SPAL return to Serie A for first time in 49 years

The Ferrara team were in the third tier of Italian football just a year ago, but will now face the likes of Juventus and Milan

Defeat to Ternana on the penultimate weekend of the Serie B season did not ruin SPAL's celebrations, as they sealed promotion to the Italian top flight for the first time in almost half a century. 

The Ferrara club went down 2-1 on Saturday, but Benevento's victory over Frosinone meant that they cannot be caught amongst the top two with just one game left to play in 2016-17. 

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SPAL had last played in Serie A way back in 1967-68, 49 years ago, and the coming season will be their 22nd in total amongst the elite. 

Promotion also marks the second successive season SPAL have climbed up a division, after winning a place in Serie B this time last year. 

The team's success owes a great deal to Mirco Antenucci, who starred with 19 goals over the course of the campaign. 

Goalkeeper Alex Meret, on loan from Udinese, also made the difference with his performances behind one of the meanest defences in the division. 

With SPAL now safely celebrating promotion, focus now shifts on the teams hoping to join them amongst the likes of Juventus, Inter and Milan next season.

Hellas Verona failed to assure their place in Serie A after drawing with Carpi, but can go up next week in second if they match or better Frosinone's final result of the season.

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