Associazione Calcio Fiorentina was founded in 1926 as a result of the merger of two former clubs from Florence, Club Sportivo Firenze and Palestra Ginnastica Libertas. The club reached Serie A for the first time in 1936.
In 1939-40, Fiorentina won their first major trophy, the Coppa Italia, but in the short term they were unable to build on that success. A decade later, during the 1950s, Fiorentina emerged as a major force within Italian football, building a squad of world-class footballers and achieving consistent finishes near the top of the league table.
The club won its first Serie A title in 1955–56, losing just one match over the course of the entire season and finishing 12 points ahead of second-placed AC Milan. The following season, Fiorentina became the first Italian side to reach the final of the European Cup, although they were ultimately unsuccessful, losing out to a legendary Real Madrid side. The club won its second league title in 1968–69, again losing just one match along the way. Sporadic success has followed, including Coppa Italia wins in 1974–75, 1995–96 and in 2000–01 when they beat Parma, but the team failed to reach the heights of the 50s and 60s. In 2002, the club was effectively resolved due to financial issues, but was soon reborn, first as Associazione Calcio Fiorentina e Florentia Viola and then once again as ACF Fiorentina. The team returned to the top flight in 2004.
Noteable players to play for the club over the years include such names as: Miguel Montuori, Julinho, Giancarlo Antognoni, Roberto Baggio, Gabriel Batistuta and Luca Toni.
Fiorentina have played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi since 1931. The stadium, formerly known as the Comunale, has a capacity of 47,290 and was one of the grounds used when Italy hosted the 1990 FIFA World Cup.