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Solid foundations bolster San Marino

Football in San Marino has developed slowly over the years, but has established a firm base.
Solid foundations bolster San Marino
Andy Selva holds the record for the most goals for San Marino ©AFP

Solid foundations bolster San Marino

Football in San Marino has developed slowly over the years, but has established a firm base.

Football began to develop in San Marino in the late 1920s. The first club, AC Libertas, were founded in September 1928 and the San Marino Football Federation (FSGC) followed three years later. It was only in summer 1937 that an official competition emerged, however, as four teams – Libertas, La Castellana, SP La Fiorita and US Titania (now SP Tre Penne) – contested the inaugural tournament, the Coppa Titano, played to a league format.

All matches were staged at the Borgo Maggiore, then the republic's only stadium, and Libertas triumphed. They confirmed their top-club status by winning the next five Coppas, the last of which arrived as late as 1961 because of a long hiatus spanning the war years.

In 1960 the FSGC launched a club side, SS Serenissima, to play their football in Italy. Initially presided over by administrator Carlo Casali, the team started out in the Italian amateur league's second division, achieving their first promotion in 1962. They spent two seasons in the semi-professional Serie D before merging with another club in 1973 to become AC San Marino. Then, in 1988, with the side in Serie C2, they were renamed San Marino Calcio.

In 1963 the FSGC established the Nucleo Addestramento Giovani Calciatori – the territory's first youth football academy – overseen by Guglielmo Giovannini, a committed and respected figure in the San Marinese game. The Coppa Titano underwent a major expansion too with new clubs admitted; the last newcomer was SS Cosmos in 1979.

Come 1980 and the FSGC was developing the idea of an official domestic league, considered necessary if the country was to gain recognition from football's governing bodies. The new league competition, the San Marino Championship, was launched in October 1985. That year also witnessed the birth of the Trofeo Federale, a Super Cup pitting league champions against Coppa Titano holders.

FSGC efforts to obtain UEFA membership were finally rewarded in 1988 when, after two years' probation, the organisation was fully welcomed into the UEFA fold at the Congress in Monaco on 24 January. Six months later, FIFA extended its welcome at a Congress in Zurich.

San Marino could now send representative sides into action at senior, Under-21, U18 and U16 levels. The republic's international debut came in an U21 game against Switzerland in Serravalle on 6 June 1989. The Swiss were again in opposition when the full national team debuted at the same venue on 14 November 1990 in a 4-0 defeat. The first positive result was a 0-0 stalemate with Turkey on 10 March 1993, the next a 1-1 draw against Latvia in Riga on 25 April 2001.

More milestones were attained in European club competition in the new millennium. San Marino had a first participant – SS Folgore – in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Cup in season 2000/01. Then, in 2007, the republic was allotted a second European place, for the UEFA Champions League qualification stage, with SS Murata the first standard-bearer. In 2007/08 Libertas registered the first draw for a Sammarinese club at continental level, in UEFA Cup qualifying versus Drogheda United FC, while in 2013/14 Tre Penne posted the first ever win – 1-0 in their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round second leg against FC Shirak of Armenia.

Further indicators of growth were the official visits to the FSGC undertaken by delegations from FIFA in October 2000 and UEFA in November 2005. UEFA President Michel Platini followed the same path in 2008 to open the federation's new Casa del Calcio headquarters.

Between 2004 and 2009 the FSGC conducted an ambitious overhaul of its sporting infrastructure with the construction of third and fourth-generation artificial pitches. The clearest sign of progress was the laying of state-of-the-art Football Green Live turf at the Serravalle Stadium: the world's first reinforced natural grass pitch.

In November 2014 the national side, coached by Pierangelo Manzaroli, collected a point in UEFA European Championship qualification for the first time with a goalless draw at home to Estonia, which ended a 61-game losing streak.

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Giorgio Crescentini

Giorgio Crescentini

Nationality: Sammarinese
Date of birth: 8 March 1950
Association president since: 1985

• Giorgio Crescentini graduated from the Urbino Sports High School in 1973 and played football in both San Marino and Italy, for S.S. Serenissima (now AC San Marino), AS Novafeltria Calcio, SC Faetano, SP Tre Penne, SP La Fiorita and SP Tre Fiori.

• One of the founders of Montegiardino-based side La Fiorita in 1967, he first joined the Football Association of San Marino (FSCG) board in 1977, serving as vice-president from 1982 and becoming president in 1985. Following his election, he initiated a turning point in San Marino's football. The FSCG joined FIFA and UEFA in 1988 - a firm desire of Crescentini, and an event which radically changed the football world in San Marino.

• He oversaw the opening of the new FSCG headquarters in 2008, and said: "We have to continue growing in all sectors of the game. Our goal for the future is to continue our growth both in terms of the quality and quantity of local players." Crescentini was re-elected for an eighth successive term as president in January 2013.

General secretary


Luciano Casadei

Luciano Casadei

Nationality: Sammarinese
Date of birth: 12 December 1957

Association general secretary since: 1993

• An accountant by profession, Luciano Casadei was forced to stop playing football early, but remained in the game as a director of a small club in Castello di Fiorentino.

• In 1989, he was elected as secretary of the San Marino Football Federation (FSGC) before taking the role of general secretary four years later.

• During his long association with the national association, Casadei has been responsible for various duties. He currently organises several federal courses, is involved in the organisation of competitions in the country, and manages the fiscal and financial aspects of the federation.

Association info

  • Founded: 1931
  • UEFA affiliation: 1988
  • FIFA affiliation: 1988
  • Address: Strada di Montecchio, 17 47890 SAN MARINO
  • Telephone: +378 0549 990 515
  • Fax: +378 0549 992 348

Association club coefficients

51Faroe IslandsFaroe Islands0/43.500
54San MarinoSan Marino0/30.333
Last updated: 07/12/2016 08:39 CET

Honours by National Teams

No titles won

Domestic competitions

San Marinese Championship 2016/17 San Marino Championship

1SP Cailungo00
2SS Cosmos00
3FC Domagnano00
4SC Faetano00
5FC Fiorentino00
6SS Folgore00
7AC Juvenes/Dogana00
8SP La Fiorita00
9AC Libertas00
10SS Murata00
11SS Pennarossa00
12SS San Giovanni00
13SP Tre Fiori00
14SP Tre Penne00
15Virtus FC00

San Marinese Championship 2016/17 A

1Virtus FC1123
2SP La Fiorita1120
3AC Juvenes/Dogana1116
4FC Fiorentino1115
5SC Faetano1115
6SS Cosmos1113
7SP Tre Fiori1111

San Marinese Championship 2016/17 B

1AC Libertas1226
2SS Folgore1125
3FC Domagnano1223
4SP Tre Penne1123
5SS Murata1111
6SS Pennarossa118
7SS San Giovanni125
8SP Cailungo111
Last updated: 11/12/2016 17:41 CET
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