Tuesday April 8 2014
‘Italy’s clubs must change for Europe’

Luis Figo has reflected that Italian clubs’ struggles in Europe are down to culture and that this must change in order for them to improve.

Only Juventus are left in European competition this year, in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, in a season that has seen Italy’s other representatives already bow out of continental contention.

For former Inter winger Figo, the issue has been prevalent for a number of years and stems from philosophy at the very top.

“The problem has not been revealed this year, the reflection must extend back to the last few seasons,” Figo has reflected to the Gazzetta dello Sport today.

“Serie A is difficult, but in Italy there is specific culture, a very precise way to see football.

“Things are different in Europe, playing in Europe is another thing - you have to face the game with the idea of winning, you cannot only wait, or think to do well tactically. The issue is cultural.

“First, sign good players, but this is always dependent on the income available. Then, change the style of play.

“I do not mean because the mentality is not right, I like it, but it must be adjusted in accordance with the requirements of Europe.

“Juventus? They have great players, people with names, talent, and the reality is that in the Champions League they did not do well.

“One season that can happen, perhaps it is just a coincidence, but the fact remains that Italian teams are no longer able to lead the way in Europe.

“Those responsible for Italian football are obliged to reflect on this.”

Figo also commented in the interview on Inter and Milan’s struggles for consistency this term.