Serie A Review #566

Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus Cruise to Historical 8th consecutive Scudetto

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Juventus has dominated Italian football for nearly a decade. Since their new stadium opened in 2012 they have won the Scudetto every single season. Although this may be true they were tested by Napoli twice 2018 and in 2016 as well as Roma in 2017. This season they made a shocking unprecedented move and signed one of the world’s best players. Cristiano Ronaldo made his exit from the Santiago Bernabeu to join the Italian Champions Juventus for 112 million on a 4-year deal. It was a very split decision at a time as Cristiano Ronaldo was 33 years old when he signed for Juventus. Juventus signed him for one reason and one reason only winning the Champions League something Cristiano Ronaldo has a lot of experience with. Even though they ultimately failed to do that in Serie A they were legit. Even though it wasn’t as easy as have suggested having been in some games in which they play very poorly but still managed to win. They cruised to league title-winning at for an 8th consecutive year. Cristiano Ronaldo certainly was the difference. I do not believe he was the best player in the league this season but he certainly made a big impact. Juventus were also in some respects fortunate as dysfunction happened at Roma and Inter Milan the majority of the teams around them underachieved as there never was a legitimate title challenge, to begin with. It seemed to end the same day to season opened. Juventus finished with 90 points 11 points ahead of second-place Napoli. They glided to the title with no real challenge but the number of points wasn’t historic. Napoli’s Sarri who fished second last season accumulated more just to put things in perspective. Even though it took Cristiano Ronaldo four games to score his first goal Juventus had their hottest start in league history. They won eight consecutive games before dropping points to Genoa in late October. Believe it or not, did not lose a single game until March 17th. Cristiano Ronaldo played a big role in this lopsided title challenge. He’s not the player he once was he didn’t rip up the league finishing fourth & scoring with 21 goals along with eight assists. If you take away his goals and assists on this team is not abundantly clear that Juventus would have won the league his impact was quite clear however Juventus are looking for more next season having failed in the Champions League and for the first time in four years they were unable to win the Copa Italia after being smoked by Atlanta 3-1 in the Quarterfinals. There’s definitely room to grow they were not Invincible though late in the season they lost to Sampdoria Genoa Roma and SPAL. There is room for improvements for this team they will be a new age of Juventus football as Max Allegri and Juventus has parted ways. Things will not be as easy next season but nonetheless, the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo proved to be important as Juventus get their hands on the trophy.

 

Disappointment from Rome Clubs

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The biggest disappointments this season were the Rome clubs both of them. Both Rome and Lazio had significantly high expectations like they should. Even though they went through the overhaul the feeling was they could still make Champions League football. Realistically I didn’t think either team thought they were going to challenge the title this season but nonetheless, they certainly thought they were going to have a better season than they did. Even though Lazio won the Copa Italia it was not a great season for them. Lazio finished in 8th with 59 points once again finishing below their rivals from across the road. In addition to that, they were 10 points from the final Champions League spot. They had a rough start to the season but mid-year they got there the momentum’s and they certainly looked like a team to be worried about. At times they were in that Champions League race but they fell apart. Dropping points in matches they should have won something that Roma even can relate with. They won the Copa Italia which adds another trophy to the case as well as beating Roma in the derby for the first time in three years. You can give them the benefit of the doubt because their first two games were against Napoli and Juventus but nonetheless, they collapsed in big moments. They even though they did beat some of the top teams occasionally their record against them wasn’t great. They went out in the round of 32 to Sevilla in the Europa League with severe difficulties over the two legs which was incredibly disappointing. Even though the highlight of the season was winning the Coppa Italia but it’s just a silver lining overall they were incredibly disappointing Their Stars didn’t perform and collectively they struggled. Roma was in the same boat though this is one of the worst seasons Rome has experienced in the recent memory. Roma had been in the Champions League every year for the last 4 several years. It had been ages since they finished outside of the top three. Dating back to 6 years ago that’s how long it had been. Roma sold some key players in the summer which largely could have impacted the team. Edin Dzeko was not the same player as the last couple of years and that greatly impacted Roma. They were incredibly inconsistent and even though they only missed out on Champions League by a couple points their inconsistency broke down late in the season. They went through two coaches after DiFrancesco got sacked Ranieri took over and guided the ship but the season can only be described as a disaster. They finished in 6th Place with 66 points and will have to qualify for Europa League instead of automatic qualification. All in all, it was a total and utter disaster for both clubs even though Lazio wins the Copa Italia and Roma finished ahead of the Lazio neither team has anything to be proud of this season.

