European Cup Winners' Cup: Winners (1): 1992–93 Runners-up (1): 1993–94
With their flowing football and galaxy of stars, Parma captured the imagination like no other Italian team in the 90s. From Asprilla to Zola they lit up Serie A that decade, finishing in the Top 7 each year from 1991-2000.
With the Parmalat millions firmly behind them, Parma were to hit the ground running in Serie A. Their first win was a 1-0 success against Maradona’s Napoli and the season was to end in an impressive 6th place finish and European qualification. The team was built on solid foundations with future Italy international central defenders Luigi Apolloni and Lorenzo Minotti at the back and the talented Alessandro Melli up front. All were part of the Serie B promotion but, upon reaching Serie A, Scala was also able to add further quality to the team with the signing of Tomas Brolin. Fat Boy Brolin later became a figure of fun in England but he was crucial in Parma’s early success and in 1992 came the club’s first trophy as they won the Italian Cup defeating Juventus.
1993 brought one of the club’s finest hours, at Wembley Stadium no less, as the club hoisted the now defunct European Cup Winners Cup with a 3-1 win over Antwerp. By then Parma had been bolstered by the likes of Faustino Asprilla and, that Summer of ’93 they added Gianfranco Zola, who helped them to a European Super Cup win that Autumn. Zola was to prove pivotal scoring 19 goals in each of the next 3 Serie A seasons. Nestor Sensini and Dino Baggio arrived in 1994 and the following season saw Parma seize the UEFA Cup for the first time with victory over Juventus.
1996 saw Scala leave and replaced by Carlo Ancelotti. The future Chelsea double-winning coach could find no place for the man who was to become Chelsea’s greatest player, and Zola was moved on… replaced by Hernan Crespo & Enrico Chiesa. With this came the beginnings of perhaps Parma’s finest side. Gigi Buffon had come through the youth ranks and Fabio Cannavaro arrived from Napoli. With Lilian Thuram now also in defence, Parma made a spirited attempt at securing their first Serie A crown but runners-up in 1997 was just about as close as they got.
Juan Sebastien Veron joined the party in 1998 and the decade ended with another UEFA Cup win in ’99, and an emphatic 3-0 victory over Marseille.