Monday, October 3, 2011

3 October 1909 - And Here I Am, Not Having Founded Even One Club

On 3 October 1909, an Austrian student who had recently moved to Italy founded his second football club. Known as Bologna FC 1909, the club went on to become Italian and European champions.

The student, Emilio Arnstein, had spent time at university in Poland and Austria. In the latter, he and his brother had founded their first football club, Black Star FC. Immediately upon arriving in Bologna, Arnstein began looking for others who shared his passion for football.

He found several like-minded enthusiasts, including Louis Rauch, a Swiss dentist who became the club's first president, as well as Guido Della Valle, the first vice-president, Arrigo Gradi, the first captain, and Carlo Sandoni, the club's first general manager and sponsor. Arnstein assumed the position of councilman, along with Leone Vicenze. According to the official club history, the colors red and blue were chosen based on the colors of Gradi's college, Schönberg di Rossbach in Switzerland, though they are also prominent on the city's coat of arms.

Bologna played their first official match on 20 March 1910, beating local rivals Virtus 9-1. They won their first league title in 1925, then repeated as champions six more times (1929, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1964). They have also twice won the Coppa d'Italia (1970, 1974).

They have enjoyed success in Europe as well, winning the Central European Mitropa Cup three times (1932, 1934, 1961). Their most recent honor came in 1998, when they were one of the three UEFA Intertoto Cup winners. Since then, however, they have struggled, and recently spent three seasons in Serie B between 2005 and 2008.

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