finished the Serie A season in seventh place, again proving itself one of the better Serie A teams. The 2003–04 season, the last with Delneri at the helm, saw Chievo finish ninth.

The 2004–05 season is remembered as one of the toughest ever in Chievo's history. Mario Beretta, a Serie A novice from Ternana, was named the coach but, after a strong start that brought Chievo to third behind Juventus and Milan, the team slowly lost position in the league table. With three matches remaining in the season, Chievo was third-from-last, a position which would see it relegated to Serie B. As a last resort, Beretta was fired and Maurizio D'Angelo, a former Chievo player, was appointed temporarily to replace him as coach. Morale improved, and two wins and a draw from the final three matches proved just enough to keep Chievo in Serie A.

In 2005–06, Giuseppe Pillon of Treviso FBC was appointed as new coach. The team experienced a return to the successful Delneri era, both in style of play and results, which resulted in Chievo ending the season in seventh and gaining a berth in the UEFA Cup. However, because of the football scandal involving several top-class teams, all of which finished higher than Chievo in the 2005–06 season, the Flying Donkeys were awarded a place in the next Champions League preliminary phase.

On 14 July 2006, the verdict in the scandal was made public. Juventus, Milan and Fiorentina, who had all originally qualified for the 2006–07 Champions League, and Lazio, who had originally qualified for the 2006–07 UEFA Cup, were all banned from UEFA competition for the 2006–07 season, although Milan were allowed to enter the Champions League after their appeal to the FIGC. Chievo took up a place in the third qualifying stage of the competition along with Milan and faced Bulgarian side Levski Sofia. Chievo lost the first leg 2–0 in Sofia and managed a 2–2 home draw on the second leg and were eliminated by a 4–2 aggregate score with Levski advancing to the Champions League group stage. As a Champions League third round qualifying loser, Chievo was given a place in the UEFA Cup final qualifying round. On 25 August 2006, they were drawn to face Portuguese side Braga. The first leg, played on 14 September in Braga, ended in a 2–0 win for the Portuguese. The return match, played on 28 September in Verona, although won by Chievo 2–1, resulted in a 3–2 aggregate loss and the club's elimination from the competition.

On 16 October 2006, following a 1–0 defeat against Torino, head coach Giuseppe Pillon was fired, and replaced by Luigi Delneri, one of the original symbols of the miracle Chievo, who had led the club to the Serie A in 2002.

On 27 May 2007, the last match day of the 2006–07 Serie A season, Chievo was one of five teams in danger of falling into the last undecided relegation spot. Needing only a draw against Catania, a direct competitor in the relegation battle, Chievo lost 2–0 playing on a neutral field in Bologna. Wins by Parma, Siena and Reggina condemned Chievo to Serie B for the 2007–08 season after six seasons in the top flight.

Even as a relatively-successful Serie A team the club, which averages only 9,000 to 10,000 fans[4] and is kept afloat mainly by money from television rights, does not have the same number of fan supporters as Hellas, the oldest team in Verona. The difference between the clubs' supporters' number was highlighted during local derby games played in season 2001–02 at the clubs' shared stadium when, for Chievo's "home" fixtures, the Chievo fans were located in the "away" end of the stadium (the area of the stadium Chievo's supporters for years claimed as "theirs", in fact the main supporters faction's name is "North Side", the side of the stadium usually assigned to away teams' supporters), while most of the rest of the stadium seats were assigned to Hellas supporters.[citation needed]

A year with the Cadetti (2007–08)

Chievo bounced back quickly from the disappointment of their relegation on the last matchday of 2006–07, going in search of an immediate promotion back to the top flight. After the expected departure of several top-quality players including Franco Semioli, Salvatore Lanna, Matteo Brighi, Paolo Sammarco and Erjon Bogdani, the manager Delneri also parted ways with the club. Giuseppe Iachini replaced him and the captain, Lorenzo D'Anna, gave way to Sergio Pellissier at the end of the transfer window. A new squad was constructed, most notably including the arrivals of midfielders Maurizio Ciaramitaro and Simone Bentivoglio, defender César and forward Antimo Iunco. This new incarnation of the gialloblu were crowned winter champions (along with Bologna), en route to a 41st matchday promotion after a 1–1 draw at Grosseto left them four points clear of third-place Lecce with one match remaining. In addition to winning promotion, they were conferred with the Ali della Vittoria trophy on the final matchday of the season, their first league title of any kind in 14 years.

