Italian Serie A
Serie A is the top tier of Italian football. It is considered as one of the best leagues in Europe. The league was officially founded in 1898, although the current format of a round-robin league system was only introduced in 1929. Inter Milan has competed in the most Serie A seasons, featuring 83 times to date. There are 20 teams in the league, with the top 3 qualifying for the following season's Champions League. The most successful team in the history of Serie A is Juventus, who has won the league title 30 times, followed by the two Milan clubs, AC and Inter, who have both won it 18 times each.
The Italian football is known for its astute tactics. The Catenaccio (literally a door bolt) is the style of football that has influenced Italian football the most. This defensive style was Introduced by Argentinean coach, Helenio Herrera, while managing Inter Milan in the early 1960s, leading it to dominancy over the Italian and European football. Many Italian teams, including the national team, have copied and elaborated this style. Although football has changed a lot along the years, the influence of this style is still notable in Italian football.
The Serie A has had the FIFA World Player of the Year in its ranks on 10 occasions in its history (more than any other league), including players like Luther Mateus (Inter), Marco Van Basten (Milan), Roberto Baggio (Juventus), Ronaldo (the Brazilian player, Inter) and Zidane which won it twice while playing in Italy for Juventus.
Juventus has been dominating the Serie A in the last seasons, winning the title three times in a row, with world class players such as Andrea Pirlo.Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez .
While former league giants AC Milan and Inter Milan seem to have fallen from grace, some other clubs got stronger and would look to challenge Juventus for the league title this coming season. It looks like AS Roma has the best chances of doing that. Last year Roma broke the record of Longest win streaks from the start of a Serie A season with 10 wins in a row and was a serious contender for the title.
AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini has the most appearances in Serie A history, playing 647 times between 1984 and 2009. Inter Milan defender Javier Zanetti, who resigned recently, is 2nd on the list with 615 appearances.
In the 2011-12 season Juventus famously went the entire season without losing a single match.
Diego Maradona, considered by many as the greatest football player in modern times, has made the bulk of his career playing in the Serie A for SSC Napoli, leading it to historical championships in the late 1980s.
The all-time leading goal scorer in the competition’s history is Silvio Piola who scored 274 goals in various clubs. AS Roma captain Francesco Totti is 2nd on the list with 235 goals. Giuseppe Meazza, the person who AC Milan and Inter Milan’s shared stadium is named after - features 4th on the list with 216 goals.
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