In particular I've noted two features about Italian teams that are fairly uncommon (not unknown, but uncommon) elsewhere, especially in other major football nations:

  1. Stadium shares are very common even with world class teams. See the Milans for instance, two of the biggest teams in Europe, but they share a stadium.

I understand this is because they don't own the stadium, rather its owned by the city. But how did this state of affairs come to be in Italy?

  1. Teams often aren't named after where they're located. Of course, the teams often have very good reasons for being named what they are. But it is very common in Italy that teams are not named after their hometown; Juventus, Sampdoria, Lazio (named after the province), Atalanta, etc...

It strikes me that football in Italy must have evolved in a significantly different way to England, Spain, or Germany. Just what is the explanation here?

  • Lazio & Roma also share a stadium, the Stadio Olimpico
    – yaakov
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


The naming thing isn't so odd. Often a club needs a name to distinguish it from other clubs in the same area, and just giving a more specific neighborhood doesn't cut it, because the club didn't start off wanting to represent a specific location as much as to embody some sort of ideal.

Many are named after some sort of classic ideal, like Atalanta. You'll find a Young Boys in Switzerland, which is basically what Juventus means. Ajax is another classical reference. Sparta (Rotterdam) as well. The classical civilizations were into their sports, hence the nod from 19th and early 20th century club founders. I think you might find a number of lower league teams in other countries named like this.

Sampdoria is a contraction of two merging clubs.

Lazio I think we can give a pass, because it's common to name clubs after smaller or larger regions like Bavaria or St Pauli, or even all of Spain.

In Denmark some of the clubs are called B1909 or B93, which is literally "football club of {year}".

In Sweden you'll find AIK, the "general or public football club".

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