After the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 and the subsequent exodus of players from Juventus, Serie A declined in popularity, and although Inter Milan managed to retain a handful of world-class players, the rest of the league suffered.
In the subsequent years that followed Inter dominated the league with AC Milan and AS Roma providing little competition. This continued for five consecutive seasons until AC Milan won the title during Rafael Benitez’s calamitous reign as the Nerazzurri boss.
The lack of competition really damaged the league in terms of television revenue, which has translated into many clubs enountering financially difficult situations. This has led to the loss of numerous stars such as Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Lavezzi, Pastore, Veratti, Jovetic and most recently Cavani among many others. It longer possesses the appeal that attracted the likes of Zidane, Zico, Platini and Maradona.
Currently, Juventus have won two consecutive Serie A seasons (the first unbeaten) and are entering the third as clear favourites to secure the title for a third year in a row after securing the signature of three international players: Tevez, Llorente and Ogbonna.
Meanwhile, only Napoli has shown true ambition after investing in players like Higuain, Reina, Callejon, Albiol and Mertens that many attribute the availability of these funds to the sale of Cavani.
For the other top teams, though, Roma's acquisition of Strootman seems ambitious but at the expense of Brazilian prodigy Marquinhos shows continual loss of talent. Especially when it’s to a team (Paris Saint German) that has already acquired its fair share of players from the Italian league. While Berlusconi and Moratti look hesitant in spending much in this year’s transfer market.
In all honesty, with no team apart from Napoli having a net spend of €15m, the league looks very humble, certainly not the type of environment that attracts or keeps world-class talent.
With young players like Insigne, El-Sharaawy and Ljajic being sought after by major clubs, it can only be a matter of time when the league is robbed of its most prestigious talents.
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