The publication of a report on the last four years of football in San Marino has been the centrepiece of the nation's 'Festa del Calcio' with San Marino Football Federation (FSCG) president Giorgio Crescentini reflecting on "a good period".
With the domestic league in its winter break, local football has been focused on 'La Festa del Calcio' − the Football Festival: an event organised every four years to reflect on the nation's footballing progress. After presenting the FSCG's report of the last four-year period, Crescentini told uefa.com: "We have had a wonderful four years in every respect. This book is a complete review of football in the country and describes perfectly a good period for our football."
The fifth edition of the report reflects upon a period in which the Sammarinese national team has taken on the likes of Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, S.S. Murata became the first local side to compete in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers, while in 2007/08, AC Libertas became the first Sammarinese side to avoid defeat in a European game, drawing 1-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Cup first qualifying round tie against Drogheda United FC.
"It would be great to achieve better results on the pitch, but we are among the smallest countries in Europe and it's very difficult," said Crescentini, adding: "We have to continue growing in all sectors of the game. Our goal for the future is to continue our growth both in terms of the quality and quantity of local players."
Perhaps the most celebrated occasion of the last four years came on 18 October 2008 when the new FSCG headquarters opened, with the first stone having been laid in July 2006. UEFA President Michel Platini was among the guests that day, with UEFA's Hat-Trick programmes having funded 55 per cent of the building of La Casa del Calcio.
Featuring offices, meeting rooms, a rehabilitation centre, four dressing rooms, storage facilities and underground parking, it will be the FSCG's permanent home and will also be a technical centre for the national team, boasting a full-sized artificial pitch. Crescentini said: "It is a wonderful project and a technologically-advanced building for all the people who love this sport in this country."
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