Round one, match two is a battle between a genuine minnow in Piacenza against Sampdoria, who have a reputation, like Fiorentina, for excellent kits. A daunting challenge for Piacenza, can they join Fiorentina in the last eight?
Piacenza (1993 – 1994, 1995 – 2000) vs Sampdoria (1990-1999)
Now here I must admit something, I am not hugely knowledgeable about Piacenza and their history. I do fondly remember them from Gazzetta Football Italia, simply because their name sounded cool (I was 7 or 8 at the time, leave me alone).
One player I do remember playing for them was Dario Hubner, but I was surprised to find out that he actually played for them between 2001-2003, outside of our time period. Other notable players for the club are the Inzaghi brothers Fillipo (Pipo) and Simone, who are natives of the town, and iconic calcio defender Pietro Vierchowod.
Sampdoria experienced the incredible highs and disastrous lows of football in the decade. They started brilliantly in the 1990s, winning lo Scudetto in 1990-1991, building on previous successes in the Coppa Italia and Cup Winners Cup.
Managed by Vujadin Boskov, and inspired by a forward line of Roberto Mancini and Gianluca Vialli, alongside Atillo Lombardo, the aforementioned Vierchowod and Gianluca Pagliuca, Sampdoria reached the last ever European Cup final in 1992 against Barcelona at Wembley. They were denied by Johan Cryuff’s dream team as Ronald Koeman struck a free kick in injury time for Barcelona’s first European Cup.
The club remained competitive under Sven Goran Eriksson from 1992-97 but like Napoli, they began a stern nosedive, eventually being relegated from Serie A in 1999. Let’s have a look at the kits.
You can the view the full kit here
Made by Lotto, whom like Kappa I am a fan of, this Piacenza kit is a little on the bland side. The collar resembles Harry Hill’s, and for some reason all I think of when I see it is Swindon Town, which is never a good thing. Its three lines of sponsors slowly decreasing in font size is reminiscent of a child using Microsoft Word for the first time.
The kits one saving grace is the badge, diamond shaped with Piacenza Calcio written on the bottom half which is very good indeed. Also if you look closely the badge is reprinted within the strip. Despite that, I’m afraid to say there is not a Lotto (get it?) to like. How about Sampdoria?
Picking the Sampdoria kit has been the easiest one to choose thus far, it has to be the 1990/91 title winning strip, modelled here by Vialli and Mancini.
It is a thing of beauty. From the sponsor ERG, to the beautiful blue, to the white, red and black stripes that give your eyes something else to look at, and the crest nestling neatly in the middle, this kit is a triumph. This has to be Asics’ greatest achievement in kit making, not that I could name any other achievements by them.
My only issue with it, which is developing into full blown paranoia, is the collar, which wouldn’t look out of place around the neck of a pre-PC 1970s stand up comedian. Also, whilst it is a very good kit, the away version is possibly even better.
Result: Crushing Sampdoria victory
Pity poor Piacenza to come up against Sampdoria, there was nothing they could do to stop that wonderful kit making it through to the next round. If this was a boxing match, it would be Marco Antonio Barrera vs Paul Lloyd, as Piacenza have taken three minute pummelling at the hands of a legend.
I just hope Sampdoria don’t draw Fiorentina next, or I, like Hamlet, might die of indecision. Ciao for now.