Back in Serie A (2008–2019)

In their first season back to the top flight, Chievo immediately struggled in the league resulting in the dismissal of Iachini in November and his replacement with former Parma boss Domenico Di Carlo.[5] After Di Carlo's appointment, Chievo managed a remarkable resurgence that led the gialloblu out of the relegation zone after having collected just nine points from their first 17 matches. Highlight matches included a 3–0 defeat of Lazio (who then won the 2008–09 Coppa Italia title) at the Stadio Olimpico, and a thrilling 3–3 draw away to Juventus in which captain and longtime Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier scored a late equaliser to complete his first career hat-trick. A series of hard-fought draws against top clubs Roma, Internazionale and Genoa in the final stretch of the season solidified Ceo's position outside the drop zone and Serie A status was finally confirmed on matchday 37 with a home draw against Bologna. A largely unchanged line-up earned safety the following season with four matchdays to spare, and Chievo is therefore a part of the inaugural Lega Calcio Serie A in 2010–11, their third consecutive season (and ninth season in the last ten years) in the top flight of Italian football.

Lorenzo D'Anna remained as coach of the club for the 2018–19 season after replacing Rolando Maran during the 2017–18 season. On 13 September, Chievo were deducted 3 points after being found guilty of false accounting on exchanging players with Cesena.[6] Chievo were officially relegated on 14 April 2019 after a 3–1 home loss to Napoli.[7]

Return to lower divisions and bankruptcy (2019–present)

In July 2021, after two seasons in Serie B, Chievo was excluded from Serie B after failing to prove its financial stability. The club had all its appeals rejected and was essentially declared bankrupt; consequently, it will restart from Serie D in the 2021–22 season.[8]


Current squad

As of 1 July 2021[9]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK  ITA Andrea Seculin
5 DF  ITA Michele Rigione
6 DF  FRA Maxime Leverbe
8 MF  ITA Emanuele Zuelli
9 FW  ITA Michael Fabbro
11 FW  ITA Antonio Di Gaudio
12 GK  ITA Michele Bragantini
15 DF  FIN Sauli Väisänen
16 MF  ITA Luca Garritano
18 FW  ITA Luigi Canotto
20 FW  MNE Sergej Grubač
21 DF  SVN Daniel Pavlev
23 FW  SRB Filip Đorđević
24 MF  ITA Mattia Viviani
26 MF  ITA Massimo Bertagnoli
27 DF  ITA Matteo Cotali
32 DF  ROU Vasile Mogoș
No. Pos. Nation Player
33 GK  CRO Adrian Šemper
39 DF   SUI Marin Cavar
40 DF  GHA Elimelech Enyan
41 FW  TUN Nabil Makni
43 FW  ITA Filippo Tuzzo
89 DF  FRA Guillaume Gigliotti
93 FW  ITA Francesco Margiotta
95 MF  ITA Luca Munaretti
98 FW  ITA Manuel De Luca
GK  ITA Alessandro Confente
GK  ITA Filippo Pavoni
MF  SVK Dávid Ivan
MF  SWE Jonathan Morsay
MF  POR Nuno Pina
FW  ITA Manuel Pucciarelli
FW  ESP Alejandro Rodríguez
FW  ITA Pietro Rovaglia

Other players under contract

As of 1 July 2021

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK  ITA Lorenzo Sarini
DF  ITA Giovanni Nuti
No. Pos. Nation Player
DF  ITA Genny Rondinella
MF  ITA Enrico Manconi

On loan

As of 1 July 2021

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF  SWE Joseph Colley (at Sirius until 31 December 2021)

Coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach Paolo Mandelli
Assistant coach Davide Mandelli
Assistant coach Mauro Briano
Assistant coach Francesco Checcucci
Goalkeeper coach Lorenzo Squizzi
Fitness coach Luigi Posenato
Physiotherapist Antonio Agostini
Physiotherapist Luca Mascia
Physiotherapist Alessandro Verzini
Club Doctor Giuliano Corradini

Retired numbers

Notable players

Note: this list includes players that have reached international status.


