This is the story of one of the most incredible set pieces taken in Serie A and his author was not Diego Maradona, Roberto Carlos, or Sinisa Mihajlovic. The man who conjured such an unforgettable free-kick screamer that defied the laws of ballistics is Juan Alberto Barbas of Argentina, better known as “Beto” Barbas to his Lecce fans.
The Derby di Milano between Inter and Milan played on May 11, 2001, had a simply astounding outcome. On a Friday night when nothing extraordinary seemed bound to happen, Milan won 6-0 as Gianni Comandini scored the first two goals for the Rossoneri, which would also be his only ones in Serie A that season.
The game between Napoli and Lazio from April 3, 2011, is one of those football matches that would make even an occasional viewer fall in love with Serie A and Italian football. Ninety minutes of pure adrenaline in which the Partenopei and the Biancocelesti engaged in a spectacular goal-fest.
The Serie A 1984/85 season was probably the last when calcio fans could witness an authentic miracle on the pitch. It was the season when the Scudetto was won – for the first and only time so far – by Verona. Many were the reasons that made it possible, but no small part in it was played by goalkeeper Claudio Garella, a true iconic figure of Italian football in the 1980s.
Udinese beating Juventus in an all-Bianconeri affair is not a common sight in Serie A. But when you have two strikers like Fabio Quagliarella and Antonio Di Natale on your side, everything is possible. That was the case on January 28, 2009, when the Zebrette shocked Madama with two goals from their stellar attackers on a cold mid-week Serie A matchday.
On November 11, 1995, Parma received Fabio Capello’s seemingly invincible Milan. The Ducali's starting goalkeeper was injured, but rather than resorting to his designated backup, coach Nevio Scala decided to deploy an unknown 17-year-old boy. That's how the legend of Gianluigi Buffon was born.
On April 20, 1986, the Romanisti caught their breath as Roma were ready to complete a thrilling Serie A comeback and strengthen their claim over their third Scudetto. Little did they know that, instead, they were about to experience the perfect storm, with already-relegated Lecce shocking the Stadio Olimpico.
On Easter’s eve in 1996, Cremonese and Inter squared off in Matchday 29 of the 1995/96 Serie A campaign. It was supposed to be just another football day. But it ended up being a day to forget for the calcio world as Inter’s black player Paul Ince was openly and repeatedly targeted with racist chants from the stands.
Over the past few seasons, Inter vs Napoli has come to be once again a battle than can decide the fate of the title race in Serie A. But what used to be a regular heavyweight clash towards the end of the 1980s had progressively turned into a lackluster mid-table affair in the middle of the following decade.
The future Arsenal stalwart Jens Lehmann's experience in red-and-black was short and unsuccessful. It was doomed by one unfortunate game where he was to blame in occasion of all three goals by which Fiorentina dismantled Milan at the San Siro. Perhaps too little to bill him as unfit for the Serie A, but it is what it is.
In the long story of the Italian top-flight, one can also find the occurrence when a coin thrown at Napoli player Alemao from the stands of the then Stadio Comunale resulted in Atalanta losing a match by forfeit and in the Partenopei gaining two points that would turn decisive in view of assigning the 1989/90 Scudetto.
When Juventus and Milan crossed swords across the new century, it was most often to determine which club would wear the Scudetto patch on their jerseys the next season. One game that truly epitomizes the essence of this multi-year clash is the May 8, 2005, showdown at the San Siro.