After Genoa C.F.C Udinese Calcio is the oldest football team in Italy founded in 1896. Udinese is from the city of Udine in the Friuli-Venezia Guilia Region. Their stadium is called Stadio Friuli. Udinese Calcio was founded as part of the Udinese Society of Gymnastics and Fencing but was first enrolled in an official tournament in 1912-13 in the 'Campionato Veneto di Promozione' with Petarca and Padova. As they achieved a second place here they promoted to Prima Categoria - the eigtht highest level.
In 1922 however Udinese took advantage of the absence og many top teams and saw them joining the top flight. This season also saw them reach the first ever Coppa Italia final, where they lost 1-0 to Vado. This is today still their best achievement in the Coppa Italia tournament. They came in last the next season however and was relegated to the Second division. When the Serie A and B arrived in 1928-29 season Udinese was in the third division, but achieved promotion to Serie B after the first season. The 20's are also memorable because of Gino Bellotto, who still is the player with most seasons in a Udinese shirt: 17.
In the 30's and 40's Udinese rollercoasted between Serie B and Serie C (named this in 1935) before achieving a historical promotion to Serie A after the 1949-50 season. Here they almost claimed the Scudetto trophy, and achieved their so far best Serie A result, in 1954-55 season, only beaten by Milan. The season after they got relegated though because of an offence in 1953. 'Le Zebrette' only needed one season in Serie B before returning to Serie A though and ended as fourth.
The team declined hereafter in 1961-62 to Serie B and then to Serie C in 1963-64. They stayed here for 15 seasons before they gained relegation in 1978 where they also won the Anglo-Italian Cup. After more than two decades Udinese returned to Serie A the season after. They won the Mitropa Cup in 1980. In the 80's Brazilian star Zico was part of the Udinese team. A team however that didn't do anything special in Serie A and got relegated in 1986-87 after being part of the betting scandal that cost them -9 points in Serie A. The same scandal that cost Lazio a trip to Serie B with -9 points.
It was first in 1995-96 season that Udinese established themselves in Serie A. This season also saw them qualify to the UEFA Cup, thanks to the sooner to be Lazio coach Alberto Zaccheroni and the amazing 27 goal season by Oliver Bierhoff. Their european adventure wasn't that frequent after this, however after a fourth spot in Serie A they achieved Champions League in 2005-06 season. They however didn't make it to the knock-out stage being beaten by Werder Bremen and later champions Barcelona.
They returned to Europa in UEFA Cup in the 2008-09 season where the Zebrette reached the quarter-finals, where they lost 6-4 on aggregate to Werder Bremen. Next season however almost saw Udinese get relegated, although Antonio Di Natale, the teams topscorer of all time, became topscorer of Serie A with 29 goals. He achieved this also the next season with 28 goals, where he also helped massively the friulani to achieve a fourth spot finish in Serie A and therefore gave Udinese the possibility to play Champions League in 2011-12 season. Udinese played a superb season with entertainin and attacking football and they beat Lazio on goal difference.