VIEW FROM ITALY: When you don't have money, you need good ideas

VIEW FROM ITALY: When you don’t have money, you need good ideas… Serie A clubs are punching above their weight in European competitions through smart transfer nous and tactical intelligence on the pitch

  • An Italian sports journalist explains why Serie A clubs are successful in Europe
  • While not the richest of sports teams, they have smart transfers and tactics
  • Either Inter Milan or their city rivals AC will make the Champions League final 

The 20 clubs in Serie A burn through a billion euros between them every season.

There is no Italian club in the top 10 of Deloitte’s list of the wealthiest clubs in the world, and in terms of money generated the Italian league is fourth in the table, below the Premier League, the Bundesliga and La Liga.

‘Once upon a time the Italian league was where all the best players world wanted to be,’ says Giuseppe Marotta, chief executive of Inter Milan and president of the Association of Sporting Directors in Italy. 

‘Now it’s a staging post on their journey to the top.’ 

The Serie A of Zico, Marco van Basten and Diego Maradona no longer exists. Nor the era of Brazilian forward Ronaldo, or even that of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Inter Milan’s chief executive Giuseppe Marotta believes Italy’s role in football has changed

Either Inter or crosstown rivals AC Milan are one game away from the Champions League final

Yet despite all of that, one of the Milan clubs will reach the Champions League Final. Roma and Juventus are in the semi-finals of the Europa League and Fiorentina are still battling away in the Conference League. How can this be possible?

‘When you don’t have enough money, you need good ideas,’ said Marotta.

That applies in the transfer market and on the pitch, and encompasses profits from player sales, smart free transfers, and tactical intelligence.

Being the best league in the world – as Serie A was for a decade – has clearly left its mark, even though today things are no longer as they were.

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