Imagine a Serie A team that in the 1992-1993 season had four foreign players all coming from the same country. That team was Brescia, whose Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu had proceeded on to whip up a small Romanian colony by bringing in some of his favorite players, including international stars Gheorghe Hagi and Florin Raducioiu.
It is quite common to see Napoli play in international cups nowadays, but that has not always been the case. Since Diego Maradona’s doping ban, Napoli have had many ups and downs (more downs, actually…) and even went through a re-foundation of the club back in 2004. One thing, however, always stood there, firmly, in all its glory: The San Paolo Stadium.
In the long history of the Serie A league championship, there was one single occasion where a playoff was necessary to determine the Scudetto winner. It happened at the end of the 1963-64 season, when Fulvio Bernardini’s Bologna found themselves at top of the league with 54 points, together with the title holder – Helenio Herrera’s legendary Inter squad.
The Premier League is home to hundreds of overseas players, but go back twenty years or so and there were much fewer in the English top-flight than there is today. Foreign players were seen as exotic, flamboyant and simply different from what English football fans were used to. One player who was certainly different, but for all the right reasons, was Gianfranco Zola.
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for the COVID-19, the disease generated by the much-famed coronavirus. Rugani is the first player from a Serie A club to be infected. Juventus and Inter issued stataments announcing that their players and staff will likely need to undergo quarantine, casting further doubts on the prosecution of their football season.
Italy was placed under a total lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. With about three to four Serie A game-weeks now set to be outstanding after the suspension, what are the possible implications this may bring to the current season? According to multiple Italian media sources, there are now four possible scenarios after the ban.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that Italy will be in a total lockdown until at least April 3 to contain the coronavirus outbreak – extending to the whole country the extreme measures originally announced yesterday for 14 provinces only. The restriction also applies to any sports activity, including the Serie A and lower divisions.
As it stands, Lazio sit two points clear of Juventus in second place and a respectable eight off Inter in third place. Though the two big guns have games in hand, it’s no longer a far claim to ask if the Biancocelesti can win the Serie A. Indeed, the recent changes in the match program due to the coronavirus threat may end up favoring Lazio in the Scudetto race. Here is why.
Italian football has had it’s a fair share of footballing families, including the Maldini, the Baresi, the Cannavaro, and the Inzaghi. All of the above-mentioned made a name for themselves, but only the latter made history by becoming the first two coaching brothers – Simone at Lazio and Filippo at Benevento – to sit atop both the Serie A and B concurrently.
Milan are getting closer than ever to sacking their chief football officer Zvonimir Boban, a true Milanista whether he’s on the field or in the corporate offices. The Elliot Management, who took it upon themselves to steady the eternally sinking ship that is Milan, is set to press the restart button once again and offer fans what we should now call another false dawn.
On May 5th, 2002, three teams were still battling for the Scudetto with only 90 minutes to go. Inter, leading the ranks with 69 points, were due to play Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. It was supposed to be an easy win for the Nerazzurri, in view of their long-lasting friendship with the Roman side. But Lazio’s midfielder Karel Poborsky had a different idea…
Scoring a decisive goal in a Serie A derby can earn you a place in your supporters’ dearest collective memory. But if that goal enables your team to break a six-year non-winning streak in the Milano stracittadina, then your place in the History of Italian football is set in stone forever. That is exactly what happened to British striker Mark Hateley in 1984.