Lack of investment, scandals, inadequate tactical nous and under-performing teams were never associated with the ‘Italian SerieA’. Unfortunately, a nation once known for perhaps the most tactically sound players is slowly losing its charm. Here is why we believe Italian football is declining.
Lack of investment
Economy wise, Italy doesn’t seem to be in a stable enough position and that has reflected on each and every team within the ‘SerieA’. Lack of economic stability and declining foreign investments have resulted in the lowering of budgets for salaries and transfers. This makes the SerieA an ‘unattractive’ option for the upcoming stars in world football and thus reduces the quality of teams that compete on the European stage.
Napoli, Juventus and Sassuolo are the only teams that are playing attractive football at present. Recently Roma’s match against AC Milan was a brilliant example of two giants of Italy playing an extremely lackluster game of football. The only exciting part of the game was the entry of 39 years old Italy and Roma legend Francisco Totti. A more unambiguous image of the current situation of SerieA was defined by the ‘half-empty’ stadium in this ‘major’ clash in the SerieA.
Reduced number of quality players coming out of the ‘Academies’
Italian under-21 team were disappointing to say the least in the UEFA under 21 championship. The team were not able to qualify through the group stages and only one or two players showed actual promise. Honorable mentions may go to Dominco Berrardi, Allesio Romagnoli and Frederico Viviani who were the three stand out performers in the ‘whole squad’. This is alarming to say the least and it is high time that teams within the SerieA understand that quality footballers need to come through the academies if Italy want to maintain their image in the footballing world.
The passing of Italy’s ‘golden generation’
There was a time when Italy had the strength of Zambrota, Allesandro Nesta and Paolo Cannavaro at the heart of their defense. When they had commitment, mentality and leadership of Paolo Maldini. When they had the decisiveness of a poacher in Fillipo Inzhagi. When they had the skill and precision of Alessandro Del Piero When they had the raw strength of Genaro Gattuso backing up the creativity of Andrea Pirlo who would set up Italy’s ‘sniper’ in Francisco Totti. When they had the protection of Gigi Buffon. When they had the panache and finishing of Alberto Gilardino and finally, when they had the youthfulness and aggression of Danielle De Rossi. These players were a part of Italy’s golden generation and it hurts to state that after members of this team retired, Italian football and Italian national team were just ‘not the same’.
A little light at the end of the tunnel
Gone were the days when there was a Milan side that instilled fears in the hearts of their opponents. Still, last season’s Champions League run of Juventus was a glimmer of hope for all the teams in SerieA. Juventus showed the world that with proper planning and management, every goal can be achieved and paved the way for the likes of Napoli, Sassuolo and Fiorentina to invest in quality players to become competitive.
Andrea Pirlo, Gigi Buffon and Danielle De Rossi have still got a little more in them and with the right mix of players Italy might have a chance to bring back the glory days because the viewers and faithfuls are missing both the Italian team and the Italian clubs in major competitions.
Can the Old lady of Italian Football repeat their Champions League run again?