Serie B, the second level of Italian professional football, inaugurated its 2017-18 season on Thursday night with a 1-0 victory by Parma against Cremonese. A game that used to be a regular feature in top division back in the early ’90s was the perfect trailer for an edition whose starting grid has never seen so much quality.
Featuring 22 teams and far from being a purgatorio – as it is often referred to as – Serie B is never an easy game. It is a marathon tournament of 42 rounds which gives direct access to Serie A to 2 teams, and to a third one trough an unpredictable and cruel additional playoff round (ask to Benevento and Frosinone to hear two opposite stories about it from last year…).
Still, the upcoming edition of our torneo cadetto is set to be one of the toughest competitions ever, thanks to an unprecedented concentration of history and tradition among its ranks. Only 4 of this year’s 22 participants have never tasted the sweet flavor of the top division. Lining up teams from regional county seats with a huge fan base such as Bari and Palermo, former European cup winners like Parma, a club that won the Scudetto 7 times (Pro Vercelli), and new joiners from the lower tier such as Foggia, Cremonese, Venezia (all teams with a sparkling tradition), Serie B 2017-18 has everything needed to grab your attention and keep it until the end.
You will experience vicious regional derbys like Apulia’s Bari-Foggia or Umbria’s Perugia-Ternana, as you try to spot the next potential superstars gaining experience before moving to the elite of football – and that would not be the first time.
Close your eyes and imagine a team featuring Paris St. Germain’s Marco Verratti playing together with Azzurri‘s stars Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne. That was Pescara’s Serie B squad in 2011-12. That is what the second division of Italian football is.