Michel Platini says Serie A is ‘no less spectacular’ than La Liga or the Premier League, as he reflects on Juventus’ new focus towards Europe.
Italian clubs generally endured another difficult season in European competition this term, but UEFA’s President, who spent five years of his playing career in the peninsula, does not see it as a mark of declining domestic quality.
“Italian football is no less spectacular than Spanish or English - the image is bad, those stadiums are empty and it is sad, and not inviting to champions,” Platini has explained in today’s edition of the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Napoli, Fiorentina, Roma and Juventus all play on the attack, but I do miss Milan and Inter.
“Atletico and Liverpool are another demonstration of unpredictability. And the fact that not only accounts matter.”
The 58-year-old was asked about his former side Juventus, who are celebrating a third successive Scudetto.
“They are physical, aggressive, offensive. Three Scudetti is an obligation for Juve. In Europe, they need quality and good fortune.
“My Juve were more successful in Europe? When I arrived there were people in Italy who had everything - the championship was routine, the Cups brought emotion.
“I believe that Andrea [Agnelli] is more attached to the Scudetto because, having to rebuild, he needed a solid foundation. But [Antonio] Conte’s Juve has more grit than mine - they now want Europe.
“No third star for 30 official Scudetti? They have won 30 officially, they should. I understand Andrea, the reaction is of pride - he is the boss. But I would love the third star.”
This Juve are based predominantly around Andrea Pirlo’s influence from the middle of the park.
“He is one that was missing from my day. We played with Bonini and Furino - the strikers were deeper and we had to run 60 metres to the goal. A more stereotypical football.
“Then in Italia was the revolution under Sacchi and that moved the line into the opponent’s half of the field.”