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
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.