Italian football welcomed back an old friend today after Diego Della Valle, owner of Florentia Viola, bought back the club's former name, AC Fiorentina.
From next season the Florence club will be called Fiorentina again and will wear their traditional purple shirts after Della Valle bought the rights to both at a cost of €2.5m at an auction of all the property owned by the club at the time of their bankruptcy last summer.
Relegated last year
The two-times Italian champions dropped three divisions from Serie A down to Italy's lowest professional tier, Serie C2, last year and were forced to adopt a new name, Florentia Viola, along with new colours of white shirts with an horizontal purple line.
On the up
Last month the Viola took their first step back towards the top flight when they won promotion to Serie C1. Today's news is another step in the right direction for a club which attracted an average attendance of 25,000 this season, despite all their troubles.
'A fantastic present'
Fiorentina captain Angelo Di Livio, who pledged his future to the club after returning from the FIFA World Cup last summer, said: "We have always thought we were playing for the same Fiorentina, but Della Valle gave us a fantastic present today. It was a great gesture."
The club will celebrate their promotion to Serie C1 with a friendly match on Monday when the current Fiorentina side will take on a team comprising members of the club's 1996 Italian Cup-winning side. Former coach Claudio Ranieri, now with Chelsea FC, will return for the occasion.
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