AC ChievoVerona’s rise through the Italian football pyramid has been impressive, yet it has largely gone unnoticed outside of Italy. Think Wimbledon, but over a longer time‐frame. The smallest club in Serie A continue to defy the critics, with a brand of football that is not only nice to watch, but makes them deserving of a place in the division.
Founded in 1929 in the small Verona suburb of Chievo, the club has come a long way since those humble beginnings. Chievo share the 39,371 capacity; Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi with Hellas Verona. Their home team colours consist of a bright yellow and blue jersey, yellow shorts, and yellow socks. While Nickname(s) include: Gialloblu (yellow-blues), Ceo (‘Chievo’ in Venetion) and the more intriguing Mussi Volanti (‘Flying Donkeys’).
They inherited the name ‘The Flying Donkeys’ from rival fans of Verona neighbours Hellas, who stated that if Chievo should gain promotion from Serie B in the 2000/01 season ‘Donkeys would fly’ — equivalent to the English term ‘Pigs would fly’. Under Luigi Del Neri Chievo achieved the thought to be impossible promotion and thus the name stuck.
Since that promotion campaign, which in turn marked a serie a debut, Chievo have suffered only one relegation; which came in 2006/07, before bouncing straight back up into Italy’s top flight for the 2008/09 season. Chievo have only ever briefly flirted with European football, only once progressing beyond the qualification stages of the UEFA Cup, a first round defeat to Red Star Belgrade put an end to any further progression.
The most iconic player during Chievo’s time in Serie A, is undoubtedly — Sergio Pellissier. The Aosta, Italy, born forward has made 423 appearances for the Italian minnows, scoring 118 goals in the process. Pellissier has been a Chievo player since his debut in 2000 — he did spend one season (2001-02) on loan at SPAL, scoring 17 in 44 appearances — and has become an image synonymous with their stay in Serie A.
This season has been much like any other Serie A campaign for Chievo, fairly consistent form that we have almost come expect from them. For Rolando Moran’s Ceo relegation seems unlikely, as does the possibility of them clinching a European place and so another season of Serie A football seems to be secured.