All you need to know about Italy Serie AItaly Serie A in a nutshell!
Serie A Overview
Serie A (popularly known as Serie A TIM due to sponsorship reasons) is the top professional league championship for men’s football teams at the top of Italian football league system. It is not a baby league; it has been operational since 1930. Currently, it is regarded as one of the best football leagues in Europe and the entire world. In fact, in Italy, it is depicted as one of the national tactical leagues. According to IFFHS, Serie A is the globe’s second strongest domestic league and boasts of producing the highest number of UEFA Champions Cup finalists. In fact, it is on record that Serie A clubs have reached Champions League final on 27 different occasions and managed to win the title 12 times. According to FIFA’s league coefficient, the above league is ranked fourth, behind the Premier League, the Bundesliga, and La Liga.
It should be noted that Serie A hosts some of the globe’s famous clubs such as Inter Milan, Internazionale, Juventus, and much more. Indeed, the number of players playing at a Serie A league who have won the coveted Ballon d’Or award is the highest compared to any other leagues in the Europe and the world as a whole.
History of Serie A
As earlier stated, Serie A began its journey back in 1930. However, it is believed that the competition started earlier than that, but it was organized into regional groups. As more and more clubs joined the regional championship, need to expand the federation became inevitable, which gave birth to Serie A.
The Serie A Championship title was commonly referred to as ‘Small Shield,’ because the winning club will be entitled to a small coat of arms bearing Italian tri-color stripe on their jerseys the following season.
Serie A kick-off times
Before 1993, all Serie A matches were played at the same time, only on Sunday afternoons. However, with the emergence of pay TV in Italian football in 1994, kick-off times were notably changed. Nowadays, matches are played on Saturdays (afternoons and evenings) and Sunday (afternoons). Besides that, when the teams participating in the competition were increased to twenty, it also became possible to have a match being played in midweek, between Tuesday and Thursday evening. On rare occasions, Serie games can be played on Friday or Monday nights.
Serie A Format
As far as league format and Serie A history is concerned, the number of teams participating in the league has not been constant, and it keeps changing every other season. However, the number has been ranging between 16 and 18 clubs at the top level. It should be remembered that due to political reasons, 21 teams were contesting for the title during 1947-1948 Serie A season. Nevertheless, since the 2004-2005 seasons, they have been 20 teams in the competition.
Just many other European leagues, a new season in Serie A starts in August and ends in May. Each team is supposed to play twice with a particular opponent, which is at home and away. During the season when 20 clubs participate in the contest, each team has to play 38 games by the end of the season. In the first half of the season, commonly referred to as Andata, each club plays once against each league opponent, which brings to 19 games. In the second half of the season, often referred to as Ritorno, the clubs play in an exact the same order as they did in the first half, but in a home-and-away format. Teams are awarded points based on performance; no points for a loss, one point for a draw, and three points for a win. After the results, teams are ranked, and last three in the table are relegated to Serie B, while top three in Serie B are promoted to Serie A. If two or more clubs end the league with similar points, then the deciding Serie A tiebreakers are used, which follows the below order:
- Head to head records
- Goal difference of head to head meetings
- Goal difference of the league
- Most goals for in the league
Since Serie A is currently ranked fourth according to FIFA rankings based on football ratings, the top three clubs in the contest qualify for the UEFA Champions League. However, the first two teams in the league qualify directly for the group stages, while the third-placed club participates in the playoff-qualifying round to enter the competition’s group stages. Nevertheless, clubs finishing fourth and fifth qualify to take part in the EUFA Europa League competition.
Serie A Football Clubs
Since its launch in 1930, more than 66 clubs have participated in Serie games. However, before that, during the regional basis, many teams competed in the top level of Italian soccer. Nevertheless, the most successful club in Serie A is Juventus, followed by Milan and Internazionale. It should be noted that Internazionale is the only club in Italy that has played Serie A in every season.
Unlike La Liga clubs, which are restricted not exceed a specific number of non-European players, clubs contesting in Serie A are allowed to sign as many non-European players as available during the transfer window period. However, this rule has constantly been changing.
Serie A Television Coverage
Just like many other European leagues, Serie A attracts thousands of millions of football fans from across the world. Some of them enjoy watching Serie A matches live from the stadium, but the larger percentage watch over the television.
In recent past, individual teams contesting in the Serie A league has the liberty to sell their broadcast rights to specific television channels throughout Italy. However, from the 2010-2011 season, most Serie A clubs agreed to collectively negotiate for TV rights and share the proceeds on a standard protocol. Currently, the major broadcasters bringing live all Serie A matches are Mediaset Premium and Sky Italia.
Serie A football presents the game most football fans had been waiting for. With few clubs dominating the top of the league, punters who love soccer betting have had good moments with Serie A since most of their predictions come true. In general, if love football, then the above is one of the best leagues to watch.