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The excellent 2021-22 Serie A season and its promising future
Jul 4, 2022, 3:25:00 AM

The excellent 2021-22 Serie A season and its promising future

As one of the big five soccer leagues in Europe, the Italian Serie A is always a treat to watch. Italy is one of the biggest soccer hubs and the quality of their matches is always high. You can rely on this league to be exciting which is why the most recent season was a treat for fans. 

Serie A has been home to many top-tier clubs and players throughout its long history. It has always been seen as the most tactical and defensively-sound domestic league in Europe. That is the Italian brand of soccer and it has always been that way for the longest time. 

If you need to know more about the Italy Serie A league, you should always keep in mind this competition is well-regarded for its quality. The 2021-22 season was proof the Italian top-flight is a top-tier league. To know more about the Serie A, take a look at how many teams are at the table. 

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How many football teams participate in the Serie A?

The Serie A format has changed multiple times in the past but for the most part, the Italian top-flight has always operated with 18-20 clubs in mind. There was a time in 1934-1943 and 1967-1988 when the league operated in a 16-club format. However, since 2004, the Serie A has always operated with 20 Serie A football teams at the league table. 

Here are the 20 clubs set to play in the 2022-23 season: 

The 20 teams in the 2022-23 season

  1. Atalanta

  2. Bologna

  3. Cremonese

  4. Empoli

  5. Fiorentina

  6. Hellas Verona

  7. Internazionale (Inter Milan)

  8. Juventus

  9. Lazio

  10. Lecce

  11. AC Milan

  12. Monza

  13. Napoli

  14. Roma

  15. Salernitana

  16. Sampdoria

  17. Sassuolo

  18. Spezia

  19. Torino

  20. Udinese

Most of these teams have played well in Serie A because they all exemplify the hard-nosed playstyle Italy is known for. They are well known around Europe because some have been the Champions League Serie A representatives. Some people have not yet shown their interest in Serie A, which is their introduction to the top-flight teams in the UCL. 

Do teams get relegated in Serie A?

Yes, teams get relegated in Serie A. The bottom three teams in the league will suffer the Italy Serie A league relegation to Serie B. In the recent 2021-22 season, these were the three teams relegated to the second tier of Italian soccer:

  • Cagliari

  • Genoa

  • Venezia

All of these teams struggled to cement themselves in Serie A because they did not meet the point threshold. Salernitana was just one point off relegation but they pulled out a win in the last five games to beat Cagliari for the final spot in Serie A. 

The Italian Serie A team of the season

Every year, a team from Serie A stands out as the number one. Of course, they will be the winners of the Scudetto, Serie A’s top prize for winning the league based on points. In a gruelling 38-game season, one team stands above the rest of the pack. 

In the league’s history, the winningest club in the Italian top-flight is by far, Juventus with 36 titles to their name. Now, let’s look into the most recent winner of Serie A and see how they pulled it off. 

AC Milan

In one of the most heated title races in recent Serie A history, AC Milan managed to secure the Scudetto with a fantastic 3-0 win against Sassuolo on the season’s final day. It was an all-important win because Inter also won on the same day when they beat Sampdoria to finish two points behind AC Milan. 

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Best scorers in Italy Serie A 2021-22 season

While most fans know Italy as a haven for defenders, some strikers have stood out as the top goal-scorers in Serie A. The 2021-22 season was a good year for strikers because some truly stood out as the best goal-scorers in the league. Here are the Serie A best scorers for the 2021-22 campaign. 

Ciro Immobile - Lazio

Italy has been filled with some stellar goal-scorers in recent years but Ciro Immobile has stayed consistent. This was his fourth time winning the Serie A top goal scorer nod which is now a record. Ciro scored 27 goals for Lazio as they continued their rise to the upper echelon of Serie A. 

Dušan Vlahović - Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Juve was a big blow because he was their lynchpin for three years. Thankfully, the damage was not as big as previously thought because Dušan Vlahović had a breakout season. 

