Milan, Inter and Napoli in the Champions League (C-1), Juve and Roma in the Europa League (C-2) and Fiorentina in the Conference League (C-3). Calcio started with seven and maintains six teams in the quarterfinals. We, who started with eight, only have Madrid left in the C-1 and Sevilla in the C-2. LaLiga has already lost first place in the UEFA ranking due to the unstoppable growth of the Premier and now the second position may be threatened. We are followed, in that order, by the Bundesliga and Lega Serie A, but I am about to say that I am more concerned about this one, because its scoring rate in the remainder of the course is threatening and not so much that of the Bundesliga, which it Two remain, like us: Bayern (C-1) and Bayer (C-2).
And what difference does it make to be second than third? Well, it does, beyond the honorific itch, because for 24-25 UEFA will open a fifth place in the Champions League to the first two and if we don’t wake up and Calcio continues to improve, we can stay at the hour with a span of noses. The UEFA ranking is based on the results of the European tournaments in the previous five seasons. Of course, C-1 scores more than C-2 and C-3 more than C-3.
At the end of this season, the results of 18-19, in which we lead Italy by almost 7,000 points, will be eliminated, and the latter will count, in which at the moment they take us more than 3,000. Similar is the situation against Germany, but this country depends so much on Bayern that it seems more controllable, as far as more dependent on its circumstances. The problem is that the time has come to ask whether Italy has finally found a path to recovery.
I remember that in the nineties, when Canal+ started, Calcio was the ultimate. The players wanted to go there, their television rights were priced above those of England and Milan were the beacon that illuminated everything. The team was staying at the Ritz, its players dressed in impeccable uniform suits and shiny red and black ties, Berlusconi was treated your eminence, Sacchi was the great prophet of the area and good football. Mendoza invited them every year to the Bernabéu trophy in an obvious case of Stockholm Syndrome, because they always won, and he did not stop until he placed access cylinders with a spiral ramp like those of the San Siro in the four corners of the stadium, at the cost of invading public roads. And after Milan went all the others, from the Vecchia Signora to Maradona’s revamped Nápoles.
Are we facing the return of that? I have consulted with my leading experts and most believe that what we are experiencing is circumstantial, that there has been a combination of good draws with the emergence of Napoli, which in our case has coincided with the unexpected bump in Atleti in the autumn (now without However, they are playing wonderfully) and with the setbacks of Barça, who ran out of central defenders at the most critical moment.
But there are also signs of regeneration in the form of young coaches who have opened the windows, more variety, clubs that play on the attack, like Napoli, Atalanta or Sassuolo, and the rebirth of Inter and Milan that have put an end to the insufferable tyranny of Juve. and his nine scudettos in a row.
A tax measure has helped: Calcio enjoys a Beckham Law by which players from abroad (even Italians if they have been abroad for two years) only pay 20% tax. That is a firm advantage, reinforced by others of an occasional nature: the government deferred 500 million of their tax debt to help them after the pandemic and foreign investors (Milan and Inter the most significant) have appeared with fresh money. But right now, except for Napoli, which, even reducing its salary mass by 40 million (it has dropped from 110 to 70), has achieved a magnificent team and is healthy, it is difficult for Calcio to maintain its triumphant march. It is a losing championship that at some point will have to take account.
But I look up uneasily towards that border of 24-25, which should be reached in second position.
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