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The Yank's Guide To Serie A: Sampdoria

Nickname(s): The Blue-Ringed

All-Time Ranking: 10th

2007/2008 Finish: 6th

2008/2009 Position (as of 04/07): 12th

Coach: Walter Mazzarri

Key Players: Antonio Cassano, Paolo Sammarco, Giampaolo Pazzini

History:

Sampdoria was founded in 1946 when two historic squads merged to form one “supersquad”. But,¬†other than their¬†90/91 league title and four Coppa Italia victories between 1984 and 1994, they haven’t had much of an impact on Italian soccer.¬†In fact, they have been labeled as “underachievers” because they¬†seemingly waste their talent.¬†¬†¬†¬†

Sampdoria’s latest stint¬†in the top flight¬†began in¬†2003 and¬†last year they appeared to be a team on the rise and even qualified for the UEFA Cup. But, poor results this year¬†have them mired in mediocrity and in the bottom¬†half of the table. Though I highly doubt they are in danger of being relegated, they must find a way to maximize their skills.¬†¬†¬†

American Sports Doppleganger:

Sampdoria’s best player is the temperamental Cassano. He has played for the¬†ITA¬†National Team, but he is reputed to lack¬†team spirit and only care¬†about his own stats. Thus, I will compare Cassano, a petulant star,¬†and¬†Sampdoria, a middle of the table team, to the NBA’s most selfish¬†star,¬†Allen (“Practice?”)¬†Iverson, and¬†his mediocre¬†Detroit Pistons.