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Nucleus

Challenges The Death and Rise of AC Fiorentina Challenge

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The Death and Rise of AC Fiorentina Challenge

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Credit to @danovic78 for this one.

It is the night of 23 November 1999, and the city of Florence is in ecstasy. The city’s football club, Associazione Calcio Fiorentina, has just defeated Manchester United 2-0 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League. It is a Manchester United team that only months before had lifted the trophy as part of a historic treble, but were now humbled by a Fiorentina side completely new to the upper echelons of European competition. It seemed a glorious time to be a Viola supporter.

The emphatic super-manager Giovanni Trapattoni strutted up and down the touchline whistling orders and marshalling players, while captain and fan favourite Gabriel Batistuta scored almost at will, registering over 20 goals for a third season in a row. Italian film mogul and owner Vittorio Cecchi Gori had bought this assortment of world-class football minds to mount another title challenge off the back of a very successful 1998-99 season and nothing seemed to be standing in Fiorentina’s way. All looked well and promising in the cathedral-ridden provincial capital of Tuscany, but looks can be deceiving.

In a little over two years AC Fiorentina would cease to exist. Bankrupted and immersed in scandal, the club would be reborn in Serie C2 under a new name, with new owners, and would have to work its way back up the ranks. It was a steep and astonishing fall, its story marred with all the prerequisites of Shakespearian tragedy and littered with the most painful things in football: abandoned expectations.

Associazione Calcio Fiorentina enjoyed its best season in the 1990s on the pitch, but was left wondering what might have been. Leading the domestic Serie A championship a long way into the 98-99 season, Fiorentina's title charge fell to pieces, as it lost unnecessary points while eventual champions Milan and runners-up Lazio continued winning their matches. In the end, Fiorentina salvaged third place in the league, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League in 1999–2000.

Several players were impressive, with the trio Gabriel Batistuta, Rui Costa and Francesco Toldo being the players really standing out. 

Can you help the Viola reach the top of Italian football?

Rules:

  • Load up Italy and any other countries you like.
  • Take charge of Fiorentina.
  • You must sign or use an Italian GK, Portuguese Midfielder and an Argentinian Striker to provide the spine of your side.
  • The challenge will last for 5 seasons and your seasonal points will be made up from your assigned Midfielders assists, Strikers goals minus the total amount of goals conceded by your keeper.
  • Bonus points for trophies won:
  • Serie A - 50 Points
  • Italian Cup - 25 Points
  • Italian Super Cup - 25 Points
  • Champions League - 50 Points
  • Europa League - 30 Points
  • European Super Cup - 25 Points
  • FIFA Club World Cup - 25 Points
  • Usual other rules apply.

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