Cagliari Calcio

Former Italian champions Cagliari Calcio became the first team from Italy to participate at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens when the Serie A club took to the pitch at Hong Kong Football Club last year.

Cagliari, who are based on the island of Sardinia, reached the final of the Shield in their debut in the competition, only to lose 2-0 to West Ham United.

The club made their return to Serie A last season and finished in 11th place in Italy’s top flight. The club’s finest hour came in 1970 when, having finished as runners-up a year earlier, Cagliari won Serie A for the first and only time. That team was captained by Italy’s all-time leading scorer Gigi Riva, who, after making more than 300 appearances and scoring over 160 goals for Cagliari, boasts such an iconic status on Sardinia that his number 11 jersey has been retired.

Other notable players to have appeared for Cagliari include former Chelsea playmaker Gianfranco Zola and ex-Uruguay internationals Enzo Francescoli and Daniel Fonseca. Midfielder Nicolo Barella is a product of the Cagliari academy and has represented Italy at various levels while Han Kwang Song made his first appearance for the club in the league last year to become the first player from North Korea to play in Serie A.