Since he is in his early 20s, Dušan cemented himself as one of the best scorers in Europe by beating the elite defences in Italian clubs. In just 15 games for Juve, the Serbian managed to score seven goals to add to the 17 goals he scored for Fiorentina in the months prior. 

Lautaro Martínez - Inter Milan

He is only 24 years of age but Lautaro Martínez is a well-known commodity in Italy. The forward has been in the Inter squad since 2018 and he has continued to improve with each year he gets under his belt. He was already a strong player in past seasons but with Romelu Lukaku leaving the club in 2021, the Argentinian became the focal point of the offence.

Who has the most Serie A titles football manager?

Managers guide the team from the start all the way to the final, this means they have a crucial role because they look at a team's every facet and look for ways to improve them. Here are some of the best Serie A winning managers including the man who recently led AC Milan to their title. 

Giovanni Trapattoni (seven titles) 

As the most decorated manager in Serie A history, Giovanni managed to lead Juventus to six titles in a decade. When he left Juve, he joined Inter Milan and he also won Serie A with them once in 1989. 

He is the most successful Serie A manager of all time with his trophies but his accolades do not stop there because his talent was recognised all over Europe. Giovanni is the gold standard for coaching in Italy because he was a good man-manager but he also innovated the sport with many ideas like the fluid system where only the goalkeeper will be set in his role. 

Massimiliano Allegri (six titles)

As a longtime manager of Juve over the past decade, Allegri is familiar to the modern audience. He has been a successful manager for Juve as he won five titles with them from 2014 to 2019. His sixth title was away from the Juve system because he initially won a Serie A trophy back in 2011 when he was coaching AC Milan. 

The 2021-22’s top manager - Stefano Pioli

During his managerial career, Pioli has bounced around various clubs in Italy as he worked his way to top-tier spots. He got his big break coaching for Lazio in the mid-2010s which prompted him to join Inter a few years later. While those jobs did not pan out for him, AC Milan has been the project for him that has succeeded.

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What were the best games of the 2021-22 Serie A season?

The Serie A season was eventful not only because of the heated title race but for the games that were played during this campaign. Italy is well known for its grind-it-out games that are exciting at the same time. Serie A is filled with those kinds of games but certain matches have stood out from the 2021-22 season.

Bologna upsets Inter Milan (April 27, 2022) 

In late April 2022, the title race was at its most heated and Inter Milan had an all-important game against Bologna. The defending champs missed out on a golden opportunity because they lost to Bologna two goals to one. They initially had the lead after just three minutes but they failed to score again afterwards. 

At this point, they were two points behind AC Milan which was also the final result of the season. If they won this game, Inter would have defended their title and successfully repeated at the top of the Serie A standings.

Hellas Verona beats Juventus 2-1 (October 30, 2021)

Giovanni Simeone had the game of his life as he scored twice in four minutes to beat Juventus two goals to one. While Weston McKennie tried to save his team with a goal, it was a little too late for Juve as Simeone’s brace was enough to help Verona secure the win. 

This was a massive upset win for Verona because Juve is one of the favourites to win the Scudetto before the season despite CR7’s exit.

Who were the best players of the 2021-22 Serie A season?

Despite CR7 and Lukaku’s exits, the Serie A’s player base was still rich with talent. This was prominent during the 2021-22 season because new stars took over the league. Dušan Vlahović comes to mind because he was the best player on that Juve squad that softened the blow made by Ronaldo’s departure. 

Here are some of the best players of the 2021-22 Serie A season as they helped their squads succeed. 

Rafael Leão

AC Milan is filled with veterans but a young Rafael Leão was the standout for his team as he thrived in their recent Serie A campaign. He plays the forward role which means he’s a key piece in the lineup. 

Leão had 11 goals but his 10 assists captured many people because he was a crucial cog in the AC Milan machine. Due to his efforts for the squad, Leão’s efforts for this campaign were recognised and he won the Serie A MVP award for the 2021-22 season. 

