The dark days of football for Roberto d’Aversa’s Parma Calcio 1913, the successor to Parma Football Club may as well be over. The Juventus Football Club of Turin will be celebrating another league and cup double in Serie A, but a brand name in the competition completes three successive promotions to return to one of the world’s premier club competitions. Gone are the days of ignonimity. The Gialloblu are back with a vengeance.
3 – Parma have progressed in Serie A for the third time in their history, after 1989/90 and 2008/09. Return. pic.twitter.com/ADASjKon07
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 18, 2018
A little help from Foggia Calcio 1920 did the trick. Roberto Floriano’s 89th minute goal against Frosinone Calcio sealed a 2-2 draw and combined with Parma’s 2-0 win over Spezia Calcio courtesy of Fabio Ceravolo (11′) and Amato Ciciretti (61′), Parma completed the three-year comeback. After a sluggish start in October, Parma rode on a wave of form from November and never looked back.
“It can’t be true, it’s not possible, I can’t believe it,” said Alessandro Lucarelli, the Parma captain who remained with the club despite filing for bankruptcy in 2015. “We have done something incredible in these past three years. Something out of this world. No one could have imagined a finale like this.”
“I’m dying, I can’t anymore. It’s more than a dream. This promotion is a great prize for our fans who together with us never gave up. I am proud to be their captain. Now I can even retire.”
With promotion comes the big opportunity to sign better, more competitive, more skilled names in the game. Parma’s main owner is China’s Jiang Lizhang, and his return on investment paid off in spades. The Gialloblu joins Empoli, the Serie B champions, in returning to the top flight, while Frosinone will have to sweat the playoffs after blowing a 2-1 lead late, a dramatic finish worthy of song and prose.
Parma ends the 2017-18 Serie B season with a record of 21-9-12 (72 points) and are promoted over Frosinone on superior head-to-head record. They also have a superior goal differential (+20 to +18 for Frosinone). Lucarelli is now slated to resume his work with the Gialloblu as part of the technical staff. Emanuele Calaio finished as Parma’s top scorer with 13 goals while Matteo Scozzarella’s seven assists makes him the top provider.