Colours and badge

The club's original colours were blue and white and not the current blue and yellow. The club's historic nickname is Gialloblu (from the club colours of yellow and blue), although throughout Italian football, the Verona's team recognised in the past by most fans as Gialloblu are Hellas Verona, Chievo's main rivals. Local supporters often call the club simply Ceo, which is Venetian for Chievo. The club is now sometimes referred to as the I Mussi Volanti ("The Flying Donkeys" in the Verona dialect of Venetian). "The Flying Donkeys" nickname was originally used by fans from crosstown rivals Hellas to mock Chievo. The two clubs first met in Serie B in the mid-1990s, with Hellas chanting Quando i mussi volara, il Ceo in Serie A — "Donkeys will fly before Chievo are in Serie A." However, once Chievo earned promotion to Serie A at the end of the 2000–01 Serie B season, Chievo fans started to call themselves "The Flying Donkeys".[11]

The current club crest represents Cangrande I della Scala, a medieval lord of Verona.


Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi is a stadium in Verona, Italy. It is also the home of Chievo Verona city rival Hellas.[12]

Inaugurated as a state-of-the-art facility and as one of Italy's finest venues in 1963, the stadium appeared excessive for a team (Hellas) that had spent the best part of the previous 35 years in Serie B. For the 1990 FIFA World Cup renovations included an extra tier and a roof to cover all sections, improved visibility, public transport connections, an urban motorway connecting the city centre with the stadium and the Verona Nord motorway exit and services.


Winners: 2007–08
Winners: 1993–94 (group A)
Winners: 1988–89 (group B)
  • Campionato Interregionale
Winners: 1985–86 (group C)

In Europe

UEFA Champions League

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2006–07 Third qualifying round Levski Sofia 2–2 0–2 2–4


Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2002–03 First round Red Star Belgrade 0–2 0–0 0–2
2006–07 First round Braga 2–1 (a.e.t) 0–2 2–3


  1. Ufficiale, App. "Hellas Verona Official Website".
  2. "Calcio Debate: The Fairytale Story of the Flying Donkeys of Verona – Goal.com". 23 April 2009.
  3. Vitale, Marco; Ormezzano, Gian Paolo (14 May 2018). "Fenomeno Chievo: economia, costume, società : una squadra di qurtiere contro il calcio miliardario". Libri Scheiwiller via Google Books.
  4. "Statistiche Spettatori Serie A 2011-2012 Attendance Statistics of Serie A (1st Div) 2011-2012 Fiorentina,Inter,Inter,Lazio,Milan,". www.stadiapostcards.com.
  5. "LA SQUADRA AFFIDATA A DOMENICO DI CARLO. OGGI ALLE 14 LA PRESENTAZIONE" (in Italian). AC Chievo Verona. 4 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
  6. "Chievo get three-point deduction". Football Italia. London: Tiro Media. 13 September 2018.
  7. "Chievo Verona vs. Napoli - Football Match Report - April 14, 2019 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  8. Campanale, Susy (26 July 2021). "Official: Chievo excluded, Cosenza in Serie B". Football Italia.
  9. "Squadra". www.chievoverona.it.
  10. "Pellissier e l'addio al calcio: "Chiuso un ciclo dopo 19 anni". Il Chievo ritira la maglia". Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  11. Paul, Edd (10 July 2014). "Chievo: Fairytale of the Flying Donkeys". Late Tackle. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  12. "Chievo Verona official website". Archived from the original on 12 May 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.