 

 

 

Fabio Quagliarella Aging like Fine Wine 

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Sampdoria’s Fabio quagliarella has proven age is just a number this season. The historical Italian Striker reached new levels of greatness. At 36 years old the Sampdoria captain won the golden boot in Italy. A 26-goal season for the 36-year-old journeyman it was truly Sensational to watch. To see if a player at his age on that level is motivating for any young player. Fabio is a true professional one of the classiest guys we’ve ever had in Italian football and he has deserved every ounce of what he’s received. He is a true role model for the new generation. His entire career playing for bigger teams he never once scored the number of goals he scored this season. It is one of the feel-good stories of the year for him to do what he has done this season has been great for Italian football in general as well as this season. I have somewhat criticized him for the attention he has got but he has truly deserved it. He made it back into the national team for the first time and I can’t think of a player more deserving of that return. He was a true leader and professional and will only do good things for his country. It had been an incredibly long time since he last played for Italy and with the lack of goal scoring prowess and Italy’s inability to make the World Cup he is exactly the player that they need. Being around young players will only make the country’s team better. Everyone was astounded by the season he had. A large portion of people have him in their team of the season and for very good reason he’s been just special. His backheel goal against Napoli was probably the best goal the entire year. To even have the presence of mind to attempt that was just something else. Personally, he missed out on my team of the season but just barely. He did score 9 penalties which would have brought him back to a little under 20 goals. But nonetheless, that still would have been impressive in its own right. This man is 36 years old and he just won the Golden Boot in Italy. A special story for a special player a true professional and a role model for the Next Generation.

 

 

 

Inter Milan Soap Opera 

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There was a lot of dysfunction around Italian football this season with some of the biggest teams in the country. However, there was not a team in more dysfunction then Inter Milan. They may have made it into the Champions League but a fourth-place finish after being in 3rd for the majority of the season was disappointing. Not only that it took them to the last day of the Season to confirm Champions League. They could have missed that all together which would have been a disaster. Tactical reasons and coaches and players are not the reasons they had so much trouble getting it together this season. Inter Milan long story short was a soap opera with the controversy surrounding then captain Marco icardi and his wife and representation Wanda Nara. Marco icardi did not have a great season but what concerns the club more than anything else is what happened off the pitch. Wanda Nara is Mauro icardi agent. She does not have a great reputation in the league or in football. I will dive into this more deeper but I’m going to quickly summarize how bad this got. Wanda Nara cheated on her then-husband Maxi Lopez a close friend of Mauro Icardi with Mauro. It is the biggest relationship betrayal in history. She has questionable morals, to begin with. She has created havoc and controversy within the team. After a rough time negotiating a new contract for her husband. Things got nasty and cruel. Wanda Nara is a model and an actor as well. She would appear on the show tiki-taka and complain as well as takes shots at Icari’s teammates. This became hugely confrontational with Inter Milan Winger Ivan Perisic who was often a target. The Croatian star consistently was called out by his teammate’s wife. This ended up being a big problem as the two of them got into it on numerous occasions. Eventually, things got so bad that his captain armband was taken from him in the middle of the season and given to goalkeeper Samir handanovic. Then a prior to the Europa League campaign he removed himself from the team in what was an alleged injury. There was no such injury. Inter Milan was eliminated in the round of 16 by Bundesliga outfit Frankfurt. Eventually, Mauro icardi returned in what I believed to be a result of him trying to increase his transfer value. Marco’s time in Inter Milan could be coming into end this summer but the soap opera & what we had to endure this season has not helped icardi or Inter Milan. Wanda Nara is the snake in this situation she is responsible for a lot of what occurred this season Mauro icardi had a disappointing end to the season as well he wasn’t the player we have seen in last five years he even missed a penalty on the last match day of the season. Had Inter Milan failed to make the Champions League everyone would be pointing their fingers at him. This soap opera has hurt everyone in this situation hopefully the worst is over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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