Unione Calcio Sampdoria was formed in 1946 from the merger of two former Italian club sides, Sampierdarenese and Andrea Doria. The club's home kit was designed as a mixture between Andrea Doria's blue shirts and Sampierdarenese's red, white and black colours, which form a horizontal mid-section on the current shirt.
In 1979, while the club was languishing in Serie B, Paolo Mantovani purchased Sampdoria. Mantovani, who made his fortune from the oil business, began to invest heavily in a bid to return the club to the top flight. This eventually happened at the end of the 1981-82 season.
The 1980s proved to be the beginning of a golden era for the club. In 1985, Sampdoria won their first Coppa Italia. Two further wins in 1988 and 1989 added to the team's trophy haul. In 1989, the club also reached the European Cup Winners' Cup final, but lost out to Barcelona. In 1990 Sampdoria went one better, defeating Anderlecht to lift the Cup Winners' Cup. The biggest success was still to come though and in 1990-91, Sampdoria won Serie A for the first time. The following season saw Samprodia reach the final of the European Cup, although they were unable to overcome Barcelona. A fourth Coppa Italia win in 1994 brought a close to this period of success for the club.
Throughout history, many of football's biggest names have worn the Sampdoria shirt, especially during the club's golden era in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of the best-known players to represent the club include Gianluca Vialli, the club's top scorer in their title winning season; Roberto Mancini, who spent 15 seasons with the club, scoring over 150 goals and Antonio Cassano; who rejuvenated his career at the club after a disappointing spell at Real Madrid. The club has also signed several notable British players, including David Platt, Graeme Souness and Des Walker.
Since 1946, the club has played home matches at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, a 36,703-seater stadium which is shared with city rivals Genoa.