Long before the Premier League had established itself, and before the Bundesliga and La Liga were making headlines, Serie A was the summit of world football. Italian football has always commanded enough pulling power to attract some of the world's greatest players and along with an emphasis on exciting technical football will always be one of the most eagerly followed leagues on the planet.
Iconic supporters, historic teams and some of the greatest players the world has ever seen, defines a league that has always captivated football fans the world over. High on drama, good football and plenty of emotion, Serie A may well have slipped into second or third place in terms of worldwide viewing figures, but the league will always command great respect from anyone with the slightest interest in football.
Iconic teams and rivalries such as the Milan teams AC Milan and Inter Milan, the Roman centurions of Roma and Lazio, and even the extra special Turin rivalry between Juventus and Torino, help boost the league's reputation. However it is also full of other iconic teams that have all shared glories and tragedies throughout history. Teams like Napoli, who have risen to become top league contenders in recent seasons, Fiorentina, who have always shown their strength both domestically and in European competition, Sampdoria, who command a huge following after their star-studded teams of the past, and Udinese, whose scouting network has a talent for uncovering the world's future stars. Add to that list the likes of Chievo, Palermo, Atalanta, Bologna and Verona who are always strong and the league can clearly be seen as one of the best in terms of strength and depth.
The league's golden age was during the 1990s when it was filled with the best players on earth. This was a time when the great AC Milan and Juventus dominated Serie A, but also the newly formed Champions League and when six players won the FIFA World Player of the Year award whilst playing in the league. At a time when star players like Gianfranco Zola, Ruud Gullit, Jurgen Klinsmann, Edgar Davids, Gabriel Batistuta and Frank Rijkaard to name just a few, rose above the rest to claim football's most prestigious individual award. Lothar Matthaus, Marco van Basten, Roberto Baggio, Goerge Weah, Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane all won the Ballon D'or and demonstrate the sort of talent that has always migrated to the Italian leagues.
This season sees Juventus return as reigning champions, but they could face their toughest season to date as both Milan sides used the summer to rebuild their squads and Roma, Lazio Fiorentina and Napoli are all looking very strong this year. Stars like Paul Pogba, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Bacca, Miralem Pjanic and Alberto Morata headline the lineup of stars all competing for the Serie title this year and lead the interest of fans watching across the world.
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