Parma: 15 Greatest Players of the Parmalat Era

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Parma: 15 Greatest Players of the Parmalat Era
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Fifteen years ago, Parma embarked on their most successful season in Serie A to date, as they finished second to Juventus.

To this day, the end to the 1996-97 season still irks fans of the Ducali, after a dubious penalty awarded at the Stadio delle Alpi cost Carlo Ancelotti’s men their very first Scudetto.

The tale of Parma is a rags-to-riches story, as they went from a provincial team to a European powerhouse in no time at all. The club, who were 98 percent owned by Parmalat, owed all their success to the Tanzi family, as they pumped countless amounts of money into the club.

At the time, it may have seemed too good to be true, with the likes of Zola, Stoichkov, Crespo and Thuram on the pitch at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, but it all came crashing down and left the club operating in controlled administration until the start of 2007.

At the start of the 1990s, nobody could envisage what was going to happen at Parma, as they had just reached Serie A after a successful season under Nevio Scala. The Tanzi family pumped money into the club, and that brought success as they won the UEFA Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and Coppa Italia during a glory-laden spell in the ‘90s.

With the Parmalat millions behind them, Parma looked like they were going to dominate Italy and the rest of Europe, but then the club was deprived of their main source of income, as the Parmalat scandal broke with the company collapsing due to a £13 billion hole in its accounts.

The club fought back from the brink of abyss and are now back as an established Serie A team after a spell in Serie B.

Parma truly were a 1990s phenomenon. Here’s our list of their 15 greatest players during the Parmalat era.

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