Few places love football as much as Italy. The love for the game burns in their hearts, splashes across headlines, and fills streets with screaming fans. It also has a global reach. Some of the best soccer clubs are in Serie A league and fans from around the world love tuning in to follow their favorite athletes.
2020 has been a roller coaster of a year for almost every human on the planet. Between social issues taking center stage and the global COVID-19 pandemic, many of our most beloved institutions have had to adapt. Of course, normal life continues, making for a lot to keep up with. So let’s take a step back and look at where Serie A is as we move into 2021.
Keep an eye on super human Ibrahimovic
Following all the superstars is a great way to predict how a game will unfold. Doing this well will help you in your office pools or when you join sports betting sites. The stars, of course, need a great team to surround them, but they can often be the secret sauce in sealing those key goals.
One such special ingredient is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Do not underestimate this man. While many assumed he was on his way to retirement when he moved to Los Angeles Galaxy in his thirties, he has since proved the world wrong.
With the Galaxy, he scored in nearly every one of his fifty-plus games. This is not the record of someone looking for a big pay cut before ending his career. This new direction was confirmed when he returned to Milan about a year ago. Since then he has been racking up goals like crazy. And at 40 years old, this man is a machine!
Maradona honored in Naples
The recent death of Maradona came as a surprise. Well, in a way. He was very young, having died at 60 years old. What was less surprising is that his fast lifestyle led to an early death.
His old club, Napoli, paid tribute by lighting up their stadium. Also, thousands of fans gathered outside the stadium and let off flares. Maradona has achieved a nearly god-like status across the world, but especially in Italy and his native Argentina.
His death, however, brings into stark relief the future of Serie A. With this powerhouse now in the past, fans are left dealing with his legacy, which has a different shade in the world of #metoo.
While this behavior may have once been lionized, we live in a different world. Serie A is fast confronting how it handles social issues, and Maradona’s death could be seen as a turning point for the league, and the sports world in general.
An urgent need to confront racism
Racism is a problem around the world, and we are happy to see Serie A, and AC Milan in particular, taking an active approach to confronting it. The new owner of AC Milan Ivan Gazidis is taking racism head-on.
After coming to Italy from his MLS post, Gazidis has talked openly about racism, arguing that confronting it is the way to bring sports into the 21st century.
He uses the English Premier League as an example. He says that in the 1980s it was a source of a lot of racism, but since then they have actively cultivated an open and inclusive environment. Now you can find women and children at the games as well. He imagines a similar transformation for football in Italy.
It is even more impressive that they have sought to take this issue on while reeling from the coronavirus. Many players have tested positive, and the league has had to go on pause this year. However, their attitude of taking issues head-on lets us know that Serie A will emerge as an even more beautiful league throughout 2021.