Excitement, joy and anticipation seem to be what’s been missing for the past few seasons in Serie A. In 2018-2019, the Italian league had fans awaiting the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. While the Portuguese player did make most Juventus fans happy, the season was missing that buzz and enjoyment that many were expecting.
Juventus won the Scudetto well before the end of the season. This left Serie A fans disinterested as they had to wait until the last week of the season for the excitement to build once again. The last week had many possible outcomes depending on who won with many matches deciding each fate. Other than the final week, all teams in the European competition didn’t fare very well giving little to be excited about.
This upcoming campaign should have many excited and ready to watch as there have been coaching changes and new high caliber players coming to Serie A. For instance, Inter and Juventus have brought in big name coaches Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri, respectively, with most fans feeling the betrayal of ex-Napoli coach Sarri going to rival Juventus. When Inter and Napoli play Juventus, those will be matches that most will have circled on their calendar.
Fiorentina was saved when Rocco Commisso bought the team. Recent owners ran the team to the ground and it has finally been saved by someone who seems to be the perfect fit for the Viola. Commisso is an owner who is committed to winning and it seems that good times are ahead for Fiorentina. This is something that the fans should be excited about.
From coaching changes to new ownership saving a team, the Mauro Icardi saga at Inter continues. Many have been wondering what will happen with the striker as he’s been told that the team does not have him involved in their plans for this coming season. With Romulo Lukaku arriving to Inter right before the EPL transfer window closed, is Mauro Icardi now second fiddle? Time will only tell what will happen with the Argentinan.
In addition to this Icardi saga, Mario Balotelli returns to Serie A to play for his hometown Brescia. After rumours as to where Super Mario would be playing, the decision was made to play for the newly promoted team. It will be exciting to see him play his first game as its been a long time since playing in Serie A. Hopefully this time his return is longer in Serie A and he is brought back to the National squad. This is an exciting time to be a Brescia fan, to say the least.
The battle for fourth spot into the Champions League will be tough as teams such as SS Lazio, AS Roma, AC Milan and Atalanta have made moves to improve their squads. The acquisitions of Manuel Lazzari, Leonardo Spinazzola, Theo Hernandez and Luis Muriel, respectively, will make each team more competitive this season. On paper, it’s hard to distinguish which team is better. With each team having a narrow edge over the other, it will be exciting to see who will secure the last spot in the Champions League.
The most important thing this summer is that teams have been active in the transfer window. Juventus has been able to win the Scudetto over the past eight consecutive seasons, however, this season may finally bring a challenge to the Old Lady. Other teams have stepped up and are finally able to compete with Juventus. No more watching Juventus win 6 weeks before the season ends leaving promotion and relegation the only things to look out for. Teams such as Inter and Napoli have acquired players that bolster their roster and will give Juventus a challenge for this upcoming season.
Napoli acquired Kostas Manolas in the transfer market from AS Roma. This was a great move that will make their defense one of the best in the league while Inter has been really busy acquiring Nicolo Barella, Romelu Lukaku and Diego Godin. While the moves by both clubs will be crucial and beneficial to each side, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll win but it surely guarantees that they will give Juventus a run for their money.
With less than a week away, there have been many headlines to follow and anticipation for this upcoming season. It’s time that Serie A has more to follow than past seasons because it feels the buzz to the league has been lacking for a while. It’s nice to watch the last weekend of the season to see who will get the fourth spot for Champions League or who will be relegated, however, fans want to see who is going to win the Scudetto. No one wants to see the title won 6 weeks in advance as it makes the league less exciting to watch. Thank you to teams who have decided taken the approach to become competitive.
When kick off happens in less than a week, we could expect this season to be a very good one as it will be a long decisive season with many headlines to look forward to. When the season starts, hopefully all these headlines will live up to the hype and fans finally get a season that they deserve.
By: Jerry Mancini
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images