Soccer

Why You Should Be Watching Serie A

Inter Milan
Emilio Andreoli – Inter / FC Internazionale / Getty

Another weekend of club competition has gone, and what a weekend it was! And no, I’m not talking about Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta’s sideline blowup. Or the unsurprising exit of a certain Norwegian manager. While those two events indeed made headlines in world football over the weekend, my eyes were instead watching a few games of some classic, entertaining, goal-producing calcio. Translation: Italian football. 

Serie A is already considered one of the Top Five leagues in European football, but it receives nowhere near the same amount of recognition or viewership as some of the more prominent ones. (The English Premier League, for example). To any football enthusiast who considers yourself a true fan of the beautiful sport, if you’re not making an attempt to watch at least a little bit of Serie A on the weekends, then you have no idea what you’re missing out on. Here’s why.

Numbers Don’t Lie

We are over a fourth of the way done so far with the 2021/22 season in the Top Five leagues. While that does still leave plenty of time left on the calendar for numbers to rise or decline, it has also given more than enough time for each league to make an impression.

Serie A comes in second behind the French Ligue 1 for most goals scored so far (397), and holds first for highest goals per match (3.10). The Italian league ties with Ligue 1 for first place for percentage of both teams scoring in a match (61%), and comes in first on their own for the least amount of draws (22%). If you’ve watched any American sport, you know we don’t believe in draws, or ties. Just ask Ted Lasso.

And of course, nothing is more exciting in football to watch than goals being scored. Out of the top five scorers so far this season from the top European leagues, Serie A boasts two out of the five, in Dusan Vlahovic and Ciro Immobile.

The Midtable Is Not Just The Midtable

For one of the first times in a long while, there isn’t just one or two teams in Serie A that are dominating. Gone are the days when juggernauts Juventus were the only team worth beating in the league, their nine year Scudetto reign finally coming to an end last season at the hands of Inter Milan.

Competition in the league has stepped up majorly the past couple years, especially this season. Never has the weekly fight of placing in just the top eight alone been so close or so fervent. This past weekend, Fiorentina battled it out triumphantly with second place Milan. Bottom of the table Cagliari made a stunning draw with Sassuolo. Reigning champions Inter dismantled Napoli’s unbeaten streak. No matter the match, it is truly a case of dog eat dog, and all the top spots are completely up for grabs.

Defensive Kings

England may take the credit for inventing football, but it was the Italians who created the art of defending. The belief has always been if your team doesn’t have a solid defense, then your team has nothing. This belief started back in the 1960’s. Basically, the motto is defend until you die.

Many of the greats have obviously since long retired. But a few formidable, solid rocks in the back are still prime examples to watch, such as Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. And as proof from the Euro’s this past summer, they have not lost their touch.

Are You Not Entertained?

I’m sorry, I’m sick of that phrase too. But if you really are looking for entertainment and excitement in your weekly viewing of football, no league packs more of a punch than Serie A. Italy is a proud country, and that pride flows deep into their football. Football is basically it’s own religion there. I mean, even the Pope and the Vatican have their own football team.

It may be cliche, but Serie A is fueled by passion. Managers are receiving yellow-cards or being ejected for arguing vehemently with the refs. Players are walking away with their heads bandaged after going head-to-head on duels. For all the reasons stated here and earlier: if you love plenty of goal scoring, fearless defending, high competition, and classic Italian drama, you have no reason to not be watching Serie A.

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