Cagliari Calcio was formed on the island of Sardinia in 1920. During the 1950s, the club became the first ever sole winners of Serie C and gained promotion to Serie B in the process. However, the club once again fell to Serie C in the early 1960s.
As the 1960s progressed, the club made a dramatic climb through the divisions, returning to Serie B and then gaining promotion to Serie A in 1964. Their first top flight season began disasterously and Cagliari were in last place with half of the season gone. However, during the second half of the season the team truimphed over Serie A giants Juventus and AC Milan and ended up emphatically securing their safety by finishing in 7th place.
Before long, the club emerged as serious contenders and became firmly involved in the 1968–69 title race, eventually finishing as runners up behind Fiorentina. The following season, however, Cagliari went one better and won the league, losing just two games throughout the season and finishing four points ahead of second placed Internazionale. It remains their only league win to date. In the decades that followed, success alluded Cagliari, with the club bouncing between Serie A, Serie B and Serie C. During the 1990s, the club enjoyed a mini revival, qualifying for Europe at the end of the 1992-93 season and reaching the semi finals of the UEFA Cup in the 1993–94 season. After falling back down to Serie B, Gianfranco Zola joined the club ahead of the 2003–04 season and helped to guide them back to the top flight.
Legendary players to represent the club include Ricciotti Greatti, Pierluigi Cera, Mario Martiradonna, David Suazo and Gianfranco Zola. Gigi Riva is generally regarded as the club's greatest ever striker, forming part of the club's Serie A winning side and scoring 169 league goals for the team.
The club currently plays its home matches at the Stadio Comunale Is Arenas, which has a capacity of 16,200 seats. The stadium is currently undergoing major renovations.