Serie A, avoiding relegation and twice in the Champions League: 2004/2005


In 2004/05 Fiorentina returned to Serie A, but their season was definitely not the easiest. With an initial target of avoiding relegation, at Christmas the Viola team found itself in seventh place. But a matter of weeks in January and February, they fell into difficulties. The situation was highlighted by changes in the dugout: first there was Mondonico’s sacking (October 25th), followed by the same fate for Buso (January 22nd), before the team was entrusted to Zoff on January 23rd. Fiorentina managed to avoid relegation, but only in the last game of the season, a 3-0 win at home to Brescia giving the Viola a better goal difference than Parma and Bologna, who were forced into a playoff. The season was also marked by Della Valle’s battle with the League in an attempt to create a more even and fair situation as far as the distribution of television rights money was concerned. In 2005/06 there was an important restructuring of the company, which saw the arrival of Pantaleo Corvino (June 9th 2005) as the new sporting director and head of the youth sector, and of Cesare Prandelli (June 10th 2005) as the new coach. After a summer signing spree amongst the most active in the division the side completed a dream campaign: always at the sharp end of the table. Fiorentina finished the season in fourth spot, and with it earned the right to play in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. The form of the side, with Prandelli as the main orchestrator, was consistent throughout the season: they ended the first half with 40 points and in third place, level with Milan; and in the second half gathered 34 points, a slight decrease in performance but hardly influential in the bigger picture of obtaining their final objective. The Viola’s season, furthermore, went down in history as the season in which many records were broken: 22 wins in a single championship, 16 home wins, 31 goals from a Fiorentina player in a single Serie A season (by Luca Toni). In the Coppa Italia Fiorentina were knocked out in the last sixteen by Juventus, after a 2-2 draw at home and a 1-4 defeat on the road. The club’s great season was completed by the re-launch of the youth sector under the close direction of Pantaleo Corvino. There were three teams from the sector that made it to their respective national finals (Primavera, Allievi Nazionali and Giovanissimi Professionisti).
In one of their most difficult seasons ever, Fiorentina started the 2006/2007 season with -19 points (which then became -15 after arbitration); nevertheless the team fought for every point and qualified for the 2007/2008 UEFA Cup by finishing 5th in the table. Over the whole league, Fiorentina registered the third best defence and the third strongest attack.         

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