Around the same time, some teams in central and southern Italy begun to fuse together, giving birth to clubs like Roma, Bari, Napoli. The south slowly started to improve its football level and that was the beginning of ‘modern’ football in Italy.

Hailing from a city in Calabria with around 62,500 people had been regulars in Serie B for over a decade and now they are the first Serie A representatives from that region since Reggina in 2008-09.

Those who already believe that the final chapter of the book will be titled ‘relegation’ might be proved wrong.

Guly SecondLifequanti mi piace per un gol che non è servito a niente ?

As far as football is concerned, though, the imbalance between the south and north of Italy is evident and undeniable: Crotone is just the 14th club from southern Italy in the history of Serie A, out of 65 clubs that have played in this championship since its foundation as it is now in 1929.

Gianluca Lo GiudiceHo puntato forte su Martella e Falcinelli al fantacalcio, ma quando lo fate un gol mi state deludendo.

Yes, you read it right, Crotone is completely made up of loanees, free agents and home-grown players, their dominance in games demonstrating just how well this club acted during transfer windows, recruiting some of the most cost-efficient players around.

Vincenzo Nicoletta GuerraForza Squali !!!! Dai Ragazzi !!!! 🔴🔵🔴🔵

Having the right mix of experience and freshness, Crotone’s midfield also proved the shrewdness of the club’s transfer strategies. Midfielders like Leonardo Capezzi, Andrea Barberis and Bruno Martella defend and attack with the same dedication and were instrumental in dictating the pace and helping the defence throughout the season.

This trend probably won’t be changed easily, especially in the near future. But now Crotone are ready to write a new page in the history of southern football, with all their enthusiasm, their strength and their passionate supporters.

Paolo TosatoIeri ho sentito dire a Nicola delle "biiiip biiiip" incredibili in conferenza stampa. "Siamo migliorati. . Ci vuole poco per arrivare nella condizione giusta ... mancano solo pochi dettagli".... Rispetto totale e vicinanza all'uomo ... ma mi sembra di sentire Inzaghi al Milan l'anno scorso ... una semplice marea di "biiiip biiiip" da incompetente puro... Per favore Vrenna cambialo presto e compra 'sti svincolati. ...

This is in fact what happened, because Cagliari ended the season as Serie B champions, mainly because Crotone’s players have been on vacation since the day promotion was secured with three games remaining. Regardless, this doesn’t diminish the value of what coach Ivan Jurić’s boys achieved this season, ruling the championship right from the start.

There aren’t many players over 30 years old at the club, with Alex Cordaz and Raffaele Palladino being part of that group, and aside from the latter, Aleksandar Tonev and Adrian Stoian are a couple of players that have had Serie A experience with Frosinone and Chievo respectively.

Following their unexpected heroics last season, Crotone’s tiny budget and modest squad suggests a long season battling against the odds, predicts Colin Millar.

Raffaele Vrenna, the chairman of Crotone, was drawn into commenting on media rumours linking them to the Liverpool striker. “I believe we would be a great club for him, he would buy into our ideas and project. We would make him captain and we could use his 25 goals!” The striker remains unwanted on Merseyside.

The last component of the Pitagorici (Pythagoreans in English) forward trio is Raffaele Palladino, a man who, having played for Juventus, Genoa and Italy’s national team, added an essential pinch of experience to a very young team. He joined the club as a free agent in November due to Parma’s recent bankruptcy.

From last season’s squad, winger Federico Ricci is back at Roma, defender Eloge Yao has returned to Inter and Ante Budimir was sold to Sampdoria. Transfer speculation has linked centre-back Gian Marco Ferrari with a move away from the Stadio Ezio Scida.

Flavio LucariniJe sta bene a sto pupazzo de storari.

The hospital is so close to the stadium in Crotone that patients can watch games from their rooms -- the joke goes that fans should just pretend they are sick if there are no tickets left on sale.

Francesco SpezzanoSperiamo che mettano della benzina buona in quelle gracili gambe!

The former Croatian midfielder played for Crotone for five years at the beginning of the century, most of them under Gian Piero Gasperini. When Gasperini moved to Genoa in 2006, he took Juric with him, and the pair developed a very fruitful partnership. Upon Juric's retirement in 2010, he became Gasperini's assistant -- first during a very brief spell at Inter and then at Palermo. "I owe him almost everything," the Croat said recently.

What are the reasons behind this disproportion? The answer is history. Nothing more and nothing less.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Il Football Club Crotone, noto più semplicemente come Crotone, è una società calcistica italiana con sede nella città di Crotone.

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Davide Giusy Rossil.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sassuolocalcio.it%2Farticles%2Findex.php%3Fid%3D48%26aid%...

The pride Crotone supporters feel is the same felt by supporters of every team in southern Italy that manages to reach Serie A.

As far as Crotone are concerned, they believe that their story is more important. "Carpi and Frosinone come from rich regions. We are the poorest, and it means the world to us," local supporter Riccardo Cantafora told ESPN FC.

Saliou Zall BaldeFatte fuori il portiere non è bravo

Crotone

The first team from Crotone, Milone Crotone, was founded in 1910 and participated in several minor leagues including Prima Divisione (which later would be known as Serie C). Following World War II, a new club, Unione Sportiva Crotone replaced the previous one, playing seven seasons in Serie C.

In 1929, it was finally taken the decision to create Serie A and Serie B, which were quite similar to the ones we know today and involved the whole nation.

It is remarkable that Crotone have made it to Serie A because of the large turnover in playing and coaching personnel. For instance, Gian Piero Gasperini was the coach in two spells from 2003 up to 2006, current Cesena tactician Massimo Drago coached the Squali from 2012 until 2015, and Ivan Juric left for Genoa after achieving promotion with the Calabrians last season. It is rare for coaches to last a season or two at the club.

Raffaele Vrenna has been the Pitagorici president in two stints since 1992 and he has built a club that has risen from the Promozione to Italy’s first division in two decades.

P. IVA: 02131590792 R.E.A.: Crotone n° 153992 Matricola F.I.G.C.: 64184 Capitale Sociale: 309.483,00 €

Another player on loan to Crotone is Federico Ricci. The right winger who grew up in Roma scored 11 goals this season, showing uncommon skills and speed, leading Inter Milan to consider him as a possible purchase this summer.

What’s amazing about Crotone is that chairman Raffaele Vrenna didn’t spend a single Euro last summer on transfer fees to build this team.

Despite the lack of Serie A experience in the squad and hiring a coach that has a mediocre record in Italy’s top flight, Crotone are sticking to their guns. There have been some clubs like Sassuolo, Carpi, and Frosinone, who have made their Serie A debut in this decade and the Calabrian side have continued the trend.

These youngsters earn playing time that they would struggle to get at their parent club and they usually have breakthrough campaigns with the Calabrian side. The likes of Alessandro Florenzi, Nicola Sansone, Federico Bernardeschi, and Danilo Cataldi are a few players who got the opportunity to experience senior football with Crotone.

Francesco MungariMi sembra giusto, perché sembra che stanno in vacanza invece che giocare un campionato di serie A

Crotone’s success was really quite extraordinary and unexpected. Last summer, everybody thought Serie B would be dominated by Cagliari, a team accustomed to Serie A and so deemed certain to achieve promotion without problems.