Unione Calcio AlbinoLeffe is an Italian association football club representing Albino and Leffe, two small towns located in Val Seriana. The club played in Serie B for nine consecutive years and narrowly missed promotion in Serie A at the end of the 2007-08 season. It currently plays in Serie C and has been in the Italian third tier since its relegation in 2011-12.
|Full name||Unione Calcio AlbinoLeffe S.r.l.|
|Nickname(s)||La Celeste (The Light-Blue)|
|Ground||Stadio Città di Gorgonzola,|
|Head coach||Marco Zaffaroni|
|League||Serie C Group A|
|2019–20||Serie C Group A, 8th of 20|
The club was created in 1998 as a result of the merger between former Serie C2 (fourth division) teams Albinese Calcio and Società Calcio Leffe, respectively from Albino and Leffe, two neighboring towns. In their first season, the club finished 2nd in the Serie C2 and won a promotion having defeated A.C. Prato in the Girone A Play-offs final. After rising to Serie C1 (the Italian third division), they performed at the middle of the pack, finishing 9th in 2000 and 13th in 2001.
However, in 2002, the Seriani went to the finals of the Coppa Italia Serie C, where they defeated Livorno 2–1 at home before losing 2–3 on the road. They won the tournament on the tiebreaker (most away goals scored). In league play they again finished 13th. In 2003, AlbinoLeffe, under coach Elio Gustinetti, finished second in league play before heading to the promotion play-off. There, they defeated Padua in the semifinals, then had a surprising triumph over Pisa Calcio, which pushed them up to Serie B.
The team moved from the small Martinelli Stadium in Leffe, where they used to play home matches before promotion to Serie B, to the bigger Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia located in Bergamo, the chief-town of the province where both Albino and Leffe are located. Even though AlbinoLeffe was considered to be an outsider in Serie B, which historically includes several former Scudetto winners, the team remarkably managed to avoid relegation in the last two seasons. In 2005–2006, after a great comeback in the second half of the season following the appointment of Emiliano Mondonico as new head coach, Albinoleffe ended the season in eighteenth place and managed to save itself from relegation by prevailing in the playouts against Avellino (score: 2–0, 2–3). The 2006–2007 Serie B campaign, the fourth consecutive for the small Lombard team, ended with a good tenth place, well ahead of the relegation zone.
Historically, AlbinoLeffe's home games have been characterized by very low attendance, as shown by the average 2,400 spectators per game in the 2006–07 season, the most successful in the club history.
With local hero Gustinetti back in charge of the team and despite a lineup composed of relative unknowns, the club's 2007–08 campaign started surprisingly well, with the team leading the Serie B table for a few weeks and arousing the interest of the national media, which began providing regular coverage of the team's games. This has thus far failed to improve the club's low home attendance, however. During the season, AlbinoLeffe confirmed as a potential candidate for direct promotion to Serie A, however a string of poor results, ended with four consecutive home defeats, the final one being a 0–4 loss to Rimini, denied them the chance to achieve a place in the top two, and persuaded club chairman Gianfranco Andreoletti to sack Gustinetti, who then confirmed not to be in good relationships with the chairman, and appoint youth team coach Armando Madonna as caretaker boss for the final regular season match and the following promotion playoffs. Even after a 1–0 loss to Brescia, AlbinoLeffe managed to win at home in the second leg (2–1) and qualified for the final against Lecce. In the first leg they suffered a 1–0 loss. On 15 June, the second match was played in Lecce and its result was 1–1, so AlbinoLeffe did not reach Serie A.
Stadium and colors
Following Atalanta's renovation works on the stadium, the club reached a venue sharing agreement with Giana Erminio from the nearby city of Gorgonzola allowing the club to play their home matches for the 2019–20 Serie C season at the Stadio Città di Gorgonzola. The club is also planning to move to a brand-new stadium to be built in the city of Zanica; the plan involves a small stadium with a capacity of 1,800 (with possibility to expand it to up to 5,500 in case of Serie B games), to be built next to the club's headquarters and training centre, and it was formally approved by the Italian National Olympic Committee in March 2019.
The club's official colors are dark blue and azure blue, also used for home matches, while the outfit worn by the players for away matches is red and yellow.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Winner in 2002
- Play-off Finals in 2008
- Promotion gained as runner-up in 2003
- Promotion gained as runner-up in 1999
- "Serie B 06-07 attendances". Retrieved 20 June 2007.
- "Albinoleffe, via Gustinetti" (in Italian). Corriere dello Sport. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
- "La gola profonda: "L'organizzazione controllava l'Albinoleffe"". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "Un pari dell'AlbinoLeffe valeva 6,5 milioni di euro". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "Il caso AlbinoLeffe: "Oltre sei milioni su quel pareggio con il Piacenza"". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "L'ALBINOLEFFE ALLO STADIO CITTÀ DI GORGONZOLA" (in Italian). AS Giana Erminio. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Stadio dell'AlbinoLeffe a Zanica Via libera dal Coni al progetto" (in Italian). L'Eco di Bergao. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Rosa AlbinoLeffe - Serie C 2020/21". www.albinoleffe.com (in Italian). Retrieved 30 April 2021.
- promoted through playoffs
- won relegation playoffs to Avellino
- lost promotion playoff finals to Lecce
- won relegation playoff against Piacenza
- relegated to Lega Pro Prima Divisione
- lost in quarterfinals of promotion playoffs to Cremonese
- relegated to Serie D, but reinstated in Lega Pro by Italian Football Federation
- relegated to Serie D for the second time, but reinstated one more time in Lega Pro by Italian Football Federation