A photo-journey through the Stadio Luigi Ferraris (Marassi)

A photo-journey through the Stadio Luigi Ferraris (Marassi)

It’s been 30 years since Sampdoria lifted the Scudetto. Where has the time gone? As part of the celebrations, These Football Times and Cult Kits have joined forces for a weekend of fun, with features, a podcast, giveaways and more all online.

As part of our celebrations of Sampdoria’s iconic Scudetto win in 1991, we couldn’t forgo a photo journey through the Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris.

Commonly known as the Marassi, the ground has been shared between Samp and local rivals Genoa since 1946, built in 1911 at a capacity of 20,000. It was the brainchild of Genoa socio Musso Piantelli, who came up with an idea to use the grounds inside a racecourse for a football pitch.

The stadium originally only consisted of a sole wooden stand, which was quickly overwhelmed due to the demand for the sport within the city – something that dates back to British influence in the late-1800s. As such, it was expanded to 30,000 seats in the 1930s.

In 1933 it would acquire the name of Luigi Ferraris, a former Genoa footballer and engineer who was killed in action during World War One. Awarded the Medal of Military Valor, his name would become synonymous through the city.

By 1946, following the formation of modern Sampdoria – created after two sides in the city, Andrea Doria and Sampierdarenese, merged – i Blucerciati moved in to create one of European football’s longest-running ground-shares.

Following expansion to almost 60,000 seats by the 1980s, and a reputation as one of the most difficult, if crumbling, away ground in Italy, it was redeveloped in 1990 – like so many stadiums across the country – for the World Cup. Architect Vittoria Gregotti would oversee the renovation, adding some of its most iconic modern features in a total overhaul.

Stand by stand, it was rebuilt between 1987 and 1989, allowing it to host Italia 90 games. As yet another milestone, that would prove to be the second World Cup to take place on the pitch, following Italy’s triumph in 1934.

Unlike other stadiums across the nation, shelter from the elements would be provided for the vast majority of fans, with only the bottom 15 rows uncovered. It would also provide the inspiration for Preston North End when they renovated their historic Deepdale home.

Known for its intimidating atmosphere, tight stands and central location with the city of Genoa, straddling the Bisagno river, it has played host to some of Serie A’s greatest games and continues to stand tall as one of Italy’s most recognisable and iconic stadiums.

With thanks to Sampdoria, our friend Forza27 and Getty for the images above.

By Omar Saleem @omar_saleem

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