The ‘Lega Nazionale Proffesionisti Serie A,’ popularly known as Serie A, is a top-flight Italian football league. It is one of the best football leagues in the world and enjoys a rich history and tradition of tough players and a defensive-minded style of play. Serie A has 20 teams, which battle out for the Scudetto, which is the country’s top club honor.
Serie A was inaugurated in 1898, where it was divided into two regional groups. This structure remained for close to two decades. After trying different arrangements in these leagues, the football governing body finally agreed to merge these two leagues in 1929. when they also launched the second highest division, Serie B.
In 1964, the league was formally changed to the Lega Serie A, when the Lega Calcio took over from the Federal Football Association. The league started with 18 clubs, and this number has fluctuated between 16 and 21. But most recently, in the 2004/05 season, the league switched to 20 teams.
Over the years, Serie A has been known for its hotly contested derbies featuring the most successful teams in its history – Juventus and Inter Milan. Some famous derbies include the Derby della Madonnina – between AC and Inter Milan, Derby della Capitale – involving Lazio and AS Roma, and the Derby della Mole, featuring Turin based teams Juventus and Torino.
How Serie A works
With 20 teams playing the Serie A, the team that manages to accumulate the most points wins the title. Each side has a chance to play each other twice – home and away. The games are scheduled so that teams play each other in a round robin format.
Most matches are played at the weekend, except for weekends when international fixtures are scheduled. There are also mid-week fixtures, which are played on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The first half of the season and the second, are known as the ‘andata’ and the ‘ritorno’ respectively.
There is a lot at stake when it comes to playing in Serie A. Besides the prize money awarded to teams, and the Scudetto, which is presented to the winner, teams also compete for an opportunity to play in European competitions. The 2017/18 season saw the top four teams qualify for the UEFA Champions League, while the teams ranked fifth and sixth qualified for the Europa League. On the The bottom three teams are relegated to Serie B and are replaced by the top three clubs from the same division.
Why watch Serie A?
Serie A is improving and in 2018/19 the other 19 teams are out to stop Juventus’ dominance. With some of the best players, Serie A games are a must-watch for any football fan.