The name of the derby refers to the Scaligeri or della Scala aristocratic family, who were rulers of Verona during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. In that period Verona became the fifth city of Italy. For the Hellas supporters, there is just one club in town. Chievo is seen as a misfit from the suburbs, not to take seriously. They got the name Mussi Volanti, which means flying donkeys. A derogatory name coming from a Hellas song, saying when Chievo would start flying, a Verona derby will be played in Serie A.
Rise of Chievo
Chievo started to cherish their new nickname. And no one had ever expected that the Verona derby would actually be played. Hellas often struggled to stay in the top league, while Chievo marched through the leagues all the way to the top. Not only gained Chievo more and more fans, the rivalry between the two clubs grew as well. They reached the Serie A after a thirth place in the 1999-2000 season. Nowadays Chievo attracts 9000 – 13000 supporters at home games.
Derby della Scala
The first derby was played in the 1994 – 1995 season when both clubs were playing in Serie B. It ended up in a 1-1 draw, but Chievo managed to win the other match that season 3-1. It took all the way to the 2000 – 2001 season before both clubs met in the Serie A, with a 3-2 victory for Hellas. Until now, they only played 19 derby’s so far.
Previous weekend was derby number 20, with not only the honour to play for. Hellas is again fighting against relegation, but also Chievo is not safe yet. The enormous stadium Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi thrills because of the passion. The Hellas tifosi are known to be a special kind in Italy as they have a more Southern America way of supporting their club. They create a massive noise rolling down the stands on to the pitch, not only from the Curva section. Right from the start I love their support, their passion and their love for Hellas.
Unfortunately the game itself is very bad. I don’t care as I don’t see much of it. I am fascinated by the scenes on the stands, simply amazing. Especially when Hellas took the lead in the 52th minute. Unreal scenes followed. People were tumbling down over each other, the whole stadium danced along with the celebration. For me it felt like home, as I very well know this passionate celebration where the crowd is one with their stadium.
A nerve wrecking 30 minutes followed. Hellas threw in everything they had to defend their lead. And with success! They defeated their bitter rivals and grabbed their last chance of staying on top.