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Could Champions League Victory Return Serie A to the Top?

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By Football Italiano

Wednesday 23 January 2019

In the eighties and nineties, Serie A was at the forefront of world football.

In the 15-year period between 1983 and 1998, the European Cup final (which was rebranded to the Champions League during this period) saw Italian sides make up 12 of the 30 total finalists, with Milan and Juventus winning the competition a combined five times during over these years.

The last 15 years, though, have seen just five Italian teams reach the final, with Inter the last team to win the competition back in 2010.

Of course, Juventus have gone close twice in recent years but ultimately failed at the final hurdle. And having dominated domestic football by winning Serie A for the past seven seasons, the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer really seems like they are closing in on world football’s most prestigious club competition – especially with Barcelona and (especially) Real Madrid appearing like fading forces currently.

Unsurprisingly, Serie A betting markets have the Turin side as the overwhelming favourites to win the title again this year having built up a big lead already, but it’s not just Juventus flying the flag for Italy. Roma have also made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League this season, while Napoli and Inter were both unfortunate to come unstuck in dreadfully tough groups.

The signing of Ronaldo – although in the latter years of his career – certainly feels like a watershed moment for Italian football in the 21st century. While the money isn’t the same as that available in the Premier League, an increasing number of the world’s elite seem to become attracted to the Italian top flight again.

While obviously still a prestigious talent (he does top the Serie A scoring charts after all), it’s not just immense footballing ability that Ronaldo has brought to Juventus and the league. He’s also returned many football fans’ attentions back to Italy’s famous top flight.

A Champions League win for Juventus (or, who knows, Roma) would certainly recapture Europe’s attention and push Serie A back even further into the mix of the continent’s very best leagues.

Obviously, the other big challenge facing Serie A is competing financially with the Premier League as well as the likes of PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Therefore, Chinese investment into the two Milan clubs can only be a good thing to make the league more competitive and bring more clubs into the fray to challenge for the title again, while Juventus need to sustain their European success in order to continue to be an appealing opportunity both in financial and football terms to the world’s top players.

In the meantime, the world’s eyes are on Ronaldo and, in turn, back on Serie A in a big way.

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