Italy

Holy Smokes Did You See That Dzeko Goal?

Wednesday’s Chelsea-AS Roma game had everything. It had six goals in total, Antonio Rudiger playing against his former team, Gary Cahill wearing a bandage around his head like he just went to the dentist in 1876, Frederico Fazio getting magic spray on his junk because Pedro’s head smashed into his nether regions and an Edin Dzeko goal that might be one of the best you’ll see all year. In the end, Chelsea and AS Roma played to a wildly entertaining 3-3 draw in Champions League group play at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. 

Napoli Beat Roma To Remain Perfect, But Can We Call Them Title Contenders?

Whisper it. Napoli could be champions. It could be their year. Finally, after half a decade of Juventus dominance in Serie A, a team has emerged that could legitimately challenge for the title. Not just because Juve has stumbled, but because Napoli is a legitimately fantastic team. Along with Manchester City, Maurizio Sarri’s men are playing the best football in the world right now. Could it be enough to take them to the top?

The Italian National Team: Devastating Mediocrity, Defined

For the first time since the 1998-99 season, no manager in Serie A has been fired after seven matches. All twenty teams have decided to stick with their coach, even the terrible ones. It’s a quirk of fate, remarkable only because of the trigger-happy tendencies of Serie A owners past. But there’s one Italian manager who should almost definitely be fired. Unfortunately, he’s the coach of the national team.

Francesco Guidolin Once Pointed A Gun At His Players As Part Of A Team Talk

We here at The18 have never really given much thought to Francesco Guidolin. The former Swansea City, Monaco and Palermo manager just never crossed our minds in a way that was interesting. Until now. It has been reported that in 2006, when Guidolin was managing at Palermo, he used a very, um, explosive prop in a team talk.

From FourFourTwo:

Is Paulo Dybala Finally One Of The World's Elite Players?

It’s time to talk about Paulo Dybala. Actually, it was probably time to talk about Dybala two months ago, when he was rightly titillating the interest of the Barcelona board, possibly plugging a recently-emerged Neymar-sized hole in their starting XI. But even since then, Dybala has gone to a whole new level. Is it time to start talking about Dybala as being one of the very best in the world?

Sons Of Famous Fathers Making Their Names In Serie A

For years, Serie A was regarded as something of an old man’s game. No doubt aided by MilanLab’s ability to keep players on the pitch far beyond their expected sell-by date, there was a collective notion that Italian football wasn’t the font of youth and energy that was found in France, Germany or Britain. Players made their debuts later and continued to play well into their thirties. The likes of Seedorf, Gattusso and Pirlo lasted longer in Serie A than they would in other leagues.

How Will Italian Clubs Fare In European Competition?

Serie A was struck by storms this weekend. While the United States was dealing with the horrors of the hurricanes, areas such as Livorno experienced their own extreme weather and loss of life. Miraculously, all but one match took place.

There were surprises. AC Milan faced its first real challenge and failed spectacularly. Fiorentina’s new-look side seemed to click and ran out 5-0 winners against a hapless Verona team. There were also more run-of-the-mill fixtures. Juventus won. Napoli won. Inter won. Fairly standard, really.

Italy Helpfully Reminds The World Of The Devastating Longevity Of Spain’s Tiki-Taka

This past Saturday, Spain hosted Italy in a World Cup qualifier at the Bernabeu in Madrid. Both sides have won the competition in the post-millennial age and can justifiably feel bitter about being drawn in the same group. Italy, who have a well-established tradition of being utterly awful in the qualifying rounds of international tournaments yet miraculously not losing, are now at risk of finishing second in the group.

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