1929 as round-robin tournament
|Number of teams||20 (from 2004-05)|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Serie B|
UEFA Champions League|
UEFA Europa League
Juventus (31st title) |
|Most championships||Juventus (31 title)|
SKY Italia |
|33px 2014–15 Serie A|
Serie A (Italian pronunciation: [ˈseːrje ˈa]), also called Serie A TIM due to sponsorship by Telecom Italia, is a professional league competition for soccer clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system and has been operating for over eighty years since the 1929–30 season. It had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, but a new league, the Lega Serie A, was created for the 2010–11 season. Serie A is regarded as one of the best football leagues in the world. Serie A was considered the best league in the world in the '90s, and has produced the highest number of European Cup finalists: Italian clubs have reached the final of the competition on a record twenty-six different occasions, winning the title twelve times. Serie A is ranked 4th among European leagues according to UEFA's league coefficient behind La Liga, Premier League and the Bundesliga, which is based on the performance of Italian clubs in the Champions League and the Europa League during the last five years. It also ranked 5th in world according to the first trends of the 2011 IFFHS rating.
In its current format, the Italian Football Championship was revised from having regional and interregional rounds, to a single-tier league from the 1929–30 season onwards. The championship titles won prior to 1929 are officially recognised by FIGC with the same weighting as titles that were subsequently awarded. However, the 1945–46 season, when the league was played over two geographical groups due to the ravages of WWII, is not statistically considered, even if its title is fully official.
The league hosts three of the world's most famous clubs as Juventus, Milan and Internazionale, all founding members of the G-14, a group which represented the largest and most prestigious European football clubs; Serie A was the only league to produce three founding members. More players have won the coveted Ballon d'Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any other league in the world. - ahead of Spain's La Liga, although the actual number of Ballon d'Or won by players in these two leagues is equal at 18 each if including the FIFA Ballon d'Or. Milan is the second club with the most official international titles in the world (18). Juventus, Italy's most successful club of the 20th century and the most successful Italian team, is tied for fourth in Europe and eighth in the world in the same ranking. The club is the only one in the world to have won all possible official continental competitions and the world title. Internazionale, following their achievements in the 2009–10 season, became the first Italian team to have achieved a treble.
- 1 Format
- 2 History
- 3 Television rights
- 4 Champions
- 5 Serie A clubs
- 6 Records
- 7 Players
- 8 Official match ball
- 9 UEFA ranking
- 10 Hourlies
- 11 List of Lega Serie A presidents
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
For most of Serie A's history there were 16 or 18 clubs competing at the top level; however, since 2004–05 there have been 20 clubs altogether. A season (1947–1948) was played with 21 teams for political reasons. Below is a complete record of how many teams played in each season throughout the league's history;
- 18 clubs = 1929–1934
- 16 clubs = 1934–1942
- 18 clubs = 1942–1946
- 20 clubs = 1946–1947
- 21 clubs = 1947–1948
- 20 clubs = 1948–1952
- 18 clubs = 1952–1967
- 16 clubs = 1967–1988
- 18 clubs = 1988–2004
- 20 clubs = 2004–present
During the league, from August to May, each club plays each of the other teams twice; once at home and once away, totaling 38 games for each team by the end of the season. Therefore, in Italian football a true round-robin format is used. In the first half of the season, called the andata, each team plays once against each league opponent, for a total of 19 games. In the second half of the season, called the ritorno, the teams play in exactly the same order that they did in the first half of the season, the only difference being that home and away situations are switched. Since the 1994-1995 season, teams were awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss.
Since Italy is currently rated as the fourth European countries in terms of club football ratings, the top three teams in the Serie A qualified for the UEFA Champions League (from the 2012-13 season). The top two teams qualify directly to the group phase, while the third-placed team enters the competition at the playoff qualifying round and must win a two-legged knockout tie in order to enter the group phase. Teams finishing 4th and 5th qualify for the UEFA Europa League Tournament. A third UEFA Europa League spot is reserved for the winner of the Coppa Italia. If the Coppa Italia champion has already qualified for the major European tournament by placing in the top three of Serie A, the third UEFA Europa League spot goes to the losing finalist. If both Coppa Italia finalists finish among the top five teams in Serie A, the 6th classified team in Serie A is awarded the UEFA Europa League spot. The three lowest placed teams are relegated to Serie B.
Before the 2005-06 season, if two or more teams were tied in points for first place, for only one spot in a European tournament or in relegation zone, this teams would play tie-breaking games after the league's end, to determine which team would get the best place (useful to be champion, to be awarder a European tournament sport, or to be saved). From 2005-06 season, if two or more teams end the league with the same number of points, the deciding tie-breakers used are (in order):
- Head-to-head records;
- Goal difference of head-to-head records;
- Goal difference of league;
- Most goals for in league;
Serie A, as it is structured today, began in 1929. From 1898 to 1922 the competition was organised into regional groups. Because of ever growing teams attending regional championships, FIGC split the CCI (Italian Football Confederation) in 1921. When CCI teams rejoined the FIGC created two interregional divisions renaming Categories into Divisions and splitting FIGC sections into two North-South leagues. In 1926 due to internal crises FIGC changed internal settings adding southern teams to the national divisions which lead to 1929-30 final settlement. No title was awarded in 1927 after Torino were stripped of the championship by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). Torino were declared champions in the 1948-49 season following a plane crash near the end of the season in which the entire team was killed.
