While the biggest predators of the main European leagues will see with good eyes the possibility of a cross with FC Porto in the Nyon draw, which defines the competitive framework for the quarter-finals of the Champions League today (see box), the hysteria in Italy increases Failure of Inter, Lazio, Atalanta and especially Juventus. Rounded off by the Portuguese champions, the “Bianconeri” emphasize the idea that a country is increasingly losing influence in the elite of continental football.
FC Porto’s fifth presence in the millionaires’s quarter-finals since 2000 has been an authentic anaphylactic shock for an Italy that requires thorough reflection to understand if, as Antonio Cassano said after eliminating Calcium, the Enaleapean Transalpine Champion, it really did stopped in time … two decades ago
Starting from the beginning of the century, Italy objectively celebrated three European championship titles in the Champions League, two with AC Milan (2003 and 2007) and the last one with José Mourinho’s Inter Milan in 2010. Compared to the previous 20 years as the Calcio five times reached the top of European football with three trophies for AC Milan and two for Juventus, the difference cannot be considered miserable.
In fact, a large part of the problem lies in the last decade, with the Turin team losing two finals (2015 and 2017) and making three top eight teams in the competition. After Lyon was caught by surprise last season (when everything suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo might be the talisman missing at other times), history repeated itself and Juventus, who last won in 1996, felt the blow to greater effect, not only because of the obsession and investments made, but also because of the “decadent” domestic career.
Despite the natural dismay of Italian football lovers, Lazio and Atalanta (who were on the verge of touching the sky in the semi-finals a year ago) have always had a more humble flow of expectations. And they measured strength against opponents of higher caliber. Lazio met title and world champions Bayern Munich (18 wins in the last 19 Champions League games); Atalanta has been fortunate to have a Real Madrid who is returning after a failure a year ago that dropped him to eighth place, taking his 14th triumph in the competition that earned him four wins between 2014 and 2018.
The truth is that the absence of a transalpine representative in the G8 has not been verified since the 2015-16 edition, whose “Spanish” final was torn by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid… in San Siro, with Roma and Juventus in the “octaves” fell ”. And it was not the only time since Inter won in 2010, with another gap of the decade in 2013-2014, this time with AC Milan, who were defeated by Luz finalist Atlético de Madrid in the “eighth” was removed.
A recent worrying record, reinforced by the fact that currently standout Serie A front-runners Inter Milan didn’t even survive the group stage of this edition of the Champions League, finished last in Group B behind Real Madrid, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk with a single win.