Evidently, Serie A’s glory days are behind them, players like Maldini, Baresi, Baggio, Zidane, Maradona, Ronaldo and many more icons once took part in this league, identifying Serie A as one of the greatest leagues in the world. Unfortunately as time went on, teams overseas began to gain money, while Serie A teams took a more conservative approach, losing most of their massive star quality players. This is really evident when you look at the fact that only two Italian teams qualified for the Champions League this year, the Serie A champions Juventus, and runners up AS Roma. Napoli failed to get out of the qualifying stage after a stunning defeat by the hands of the Spanish team, Athletic Bilbao. Despite the negativity surrounding the league, Serie A is on the upswing. This year, Serie A promises to have a very entertaining season with many storylines highlighting this year’s season. This top 10 will give you a better understanding on why you should watch Serie A this season, enjoy!
10) Conte’s Watching
Italy’s national team has gone through a massive change in personnel during the last couple of months, with Cesare Prandelli stepping down as the coach of the national team. After Prandelli stepped down, the always entertaining and enthusiastic Antonio Conte stepped down from his position in Juventus, to take charge of the national team. Conte declared, all positions are up for grabs no matter who you are. Additionally, Conte went on discussing that whatever happened in the past does not matter, the new Italian coach just wants to focus on the future. With this being said, expect new Italian talent to emerge this season and compete for a job on the national team. Players like Florenzi, Zaza, Berardi and others who have never gotten an opportunity to play at that level, may elevate their game to newer heights in order to make the national team. This is definitely an exciting reason to watch what goes on this season.
9) Torres Turns To Serie A For A Rebirth
After 5 disappointing years as a Chelsea player, Fernando Torres has finally turned the page and left it all behind for a fresh start in Serie A. Torres was once one of the most feared strikers on this planet, scoring 65 goals in 102 appearances with Liverpool. After being sold to Chelsea, his career took a huge hit, netting only 20 goals in 110 appearances wearing blues shirt, a fresh start for Torres was long overdue. AC Milan has decided to take this risk after selling Balotelli, to see if Torres can once again, be that number 9 striker he once was. Also, having Inzaghi as a coach can certainly help Torres. It will be interesting to see if the Spanish striker can return to form in Serie A this season.
8) AC Milan’s Rise Back To Respectability
Milan fans will be the first ones to tell you that last season was disastrous. The coaching situation was in constant disarray, the players were not performing and most importantly, the team was simply not winning. Milan finished the league in 8th place, meaning they did not even qualify for a Europa League spot, being edged out by Torino. A fresh new start is exactly what this team needed. With the distraction of Mario Balotelli finally gone and sold to Liverpool, and the hiring of former player, Filippo Inzaghi as the new coach, positive thoughts are certainly settling in. The team has also brought in some new faces, such as former Goalkeeper Diego Lopez, former PSG defender Alex, Colombian left-back Armero, and has purchased players who will spark Milan upfront, such as Jeremy Menez, Van Ginkel, Giacomo Bonaventura and the player on the number 9 spot on this list, Fernando Torres. Most important of all, a healthy Stephan El Shaarawy can aid Milan immensely. These new additions can definitely help bring Milan back to respectability and back to playing amongst Europe’s best. AC Milan fans will surely sit on the edge of their seats this season.
7) The Benitez Era Continues In Napoli
Patience is wearing thin with Napoli fans this season, which means Benitez is under huge pressure to get results. The season has already started terribly for Naples, after a shocking champions league qualification defeat to the Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, regulating the team to the Europa league. Napoli fans have very high standards for the club, with a richness of skilled and speedy players, headlined by the Argentinean striker, Gonzalo Higuain. Unfortunately, these standards have not yet been met by Benitez since he took over the team. Look for the Benitez watch to be a huge storyline in Serie A this season.
6) The Post Balotelli Era
Italy’s bad boy has finally departed from Serie A. Many feel like his departure will not only aid super Mario, but will aid the entire league of Serie A as well. The negativity surrounding Mario often took the front page of Serie A news, overshadowing the football that was going on in the league. This new era looks to create new great future strikers and more importantly, drama-free football, without any unnecessary distractions. Balotelli admits that coming back to Italy was a mistake, it’s now time for Mario to return back to form and be the player he once was, without the drama.