The Serie A Championship title is often referred to as the scudetto (small shield) because since the 1924–25 season the winning team will bear a small coat of arms with the Italian tricolour on their strip in the following season. The most successful club is Juventus with 31 championships, followed by both Milan and Internazionale (18), and Genoa (9). From 2004–05 onwards an actual trophy was awarded to club on the pitch after the last turn of the championship. The trophy, called Coppa Campioni d'Italia, is official since the 1960–61 season, but between 1961 and 2004 it was consigned to the winning clubs at the head office of the Lega Nazionale Professionisti.
On 30 April 2009, Serie A announced a split from Serie B. Nineteen of the twenty clubs voted in favour of the move in an argument over television rights. Relegation-threatened Lecce voted against. Maurizio Beretta, the former head of Italy's employers' association, became president of the new league.
In the past individual clubs competing in the league had the rights to sell their broadcast rights to specific channels in Italy, unlike in most other European countries. Currently, the two broadcasters in Italy are the satellite broadcaster SKY Italia, along with terrestrial broadcaster Mediaset Premium for its own pay television networks; RAI is allowed to broadcast only highlights (in exclusive from 13:30 to 22:30 CET). This is a list of television rights in Italy (until 2009–2010):
- SKY Italia (all matches)
- Mediaset Premium (all matches of Milan, Inter, Juventus, Lazio, Roma, Napoli and matches in house and guests of the above teams of Genoa, Atalanta, Chievo, Bari)
- RAI (highlights)
For the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons, Serie A clubs negotiating club TV rights collectively rather than individually for the first time since 1998–99. The domestic rights for those two seasons were sold for €1.149bn to Sky Italia.
In countries and territories outside of Italy, the league is broadcast on adventure time Raitalia (numerous countries in several continents), BT Sport (United Kingdom), Setanta Sports (Ireland), Canal+ (Spain), Teleclub (Switzerland), beIN Sports USA (United States as well as Canada while not having a broadcast channel), TV Esporte Interativo, Fox Sports (Brazil), ESPN Latin America (Latin America (except Brazil)), CCTV5 (China), KBS Sports (South Korea), beIN Sports (Middle East and North Africa), Astro SuperSport (Malaysia), Kompas TV (Indonesia), Neo Sports, TrueVisions (Thailand), mio TV (Singapore), TEN Sports (India), ESPN Star Sports (India), Fox Sports (Netherlands), OTE Sport (Greece), Canal+ Poland (Poland), NTV Turkey (Turkey), bTV Action and RING.BG (Bulgaria), Arenasport (Croatia), Digi Sport (Romania), Arena Sport(Serbia), SuperSport (Albania), Supersport Kosova (Kosovo), In televizija (Montenegro), Telelatino, Sport 5 (Israel), HiTV (Nigeria), Sport1 (Lithuania), Canal9 (Denmark and Norway) Sportbox (Mongolia) and beIN Sports (Australia) .
In the 1990s Serie A was at its most popular in the UK when it was shown on Channel 4, although it has actually appeared on more UK channels than any other league, rarely staying in one place for long since 2002. Serie A has appeared in the UK on BSB Sports Channel (1990–91), Sky Sports (1991–92), Channel 4 (1992–2002), Eurosport (2002–04), Setanta Sports and Bravo (2004–07), Channel 5 (2007–08), ESPN (2009–13) and BT Sport (since 2013). In Mexico, Televisa Deportes Network HD two games delay in the week.
- Main article: List of Italian football champions
Bold indicates clubs currently playing in the top division.
- The 2004-05 and 2005-06 titles were initially won by Juventus but were rescinded due to the Calciopoli scandal. The 2004-05 title remained unassigned while the 2005-06 title was awarded to Internazionale.
- A decoration was awarded to Spezia in 2002 by FIGC for the 1944 wartime championship. However, the Federation has stated that it cannot be considered as a scudetto.
- The 1926–27 title was initially won by Torino, but was rescinded due to the Allemandi match fixing scandal.
Serie A clubs
- For more details see List of Italian Football Championship clubs
Prior to 1929, many clubs competed in the top level of Italian football as the earlier rounds were competed up to 1922 on a regional basis then interregional up to 1929. Below is a list of Serie A clubs who have competed in the competition when it has been a league format (63 in total).
Seasons in Serie A
The teams in bold compete in Serie A currently. Internazionale is the only team that has played Serie A football in every season.
