Monday, January 7, 2008

The Serie A returns this weekend

Due to lack of fan support and bad TV contracts, Italy's glamor clubs have been purchased by oil sheiks and forced to compete in elimination matches to win back their freedom.

This post was originally meant to go up over the weekend, but then I got drunk and spilled a bottle of wine on my laptop. Waiting for the barbaresco to evaporate and my computer to resume normal service gave me time to ponder further the subtle brilliance of the football played in the Serie A. Yes, it's boring, corrupt, crime-ridden, and full of shitty teams. But the World Cup Trophy, the CL Trophy, the World Club Championship, and the reigning FIFA Player of the Year all reside in Italy.

In terms of actual action you didn't miss much, because the fucking Italians even out-French the French in terms of not working. The Serie A has been off since December 22, and doesn't resume until the weekend. While the EPL's finest have been playing a marathon schedule in freezing cold weather on terrible pitches in front of less than enthusiastic support, Italian footballers have been enjoying a bit of R&R in Dubai.

To remind those who haven't been paying attention, Inter are currently running away with the league, sitting on 43 points, seven up on nearest rivals Roma. Juve are third, despite slumming it in Serie B last year. The only real shock has been the terrible play of the newly crowned World Club Champions, AC Milan, who currently sit in 12th place, 25 points behind their cross-town rivals. Inter underlined the point on the last weekend of play in December, when they beat the Rossoneri 2-1 and pretty much ended any wild thoughts that Silvio Berlusconi had about a miracle second half run to claim the Scudetto.

The story of the season so far has been the play of Inter Milan, who have only lost one game. And yet the casual observer/EPL fan probably can't even name two players in the starting eleven. In fact, most Italians probably can't either, given the lack of Italian players on the team. Everyone knows about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but then the mind draws a blank? Cambiasso, Julio Cruz, Zannetti, Emerson, Vieira, Figo. The latter two have been hurt and not really contributed much to the team's success. An injury to Walter Samuel means that Marco Materazzi (check out this video of his finer work) will get to show off some of his diabolical tackles to worldwide audiences. Perhaps Inter can put together a decent run in the Champions League, which they haven't won in 42 years. They play Liverpool next month, and Scousers should start sweating already.

With the league pretty much decided, the rest of the Serie A lacks a bit of sizzle. Sure, its nice to see Totti leading Roma to strong second place. But the real intrigue surrounds AC Milan, who will unveil over hyped wunder-Brazilian Alexander "the duck" Pato to the world this weekend. Milan have been mostly terrible this year, and if the poor form continues, the rumors that a certain J. Mourinho could be taking over the manager's job will only intensify.

[Max Bretos]See Carlo Ancellotti's last game, and Pato's first, on Sunday at 2:30PM ET on Fox Soccer Channel. Yesssssssssss!!!![Max Bretos]


ΓΌ75 said...

I don't think you got the full effect of the Max Bretos 'YESSSSSSSSSS'. Maybe something in 24 point type enlarging to a 36 point in the misddle would have done it justice.

The NY Kid said...

out-French the French in terms of not working

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Re: Materazzi - he is the scum of the earth, and will forever remain at the top of my list of people to cockpunch if I ever meet them in real life (#2 is Reggie Miller, the Knick-killer. Bastard).

Lingering Bursitis said...

I fucking hate Serie A.

Also, no Italian team's winning the CL this year. They suck at playing knockout football [that is to say, knock 'em on the pitch and their flair crumbles like a ripe wedge of Pecorino Romano].

For all their good players, LFC will beat Inter. Zing.

Ian said...

u75 - I think its right, as Max Bretos really only gets a hard on for such scintillating games as Saprissa-LA Galaxy and anything to do with Boca Juniors.