“Stadio San Siro Milano” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by marco_ask
For British football fans of a certain age, Italian football will always hold a place in their heart. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, people spent Sunday mornings watching Gazzetta Football Italia on Channel 4. The show’s popularity was enormous, and the league picked up British fans. Several players like Paul Gascoigne were also playing, which only helped its popularity.
Many fans that used to watch the league would have noticed the drop off in quality for a few years. However, there is some evidence that it’s now getting back to its best. The 2021/2022 season has seen some great matches and now we ask, are we seeing a return to the glory days of Serie A? Let’s explore how the giants of Italian football are once again getting the world to watch Serie A.
The Milan clubs are starting to challenge again
Both AC and Inter Milan have struggled in recent times. They have suffered from a lack of identity, but are finally starting to look like teams that could very well be worthy contenders in the league again.
Whilst AC Milan’s current crop are likely to struggle in their bid to match the iconic talents of players such as Kaka and Paolo Maldini, they could start to challenge again. Already, there are hopeful expectations that Rafael Leão could be a player that goes on to thrive in the famous red and black shirt: he reached last season’s goal tally in the first half of the current campaign, and people are starting to take notice.
Inter Milan have a recent Serie A title in the trophy cabinet and want to take the next step in Europe. How likely are they to challenge? If you check out Space Casino betting on football, you will see that despite the recent domestic success, they are considered outsiders to win the Champions League, having been priced at odds of 49/1. Meanwhile, Manchester City are staked at 14/5 and second-favourites Bayern Munich are pegged at 18/5.
Juventus go again
After a run of nine successive titles, Juventus struggled last season and only narrowly earned qualification for the Champions League. The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo pointed towards a side that is starting to build towards the future. The future may well prove to be built on the likes of Dejan Kulusevski, whose range of skills and versatility would be key assets for any club.
What impact can Jose Mourinho have?
For all his criticism, Mourinho is still of box office standard. His Roma side is capable of producing some great individual moments, as their recent 4-3 defeat against Juventus probably summed up their season in a chaotic 90 minutes. Tammy Abraham has made them a threat in attack, but they look poor defensively at times. Qualification for the Champions League would be considered a huge success.
Can any of the sides make the next step in Europe?
It is a big question to look at going forward. Since Inter’s success in 2010, only Juventus have threatened to win Europe’s premier competition. Atalanta briefly challenged in 2020, but they ultimately fell way short. In the current competition, Juventus will have to fancy their chances of getting into at least the next round. Who knows what will happen after that?
With the league’s reputation growing again, it will be interesting to see if players move to Italy in their prime. Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez have moved to Italy in recent years, but all were past their peak. Could we see a Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland type player move to the league? That alongside success in the Champions League would be the biggest signs that Serie A has recovered from a loss in reputation.