Pundits Reflect Upon Serie A Failures in Champions League

Following Juventus’ shocking defeat against Villarreal, all Serie A teams have been eliminated from the Champions League before the quarter-finals. Atalanta and Milan did not make it past the group stage, while Inter put up a fight but lost to Liverpool. It is the second straight season it happens. The Bianconeri, Atalanta, and Lazio all bowed out in the Round of 16 in 2020-2021 as well.

La Dea was the last Italian club to advance beyond such phase. PSG narrowly beat them in the Round of 8 in the previous year in the edition heavily affected by the pandemic. The last deep run belongs to Roma, which reached the semi-finals in 2018, falling to Liverpool.

Paolo Condò commented on Serie A sides struggling in Champions League to Sky: “The league is at its lowest point in the last ten years. It is normal considering the talent drain. It is a tragic moment for Italian football. Our teams have been extinguished in Europe. We are now desperately clinging onto Roberto Mancini and the World Cup hopes.”

Veteran coach Fabio Capello weighed in too: “Italian teams must run more and have quicker pace. They need to learn to play faster, tackle more, and improve their technique. Juventus were content with aimlessly passing the ball around like Barcelona against Inter in 2010. They had just one chance in the second half, and they stopped crossing. Unai Emery prepared the game well and neutralized the Bianconeri’s strengths. The result was too large, but Villarreal proved to have more personality.”