5) Derby Della Madonnina
Every year the Milan derby is one of the most exciting fixtures of the season, featuring long time rivals, AC Milan and Inter Milan. This year is special due to the fact that both teams believe they are back on the right track and ready to compete with Italy’s best, once again. As previously mentioned, AC has made plenty of moves this summer, but Inter has also brought on some new faces and have changed the look of their team as well. Inter has added some new names to aid them defensively, names which include Gary Medel, Nemanja Vidic, Yann M’Vila and Dodo. Inter has also loaned out the Italian striker, Pablo Osvaldo from Southampton. The derby promises to be a real treat for all soccer fans this season, the first match between the two rivals takes place November 23.
4) Colorful Coaching Characters
It seems like coaches are always changing places in Serie A. Last season, 15 coaches were sacked, making Serie A the highest league to make coaching changes. One thing Serie A can guarantee is some excellent entertainment on the sidelines. This year, Max Allgeri surprisingly return to Serie A to coach Juventus. This news certainly has AC Milan fans cringing, with many believing that Max was the reason for Milan’s veteran players departing from the club. Other notable coaches to returns to Serie A include, the always entertaining Zdenek Zeman to Cagliari, and the enthusiastic former Inter coach, Andrea Stramaccioni, who will make his return coaching Udinese. The league also carries memorable Serie A soccer players who turned into coaches, such as Vincenzo Montella, who coaches Fiorentina, Roberto Donadoni who coaches Parma, and Pippo Inzaghi who is set to coach AC Milan. Surely, you can always find some great entertainment on the sidelines in Serie A!
3) Serie A’s Young Guns
One of the absolute best reasons to watch Serie A is the massive amount of special youth this league has, year after year. Serie A has an endless list of future stars, who are worth the price of admission, players including: Domenico Berardi, Mateo Kovacic, Manolo Gabbiadini, Lorenzo Insigne, Mattia Destro, Jorginho, Juan Iturbe, Mattia De Sciglio, Stephan EL Shaarawy, Paul Pogba, Simone Zaza, Alessandro Florenzi and the list goes on and on. Serie A has an endless list of young special talent. For example, Hachim Mastour is only 16 years of age, and will be starting on AC Milan’s bench this season, another potential future gem produced out of Serie A. If you’re in need of young new talent and are tired of watching the same players, Serie A will certainly not disappoint.
2) Roma’s Quest To The Top Of Serie A
Rudi Garcia’s squad was not satisfied with finishing second place last season. This past off season, Roma has made significant moves in order to potentially finally be able to dethrone Juventus as champions. Roma’s summer signings had extreme impact, adding depth to every position, starting with the defense. They picked up Greek defender, Monolas, along with Davide Astori, Yanga-Mbiwa and Ashley Cole. Up front Roma cashed in big, buying Juan Iturbe from Verona, the right-winger with tremendous potential and gifted speed. Roma’s midfield is stacked with the likes of De Rossi, Pjanic, Strootman, Keita and Nainggolan. Roma also shares great depth up-front, with Francesco Totti, Gervinho, Florenzi, Ljajic and Destro. This can finally be the year that Roma snatches the title away from Juventus. Roma also look to make their presence felt in a very difficult champions’ league group, in which they drew Bayern, Man City and CSKA Moskva. This may be the year Roma gets back to greatness, keep a close eye on them this season.
1) Can Juventus Defend Their Title Once Again?
This year, more so than ever, Juventus finally has serious threats to battle against for their title, in which they have kept for three straight seasons. The difficulty for Juventus this season is exactly how much they are prioritizing Serie A, members within the team have made it a priority to go deep into the Champions League this season. Will that hurt their campaign? Juve’s biggest off season moves weren’t who they got, but rather who they kept. Star players, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba were almost in the headlines everyday concerning possible transfers, at the end of it all, not losing any of them was huge for the club. The team’s biggest signings included Alvaro Morata from Madrid and Patrice Evra, from Manchester. The biggest question remains, can Massimo Allegri allow his new team to go deep, both into the Champions League and win Serie A, for a fourth year in a row? This is certainly the biggest question facing Serie A this season.