All three of the European championships’ round of 16 surprises came from Italian teams, reiterating the nation’s enormous influence in continental events. With victories in their separate Champions League matches, Napoli, Inter, and AC Milan will all play in the quarterfinals while representing the nation alongside the remaining three clubs. England has two, whereas Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Spain each have one. Although three Italian clubs made it to the quarterfinals in 2003, 2005, and 2006, this is not the first time it has happened. In the 2002-2003 campaign, Juventus, Inter, and AC Milan all advanced to the semifinals. The Derby della Madonnina was played in the semifinals of that year, and the Rossoneri defeated Juventus in the championship game to win the trophy.
For the third time in the history of UEFA European competitions, six Italian teams—after six in 1998–99 and one in 1990–91—have advanced to the quarterfinal round (7). Picture of the Renaissance: SzUXvReUqJ
— OptaPaolo on March 16, 2023 (@OptaPaolo)
In 2005 and 2006, the top three Italian soccer teams recurred, although this year the Bianconeri were eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage. Napoli, on the other side, made it to the quarterfinals for the first time ever under Luciano Spalletti. Given that they lead the Serie A standings by 18 points and are on the verge of winning their first Scudetto title in 33 years, this outcome is astounding and serves as further evidence of how brilliantly this squad is playing this season.
In the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League, Juventus and AS Roma both managed victories over Freiburg and Real Sociedad, but Fiorentina defeated Sivasspor and advanced to the UEFA Conference League quarterfinals. Out of the seven clubs competing in the European competitions, only Lazio lost to AZ Alkmaar and was eliminated.
10 – More than any other Italian team since 2000, #Juventus has advanced to the Quarter Final stage of a UEFA European Competition ten times in this century. Presence. pic.twitter.com/EETmiCSMiV “UEL” “FreiburgJuve”
— OptaPaolo on March 16, 2023 (@OptaPaolo)
Many people are surprised by the Italian teams’ great season, which may simply prove that Italian club soccer is back and better than ever. This is why.
The big surprise: Napoli
. a little more a little more an a little more a little more a little more a little more a little more an a… a little.. a. the l. In 29 games, the Georgian player has already scored 13 goals and given his teammates 15 assists. His influence on the highest level of European competition has been astounding because he was significant in almost every game he has played thus far, including the two legs of the round of 16 match against Eintracht Frankfurt (5-0 aggregate).
Kvaratskhelia has demonstrated the ability to shoot from outside or inside the box, score with a header, go one on one with defenders using his quick pace, and more. It won’t be a surprise if prominent European teams start knocking on Napoli’s door next summer, along with other squad talents like defender Kim Min-Jae and Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen. All this combined suggests he’s on course to become one of the best players in the world.
Napoli reached the quarterfinals for the first time ever, which is a huge accomplishment for a team that is also on the verge of winning its first Scudetto in 33 years.
Some unexpected wins
In the group stage, the Italian teams triumphed in a few crucial, unexpected matches. For instance, in what must be regarded as one of the best games of the entire league thus far, Inter managed to draw away at the Camp Nou and win at home against FC Barcelona. Once Barca lost, Inter’s victory gave the Italian team a good chance to move on. Past campaigns were characterized primarily by the failures of Italian teams in such contests, but this campaign everything changed, in large part due to a very beneficial draw for the three clubs competing in the Champions League.
Unfortunately, the Italians have struggled in this area in recent years. In the previous four competitions, Juventus, despite being the favorite, fell to Ajax, Lyon, Porto, and Villarreal.
Serie A is more competitive
Serie A is unquestionably more competitive now. In recent years, the level of competition has increased for both the players that play every week and the caliber of soccer played in general. Also, like the city rivals did the season before under Antonio Conte, Inter and AC Milan, for instance, were a part of a remarkable run that culminated in the Rossoneri winning their first Scudetto in eleven years last season. These types of victories were likely necessary for these two historical factions to regain momentum in Europe. Following several unsuccessful years, they exhibited this season. As evidenced by recent performances, they now possess greater confidence and expertise in playing at the highest level. Naples is a different matter; they are dozing off and no one wants to wake them up.