On June 3, 2001, 13,000 spectators crowded into the stands at the Bentegodi Verona stadium to witness the football match between Chievo and Salerno for the Series B championship. Chievo won 2-0, thus winning them a historic promotion to Series A. Chievo is a small part of the capital, Verona. The team was founded in 1929 and for more than half a century they played in the minor division. In 1986, the team made its first jump in divisions to the C2 division. Two years later and the team once again moved up to the C1 division. In 1994, the team graduated to Series B. But it was in 2001, that Chievo made the final step to Series A. Never had a team had managed to climb to through all divisions, going from amateur series to the top division in professional football. In Italian football, the promotion of a neighborhood team is, in fact, considered a rarity. The president of Chievo was Luca Campedelli. Gigi Del Blacks was the coach. The management of the club followed a family-run business model. They paid attention to the budget and only competent people were in management. Experts considered their salvation as pure utopia. On the first day the yellow and blue faced the Fiorentina, they surprised everyone with a 2-0 win. The next day, Chievo was on the front page of every newspaper. It was just the beginning. Two weeks later, the yellow and blue lead 2-0 after twenty minutes against Juventus. The Bianconeri's were able to comeback with a 3-2 win, but the guys of Del Neri left with their heads held high. The team played by memory, every player on the field knew exactly what to do and how to move. On the 9th day, Chievo led the standings with 4 points ahead of Inter, who was in second.
Players like Legrottaglie Corini, Manfredini, Perrotta and Marazzina, who were originally unknown to the public, became actors. There was talk of fairy tales and miracles. The story spread abroad, and television crews from all over went to the stadium at Veronello to study the new phenomenon. Chievo lost in the match versus Verona and gave up easily in the presence of AC Milan. However, in mid-December, they accomplished a great victory by beating Inter at San Siro by 2 goals to 1. After struggling for the title of Winter Champion, the Venetians underwent a physiological decline in the second half. On March 3, 2002, grief fell upon the team. Congolese striker, Jason Mayele, died in a car accident. His jersey number, 30, was retired and three weeks later, the yellow and blue honored Mayele’s memory by triumphing in return match. At the end of the season, Chievo finished in fifth place with 55 points, just one less than the Milan. The Venetians would play in the Uefa Cup, losing in the first round against the Serbs of the Red Sta, and closed out the season in 7th place.