STADIUM STORIES: MILAN’S STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA

Parma, 12 September 2018 – The ‘Scala del calcio’ will be the venue for Parma’s second away trip of the 2018/19 Serie A TIM season against Inter. It’s one of the world’s iconic stadiums and its history deserves to be told, even more considering that the Crociati have lifted silverware there on more than one occasion.

THE HISTORY OF THE ‘SCALA DEL CALCIO’

The history of the Stadio Meazza or San Siro as it’s often named after the area in which it’s located, is a venue that was built in the 1920s. Work started in 1925 and the stadium opened on 19 September 1926 with a friendly between Milan and Inter. Milan President Piero Pirelli wanted to build a stadium designed for football near the existing horse-racing track even if there was still space under the stands for stables. The original stadium could hold 35,000 people with two disconnected stands before years of changes over the years saw it take on its current form.

For many years, the stadium only hosted Milan fixtures while Inter played at the Arena Civico. In 1934, the Azzurri beat Austria 1-0 in Milan before going on to win the World Cup. The following year, the Municipality of Milan bought the stadium who began with reconstruction. Against Austria at the 1934 World Cup, 40,000 people attended and the stadium was in need of expansion. Capacity then increased to 55,000 thanks to the introduction of stands behind the goal that connected to the other stands.

In 1947, the stadium also became the home of Inter. There was more great change in the 1950s. In 1955, a second tier was built along with the round staircases on the exterior that allow spectators to reach it. In 1980, the stadium was named in memory of Giuseppe Meazza. For the 1990 World Cup, the stadium saw dramatic refurbishment. A third tier was built along with a roof to cover the entire stadium with eleven towers around the outside. In recent years, the Meazza also saw modernisation work to the pitch (a natural/synthetic hybrid), the installation of new dugouts and pitchside boxes.

A VENUE FOR CROCIATI CUP WINS 

Parma have won three trophies at the Stadio Meazza. The first was the European Supercup in February 1994 against Milan who qualified as runners-up after European Cup winners Marseille were kicked out for a match-fixing scandal. Parma had qualified after winning the Cup Winners’ Cup. The Crociati lost 1-0 at the Tardini before winning 2-0 in Milan to lift the trophy.

This was followed by the 1994/5 UEFA Cup against Juventus. Parma won at the Tardini thanks to a Dino Baggio goal before heading to San Siro where Juventus had opted to play rather than Turin. In the second leg, Baggio scored again in a 1-1 draw as the Crociati won the competition for the first time.

Then on 21 August 1999, the Meazza was the settings as Serie A champions Milan faced the Coppa Italia winners Parma. After losing the 1992 edition, the Crociati won 2-1 thanks to a late Boghossian goal.

(Photo from sansiro.net)