2010 was a bad year for Italian football. I tried to think of the positives, but very few came to mind. A disastrous World Cup in South Africa, a bad showing in the Europa League, and only a Champions League victory (guided by a Portuguese mastermind) which retains some dignity for Italian football.
While 2010 was a poor year, it now allows all of Italian football to rebuild in 2011. Just looking at the Serie A, a much more competitive league has formed after an exciting summer of transfers. AC Milan have strengthened considerably with the super-signings of Ibrahimovic, Robinho, and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Juventus are rebuilding properly under Luigi Delneri, who is creating a team which plays through the electrifying Milos Krasic. Inter Milan are in a rebuilding phase as well after the disappointment of Benitez’s failure, and now Leonardo trying to make a proper impact with a treble-winning side.
These changes along with a general strengthening of teams like Lazio, Napoli, Palermo, and even Roma all contribute to a much more exciting league.
No more 1-0 wins, ground out with counter-attacking football, now Italian sides seem to have realized that to win, you have to score goals. Juventus score plenty of goals while leaking at the back, Palermo play a fluid style with the humble Javier Pastore orchestrating the side, and AC Milan steamroll through teams with Ibrahimovic’s wrath accompanied by a dancing Robinho. No matter what anyone says, the Serie A has become exciting. AC Milan seem unstoppable, and if Leonardo manages to wake up a drowsy Inter team, we’ll have a proper battle for the scudetto on our hands.
With the Serie A becoming more exciting, we are also seeing this positive change reflected in the Italian national team. Cesare Prandelli is a shining symbol of hope for Italy fans, giving us all the chance to see Cassano back in the Azzurri shirt, along with Mario Balotelli and other exciting young players. The qualification for the European Championships of 2012 doesn’t look to be too difficult, and if Prandelli continues to breed these youngsters into the national team, there’s a chance that Italy will be a contender for the tournament held in Poland-Ukraine.
2011 is ultimately a year of hope for Italian football. A chance to forget about the UEFA co-efficient, the World Cup in South Africa, and a boring Inter Milan dominance in the Serie A. An exciting league has formed, and along with it a stronger national team is moulding itself under Cesare Prandelli’s venturing eyes. What do you hope for Italian football in 2011? Share your comments below!