On our last article we addressed the terrible downfall Serie A suffered after the Calciopoli. Now, we’d like to figure out if the arrival of stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlo Ancelotti is a sign that the glory of Serie A was never lost, and it will come back stronger than ever. Check our latest article to find out!
Many would say that Serie A today is nothing compared to what it was on the golden years, when the Scudetto was the most desired domestic prize in Europe and the best players in the world where on Italian soil. They may say that Serie A was out shadowed by the more competitive, less boring leagues of Spain and England and that its decay is imminent.
However, those critics were surely shocked when they heard the hottest transfer news this year: CR7 would arrive to Juventus. The total cost of the transfer, including all fees and wages over the course of the proposed four-year contract, would total upwards of €400m euros. Why did one of the best players in the world, right on his prime, decided to continue his record-breaking career in a league which is in a continuous downfall from the dominant position it was some years ago?
The answer is simple. Serie A is not the league full of world-class stars that led the UEFA ranking of European leagues from 1986 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1999, that’s for sure, but it’s experiencing a tremendous rebirth and has much to offer. The last campionato was delightfully competitive. After Liverpool, it’s fair to say that the most memorable and fierce performances in Europe last season came from Juventus and Roma, who reached together the Champions League semifinals for the first time in 34 years. The ownership of Inter and Milan is finally in good hands: wealthy and financially responsible backers are delegating vital decisions to the right individual. The top six teams in the league all have talented coaches (Napoli’s decision to bring Carlo Ancelotti back to Italy was a masterful one; it will give a lot of strength to the team) and no one looks out of their depth.
Serie A’s recent decline has been variously attributed to the Italian economy, decrepit stadiums, eccentric owners, violent and racist fans, and, most of all, the corruption scandal known as Calciopoli (see: https://foothunch.com/the-downfall-of-serie-a/). For example, since Fiorentina went bankrupt in 2002, 153 Italian clubs have refounded, merged with other clubs or disappeared altogether. Three clubs have dropped from Serie B to Serie D this summer due to financial problems even though none of them finished in the relegation zone. The last two decades have been difficult for Italian clubs, but things just happen to be improving.
Another issue that lies deep into Italian football fans’ hearts was missing this years’ World Cup. Despite Serie A heading up, the national side hit an incredible low this year; as a strategy to recover from disgrace, the Italian Football Federation has now turned to Premier League and Scudetto winner Roberto Mancini to guide the country forward, but can he revive fortunes?
In Mancini, Italians trusts. The matches against Poland (1-1) and Portugal (1-0) were not a good start, with a tie and a loss, but the hope is still there. They should be pushing for a return to tournament football, as they have one of international football’s biggest name manager and a new generation of youngsters is rising up. Regarding Serie A, the reinstatement of its Champions League qualifying slots from three to four clubs this summer, six years after it was downgraded, plus the elite newcomers and all the factors already stated, give a hint of what we’ll see next seasons. We’ll see what this vibrant season brings, hoping to marvel ourselves with a true renaissance of Serie A and Italian Football.