Italian Football Leagues
Italian Football Leagues
The governing board of Italian football is the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) or Italian Football Federation. It is often called just Federcalcio. Calcio is the word for football (soccer) in Italian.
Structure of Italian Football
Italian Serie A gets considered the epitome of Italian football. There are 20 teams that make up this football league, out of which three teams get relegated each year. The top four teams are considered eligible for the UEFA Champions League.
Serie B is the second division. Each year, the top three teams can get promoted to the first division, conversely, the bottom four teams get relegated to Serie C.
Serie C is the third division. The top four teams in this division get promoted to the second division (Serie B). All three divisions contain 20 domestic football teams.
The above make up Professional leagues.
Semi-Pro / Amateur Football
There are six non-professional leagues.
- Series D
- Prima Categoria
- Seconda Categoria
- Terza Categoria
There are a few Universities in Italy that stand out for their football programs. These include The University of Tuscan Hills and The University of Naples. In fact, the University of Naples organizes a weeklong tournament involving 64 teams in the country!
National vs. Foreign Players
The Italian footballing culture has been a sirens call to many foreign players. Paul Pogba, a French national, revolutionized his career at Juventus before he moved to Manchester United. Romelu Lukaku is a Dutch player who is currently enjoying a great run of form at Inter Milan.
Commercially, few can compare with Cristiano Ronaldo who has greatly shone focus on Italian teams since his $100 m transfer from Real Madrid.
It is interesting to note that the Italian national players have not made as much of a mark on world football. Italy couldn't qualify for the World Cup in 2018. They have been working hard to ensure they return to their heights of 2006. This means they need outstanding offensive players. This has been a weakness for them for over a decade since players such as Alessandro Del Piero and Francesco Totti retired.
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atlanta, and Juventus are some formidable football academies globally. Since 2012, Juventus college has brought some of the best talents in the world. The Juventus technical director has stated that they have followed the same module that Ajax created for recruiting youngsters.
Italian football academies recruit youth players between the ages of 11 to 16 years of age.