Sunday will be very different circumstances however, that day 11 months ago, Parma FC were rock bottom of Serie A, with all sorts of uncertainty surrounding the club, now Parma Calcio 1913 under the watchful eye of Luigi Apollono welcome AC Sammaurese to the Tardini as Serie D (Group D) leaders.
With the club now in good hands once again, Apolloni will be hoping Parma, who were officially crowned winter champions a couple weeks ago can extend their nine point lead at the top and keep up their unbeaten run in the league this season.
The Ducali's last outing was a visit to lowly Bellaria, with the league leaders running out comfortable 5-1 winners, thanks to goals from Senegalese hitman Yves Baraye, a double form Francesco Corapi, Lorenzo Saporetti and Crocefisso Miglietta.
Parma host a Sammaurese side who sit tenth in the table, seven points off the play off places, the visitors will be looking to make it four games undefeated after last weekend impressive 2-0 victory over Forli.
The visitors can expect somewhat of a carnival atmosphere on Sunday as Parma launched the "Tutti Al Tardini" campaign this week, in order to pack out the Tardini and celebrate Christmas in style as Winter Champions.
The Parma players have had a busy week in the lead up to Sundays clash, Tuesday saw many of them play the role of Santa as they visited a local Children's hospital before celebrating 102 years since the birth of Parma Football Club on Wednesday evening, the true spirit and togetherness of this team was clear to see when on Thursday night Players, Staff, families and even President Scala were invited round to the coaches house for a Christmas get together.
Apolloni is likely to stick to his favoured 4-3-2-1 formation again on Sunday, with Luca Cacioli expected to partner captain Alessandro Lucarelli at the back, Parma will be looking for the pace and creativity of the in form Daniele Melandri and Lorenzo Simonetti to punish Sammourese along with Yves Barayre, the Senegalese goal machine is expected to lead the line for the host.
Parma Probable XI - Zommers, Messina, Saporetti, Corapi, Caciolo, Lucarelli, Lauria, Miglietta, Melandri, Baraye, Simonetti.
By Giovanni Dougall
Follow Me @giovannid86