The UEFA champions league is a club international competition played in Europe, it started way back 1955 with the name European cup with 16 teams who were selected by French football magazine to compete in the first tournament.
The first game in the champions was between Partizan Belgrade and Sporting Club Portugal on the 4th September 1955 and it ended in a draw (3-3). The first edition was won by Real Madrid and since then Madrid have gone on to become the most successful club in the competition with 11 trophies followed by AC Millan with 7 trophies .
The team with most losing finals is Jeventus losing 6 out the 8 finals played.
The teams that competed in the first ever champions league were;
- Real Madrid – Span
- AC Millan – Italy
- Saarbucken – Germany
- Sporting CP – Portugal
- Partizan Belgrade – Serbia
- PSV – Holland
- AGF Aarhus – Denmark
- Warda Warsaw – Poland
- Rapid wein – Austria
- Rot Weisis Essen – Germany
- Djurgardaen – Sweden
- Servettee – Switzerland
- Hibernian – Scotland
- Vorros Lobogo – Poland
- Anderlecht – Belgium
- Stade Remis – France
With AC Millan in there, it tells you that the Italian teams are among the traditional teams when it comes to the champions league. Having graced the competition with some great teams like AC Millan, Juventus, Inter Millan, Sampdoria etc and their performance in the competition have not been bad at all having won the competition 12 times out of 26 finals with only 3 teams the only country with better performance than Italy is spain who have 16 Trophies .
Italian Serie A Clubs Performance in the Champions League
- AC Millan
Trophies Won – 7 titles (1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007)
Runners Up – 4 times (1958, 1993, 1995, 2005)
Trophies Won – 2 titles (1985, 1996)
Runners Up – 6 times (1973, 1983, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2015)
- Inter Millan
Trophies Won – 3 titles (1964, 1965, 2010)
Runners Up – 2 times(1968, 1972)
Runner Up – 1 (1957)
Runner Up – 1 (1992)
Statistics clearly show that Italian clubs were a force to reckon with when it comes to the UEFA champions league but since 2010 that Inter Millan won the champions league, it took 5 years for another Italian club to go to the finals of the champions league. These have resulted in UEFA reducing their slot from 4 clubs to 3 clubs because they have dropped on the UEFA co efficient rankings.
How the Italian Clubs can Improve in the Champions League?
- The Revival of the traditional Clubs.
With AC Millan and Inter Millan winning the competition most times for Italy, they are indeed a traditional force when it comes to the champions league but their performance has decline drastically which has affected their European performance, the last time AC Millan played in the champions league was in 2013 and they were eliminated by eventual finalist Atletico Madrid in the round of 16. For Inter Millan since Mourinho’s era ended they haven’t been the same Inter we knew. So is high time the administrators of these great teams sit up and start doing some things right to push the teams forward. Again, the Italian football federation should help in reviving the legendary clubs in Italy because the rise of Napoli, AS Roma, and Lazio etc. have affected the legendary traditional clubs. Napoli, AS Roma and Lazio do not have the class to represent Italy in Europe. The Italian football federation must help create a monopoly for 3 clubs with the class to represent Italy but have dropped performance; the clubs are AC Milan, Inter Millan and Juventus. When these traditional clubs are all in top form, the television rights for the Italian Serie A will rise there by enriching the clubs to be competitive in Europe
- Lack of Astute Managers:
Gone were the days that you will see great managers steering the affairs of various Italian teams just cast you minds back the days of Giovanni Trapattoni and Marcelo Lippi who won the trophies for Juventus in 1986 and 1996 respectively. Carlo Anceloti, who won it twice with AC Millan in 2003 and 2007 within his nine years spell with the club (before winning it with Real Madrid in 2014).
The last manager to have won the champions with Italian side was Jose Mourinho with Inter Millan in 2010, the said winning was all bow down to the managerial powers of Jose with virtually unknown squad, no one gave the chance but they did at the expenses of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and co.
Now just look through the coaches in Serie A, are they top-notch coaches in there who are capable of winning the champions league?
The answer is No
The Italian league will bounce back in Europe in style if experience and astute technical men are employed to manage the various teams.
- Signing of Good and Quality Players
The declining in the Serie A has affected its quality of players just cast your mind back when the could boost of players like Francesco Totti, Luca Toni, Andrea Pirlo, Pauolo Maldini, Seedorf, Nedved, Walter Samuel, Diego Milito just to mention but few these were quality footballers which every league will be delight to have them, but is in the case now? The serie can’t attract quality players like the Spanish La Liga’s and English premier league so if indeed they went to be back in champions and make great impact as we knew some years ago, then obviously they have to be among teams who compete for world class players.
The quality players in the Serie A are always been signed to the Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League without good replacements. The Serie A lost Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal etc before the start of the 2016-17 season and these players were replaced with inexperienced clubs. Currently, players like Paulo Dybala and Gianluigi Donnarumma likely to exit the Serie A.
It is time clubs in the Serie A strive to maintain its players or bid for quality players replace the lost players. Once the glorious Serie A is retrogressing year by year and their clubs in the champions league is nothing to write home about.
The Remaining Italian Club in the Champions League:
Juventus is the undisputed and reigning champions of the Italian serie A. Juventus was drawn in Group H and Juventus won the group with 14 points. Juventus won 4 games and drew 2 in the group stages. Juventus progressed to the round of 16 to meet FC Porto and Juventus defeated FC Porto 3-0 on aggregate. Statistics of Juventus in the champions league;
Goals Scored: 14 goals
Goals Conceded: 2 goals
Attempts for Goal: 118 attempts
Attempts on Target: 38 attempts
Passes Completed: 4,682 passes
Juventus will meet Barcelona in the quarter finals of the 2016-17 champions league. Juventus and Barcelona have meet on 5 occasions in the champions league with Juventus winning 1, drawing 2 and losing 2. In the 1985-86 champions league, Juventus clashed with Barcelona in the quarter finals and Barcelona eliminated Juventus by 2-1 on aggregate. In the 2002-03 champions league Juventus once again meet Barcelona quarter finals, Juventus this time round eliminated Barcelona by 3-1 on aggregate.
Recently, Juventus and Barcelona meet in the champions league final of 2015. Barcelona won the trophy by winning 3-1 against Juventus. Italian Serie A
It will be very difficult for Juventus to eliminate Barcelona in the champions league. Once again it will be likely that there will be no Italian club in the champions league finals.