Marked by high-scoring thrillers and guaranteed end-to-end action, Serie A is currently, in my opinion, the most exciting league in Europe right now! Not by the quality of teams, nor even the quality of players; but just by the level of competition and incredible stories witnessed in Serie A this season. To the Italian football fanatic, this beckons a return to the league’s glory day of the 1980s-2000s.
A part of this excitement emerges from the high level of uncertainty with every game. This season we have witnessed Napoli narrowly beating league leaders Inter Milan 3-2, only later to be beaten by 17th place Spezia in December. Atalanta defeated Napoli 3-2 and then two weeks later were dispatched by Mourinho’s Roma 4-1 at home!
Consequently, only four points are separating fourth place and the league leader. More staggering, however, is the nine points between fourth and eighth. This has led to many of the games feeling tense and being filled with drama; with most fixtures having a potential top four or title-deciding impact. This level of competition cannot be felt anywhere else with the Premier League only having three real competitors, Bayern the only contender in the Bundesliga and PSG once again ruling the roost in Ligue 1. While Spain is highly competitive you can’t help but feel it is more due to a decline of Real Madrid and Barcelona, rather than an overall quality improvement, as seen in Serie A.
Sleeping giants Fiorentina and AC Milan have finally awoken
Not only is the league highly competitive but each team has their own unique story, making any neutral feeling conflicted on who to support. Sleeping giants Fiorentina and AC Milan have finally awoken. The scrappy underdog, Atalanta, are a small-town team no dissimilar to Bournemouth and have only got to this point through consistent smart recruitment and incredibly exciting football.
Roma and Lazio are led by two legends of Italian football, Jose Mourinho and Maurizio Sarri. And whilst Inter Milan and Juventus are the most recent winners of Serie A they both have struggled to assert their dominance onto this 2021/22 season. Juventus, in particular, are languishing in fifth while Inter Milan have failed to cope with the loss of manager Antonio Conte and star players Lukaku and Hakimi.
Napoli, however, are fighting for something much greater. With the pain of club legend, Diego Maradona’s, death still in the memory, both players and fans are fighting to win the title in his memory. Thus, throughout the league, incredible stories continue to make every game feel important and key in their unique context.
The unique blend of experience and youth has allowed the flourishing of many teams
All of this combined with the fact that not only is Serie A the place for stars in the twilight of their careers but bright young stars such as Dusan Vlahovich, Rafel Leao, Gianluca Simeone (Diego’s Simeone’s son) etc. This unique blend of experience and youth has allowed the flourishing of many teams. With Zlatan revolutionising AC Milan; in terms of attitude and commitment.
This level of youthfulness has fed into very intense, end to end games with very few of the top games feeling sluggish. All of this contributes to the attacking verve the top four have found, all scoring more than thirty-four goals. In any game, there’s a sense that there is a goal just around the corner, in it contrary to Serie A’s reputation for defensive football.
In conclusion, the incredible level of competition, compelling storylines and exciting football all lead to Serie A being the most exciting league in Europe. With the feeling of anything can happen and who ends up at the top of the table come May remaining the biggest mystery of all.
Featured image used courtesy of [Alberto Barbarisi] via [Unsplash]. No changes were made to this image. Image use license here.
In article image 1 courtesy of [@officialasroma] via [Instagram]. No changes were made to this image.
In article image 2 courtesy of [@officialsscnapoli] via [Instagram]. No changes were made to this image.
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