Empoli promoted to Serie A

Gabriele Maltinti

Tuscan club Empoli will play next season in Serie A, returning to the top flight for the first time since 2008.

Empoli have followed in Palermo's footsteps to become the second and final Serie B side automatically promoted back to the top flight. The Tuscans beat Pescara 2-0 on Friday to guarantee they'll be playing Serie A football next season for the first time since they were last relegated back in 2008.

Few would argue it isn't a deserved promotion, with Empoli having had a stellar couple of seasons in the second tier. They missed out on a return to Serie A only because of a playoff defeat to Livorno last season, though bounced back with a vengeance, sitting inside the automatic promotion spots for the vast majority of the current campaign.

Key to their success is certainly their experienced strike duo of Francesco Tavano and Massimo Maccarone, who remarkably have a combined age of 69. Even so, the legendary duo have over 35 goals between them this season, and they fully deserve a final shot at Serie A.

They may have plenty of experience, though Empoli certainly shouldn't be written off as a retirement home for ageing Serie A journeymen. The Tuscan town is home to one of the most prestigious youth academies on the peninsula, continuing to produce azzurri stars of the future. Some of their notable former players include Claudio Marchisio, Sebastian Giovinco and Antonio Di Natale, with the latter having spent his youth at the club.

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