Mike Maignan 

In his first season in the Serie A, Mike Maignan proved he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He conceded only 21 goals in the campaign and he managed to keep 17 clean sheets which is a huge accolade for his first year.

Ciro Immobile 

As we touched on earlier, Ciro was the best goal-scorer of the season. Lazio was a strong team because of Ciro’s contributions on offence as he scored in various ways. He has been a known commodity for a long time and he cemented his place in the record books with a fourth top-scorer nod.

Who were the most expensive Serie A transfers of the season?

Serie A is one of the most lucrative leagues in the world which means if certain players are available, you can expect certain Italian clubs to be in the running to sign them. Here are some of the best Italian Serie A transfers that happened during the 2021-22 season. 

Dušan Vlahović to Juventus (€81.60 million)

For Juve, Dušan was amazing even if he just joined the team in January 2022. He had a short time with the team but he cemented himself as the top striker and a building block for the long-term future. This just shows Dušan deserves the money he received in his transfer from Fiorentina to Juve during the transfer window. 

Tammy Abraham to Roma (€40 million)

Most English fans know Tammy was stellar for Chelsea when he had the minutes. He was playing consistently under former manager Frank Lampard but when Thomas Tuchel came in, Tammy lost out on his starting striker spot. This led to him wanting a move away from the club to Roma where he could thrive as a primary scoring option. 

Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan (€28.80 million)

Another Englishman makes the list because defender Fikayo Tomori proved himself as the number one defender at AC Milan. He was rarely used in England and his club, Chelsea, just like Tammy. 

While some fans scoffed at the idea of him leaving Chelsea, he proved he deserves the praise because he cemented himself as a top defender that can compete with any physical forward put in front of him. This is an example of most Serie A transfers working out for English players because they are allowed to shine.

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Who are the most promising players ahead of the 2022-23 season? 

The 2021-22 season just ended but some people are looking ahead to the 2022-23 season as well. Certain players will stand out because they have proven to be promising stars for the coming season. Here are two of the most promising players ahead of the 2022-23 season. 

Nikola Milenković (Fiorentina)

As a dual-threat of a centre-back and right-back, Nikola Milenković is primed for a big year in the 2022-23 season. At only 24 years of age, the Serbian is set to be one of the best players in the coming season. He is the latest Serbian to join Fiorentina and while he’s not a striker like Vlahović, the defender has the potential to be the star for his team. 

Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma) 

At only 22 years of age, Zaniolo has proven he is one of the most promising players in Italy. He is playing under José at Roma and he has been used pretty well as an aggressive winger and attacking midfielder. He is huge for his position which is an advantage because he can play with the signature tough Italian playstyle but he can remain graceful with his dribble moves. 

Who is the favourite to win in the 2022-23 season? 

The heated title race affects the coming season because, for the most part, the top two clubs from the 2021-22 season will most likely be the best teams in the year after too. Here are the reasons why these two teams will be the top squads moving forward.

AC Milan 

As the defending champs, AC Milan is ready to prove themselves at the top level of Italian soccer. They are well-versed in playing on both ends because they are strong on offence with their wing-backs and their defence is quite powerful with Maignan as the goalkeeper and Tomori as the rock-solid wall centre-back.

This AC Milan squad has the potential to be the winner for a long time because they have young players who have already contributed to a Scudetto. They have a good foundation with their stars and Pioli is there to lead the way for his team after his first title as a head coach.

Inter Milan

Simone Inzaghi and his team have a solid chance of winning the league in the 2022-23 season. This team is not only filled with young talent but the older players will still be there to compete at the highest level. Inzaghi’s squad will be bolstered with experience from the 2021-22 season and they will use it to their advantage.

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Now that you are aware of what happened in Serie A’s 2021-22 season, you should look ahead to the coming 2022-23 campaign. This is set to be one of the best seasons of Italian football in a while because various clubs are looking to thrive in the league. The two Milan squads are favourites but with the likes of Lazio and Roma chasing them, the league is more exciting, especially for viewers and bettors.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: Alamy