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Conte: Italian Soccer Needs Change

  • Reuters, Thursday, April 11, 2013 12:44 PM

During his frank assessment of Juventus’ exit at the hand of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, head coach Antonio Conte said that that Italian teams, given the way they are structured and Serie A is structured, don’t have the financial power needed to win Europe’s top competition. He emphasized that change is needed.

"I can't see an Italian team winning the Champions League in the coming years," Conte said, adding that Italian clubs cannot match the financial power of Spain’s Real Madrid and Barcelona, England’s Manchester United and Manchester City, France’s Paris St. Germain, and Germany’s Bayern Munich. "It makes me laugh when I hear that with just two or three new signings we can win the Champions League," he added. "Italian soccer has come to a standstill and that should be a concern for everyone.”

"When was the last time an Italian team reached the semifinals? [2010]" he added. "I think everyone has to pull together to try and change things in Italian soccer. When I say everyone, I mean the clubs, the supporters, the media and all the institutions."

Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta agreed. "We have clubs like Bayern, who double the revenue of Italian sides such as AC Milan, Inter Milan or Juventus," he said. "They can buy one player for 40 million euros, while Italian clubs need to buy three or four players to justify that sort of money.” Marotta added that most Italian clubs are hampered by the fact that they don’t own their own stadiums. "Juventus are starting on that road with a new stadium, but the other Serie A clubs still have that handicap."

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