Serie A, Italy’s premier football league has gone from an era of domination to an era of being dominated. What changed through these years? We bring our analysis forward :
Serie A had emerged to be the most dominant league in the 90’s and early 2000’s when players like Paolo Maldini, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Baggio were in their prime but this reputation had dwindled in the late 2000’s due to the better infrastructure and rich funding of the English clubs or the domination of Spanish clubs due to their prowess to attract larger crowds and buy top talent.
So what happened down the years which resulted in this power shift of Serie A?
Reasons are varied and we will look into them one by one.
The first reason has to be the poor management and poor infrastructure of the stadiums. A lot teams in Serie A don’t play in their own stadiums and are often subjected to the point that they have to lease a particular stadium as tenants. Now, this makes them lose control over the stadium’s infrastructure as they cannot mould it to their requirements as they have no legal right and b) the govt. won’t do it for them because of an excuse of lack of funds.
This obviously causes a chaotic situation for the fans who pay high ticket prices, only to be subjected to pedestrian treatment.
The importance of a football team having its own stadium is paramount as it gives them total control over their fan-base accommodation and lucrative ventures.
The second reason can be attributed to the emergence of powerhouse clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United or Barcelona. Whereas 6 of the 10 Ballon D’Or winners of the 90’s came from the Italian League, it is almost impossible to ignore that it is Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have dominated the award between them since almost a decade.
Moreover, it has been 6 years since any Italian side has won the UEFA Champions League, with Internazionale last claiming it under Jose Mourinho in 2010.
The powerhouse clubs often offer better pays, better infrastructure, better facility and more exposure to their players rather than the ones in Italy, which was first exhibited in 2002 by Zinedine Zidane as he became the biggest superstar of his time and officially the last straw to be drawn from Italy who moved to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The third reason is the scandals and controversies which have tarnished the reputation of the league.
The world of football is well aware with the Calciopoli scandal (if not, you can read about it here) and the public confidence in the quality of football offered by Italian temas has been hampered ever since Juventus were relegated to the Serie B (the 2nd division of Italian football) after being inferred to be involved in the controversy (with their 2 Serie A titles stripped off their record from 2005 and 2006).
The 4th and final factor is a result of all the 3 as the public excitement doesn’t remain to watch sub-standard players in famous derby matches and cross city rivalry matches as most of the superstars prefer to play in England or Spain.
Although, Serie A has started to pick up pace in the last 2 years with Juventus reaching a UEFA Champions League final, winning 5 straight titles, buying quality players and resurging as a top team along with Roma and Napoli floowing them in hot pursuit, a true football fan still hopes that the golden culture of the sassy Italian football gains its dominance yet again.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.