Fiorentina gift

Links With The Past: A Gift From Mancini’s Fiorentina

This plaque was presented to Leicester City by Serie A side Fiorentina on the occasion of a pre-season friendly between the two clubs on 10 August, 2001.
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Watched by England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, who briefly worked at Leicester City between 2010 and 2011, the two sides fought out an entertaining 3-3 draw, with Dean Sturridge scoring a spectacular hat-trick for the home side at Filbert Street.

It was a rousing start to the new season. There were no hints in the game that the following year was to be hugely disappointing for the two clubs, both of whom were entering the new campaign with some optimism.

Although Peter Taylor’s City had finished only 13th in the Premier League the previous season, they had been as high as fourth in the top flight as late as March and had strengthened their squad in the close season with the arrivals of Ian Walker, James Scowcroft and Dennis Wise for a combined £7M.

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Roberto Mancini
Roberto Mancini

Italian midfielder Roberto Mancini was one of the most high-profile signings in City's history.

Fiorentina, meanwhile, managed by their recently appointed coach, Roberto Mancini, who had himself made five appearances for Leicester City six months earlier, had finished the previous season in the top half of Serie A and were the Italian Cup holders. 

After the game, the crowd went home happy with what had been an entertaining performance. 

The Foxes, though, were relegated at the end of the season, five months before going into administration. Fiorentina fared even worse.

Bedevilled by financial problems, they too were relegated at the end of the season. They then went into administration and effectively ceased to exist. Re-established in August 2002, they had to play in Serie C2, the fourth tier in Italian football, but they did make it back into the top flight in 2004.

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