Serie A Members for 2014–15
The following twenty clubs will complete in Serie A during the 2014–15 season.
|First season in Serie A||First season of current spell in Serie A|
|Cesena||Serie B, 4th1||1973–74||2014–15|
|Empoli||Serie B Runner-Up||1986–87||2014–15|
|Palermo||Serie B Champions||1932–33||2014–15|
1 Promoted as playoff winner.
|1||23x15px Paolo Maldini||1985–2009||Milan||647|
|2||23x15px Javier Zanetti||1995–2014||Internazionale||615|
|3||23x15px Gianluca Pagliuca||1987–2007||Sampdoria, Internazionale, Bologna, Ascoli||592|
|4||23x15px Francesco Totti||1992–||Roma||585|
|5||23x15px Dino Zoff||1961–1983||Udinese, Mantova, Napoli, Juventus||570|
|6||23x15px Pietro Vierchowod||1980–2000||Como, Fiorentina, Roma, Sampdoria, Juventus, Milan, Piacenza||562|
|7||23x15px Roberto Mancini||1981–2001||Bologna, Sampdoria, Lazio||541|
|8||23x15px Silvio Piola||1929–1954||Pro Vercelli, Lazio, Juventus, Novara||537|
|9||23x15px Enrico Albertosi||1958–1980||Fiorentina, Cagliari, Milan||532|
|10||23x15px Gianni Rivera||1958–1979||Alessandria, Milan||527|
|1||23x15px Silvio Piola||1929–1954||Pro Vercelli, Lazio, Juventus, Novara||274|
|2||23x15px Francesco Totti||1992–||Roma||245|
|3||23x15px Gunnar Nordahl||1948–1958||Milan, Roma||225|
|4||23x15px 23x15px José Altafini||1958–1976||Milan, Napoli, Juventus||216|
|5||23x15px Giuseppe Meazza||1929–1947||Internazionale, Milan, Juventus||216|
|6||23x15px Antonio Di Natale||2002–||Empoli, Udinese||206|
|7||23x15px Roberto Baggio||1986–2004||Fiorentina, Juventus, Milan, Bologna, Internazionale, Brescia||205|
|8||23x15px Kurt Hamrin||1956–1971||Juventus, Padova, Fiorentina, Milan, Napoli||190|
|9||23x15px Giuseppe Signori||1991–2004||Foggia, Lazio, Sampdoria, Bologna||188|
|10||23x15px Alessandro Del Piero||1993–2012||Juventus||188|
Unlike La Liga, which imposed a quota on the number of non-EU players on each club, Serie A clubs could sign as many non-EU players as available on domestic transfer. But since the 2003–04 season a quota has been imposed on each of the clubs limiting the number of non-EU, non-EFTA and non-Swiss players who may be signed from abroad each season, following provisional measures were had been introduced in the 2002–03 season, which allowed Serie A & B clubs to sign only one non-EU player in the 2002 summer transfer window.
In the middle of the 2000–01 season, the old quota system was abolished, which no longer limited each team to having more than 5 non-EU players and using no more than 3 in each match. Concurrent with the abolishment of the quota, FIGC had investigated footballers that used fake passports. Alberto and Warley, Alejandro Da Silva and Jorginho Paulista of Udinese, Fábio Júnior and Gustavo Bartelt of Roma, Dida of Milan, Álvaro Recoba of Inter, Thomas Job, Francis Zé, Jean Ondoa of Sampdoria, Jeda and Dede of Vicenza were banned in July 2001, for 6 months to 1 year. However, most of the bans were subsequently reduced.
The number of non-EU players was reduced from 265 in 2002–03 season to 166 in 2006–07 season. It also included players got EU status after their countries joined the EU (see 2004 and 2007 enlargement), which made players such as Adrian Mutu, Valeri Bojinov, Marek Jankulovski and Marius Stankevičius no longer non-EU players.
Since the 2008–09 season, 3 quotas have been awarded to clubs that do not have non-EU players in their squad (previously only newly promoted clubs could had 3 quota); clubs that have one non-EU player have 2 quotas. Those clubs that have 2 non-EU players, are awarded 1 quota and 1 conditional quota, which is awarded after: 1) Transferred 1 non-EU player abroad, or 2) Release 1 non-EU player as free agent, or 3) A non-EU player received EU nationality. Clubs with 3 or more non-EU players, have 2 conditional quotas, but releasing two non-EU players as free agent, will only have 1 quota instead of 2. Serie B and Lega Pro clubs cannot sign non-EU player from abroad, except those followed the club promoted from Serie D.
Big clubs with many foreigners, usually borrow quotas from other clubs that have few foreigners or no foreigners, in order to sign more non-EU players. Adrian Mutu joined Juventus via Livorno in 2005, at that time Romania was not a member of the EU. Other cases include Júlio César, Victor Obinna and Maxwell who joined Internazionale from Chievo (first two) and Empoli respectively.
FIFA World Players of the Year
- 23x15px Lothar Matthäus: 1991 (Internazionale)
- 23x15px Marco van Basten: 1988, 1989 and 1992 (Milan)
- 23x15px Roberto Baggio: 1993 (Juventus)
- 23x15px George Weah: 1995 (Milan2)
- 23x15px Ronaldo: 1997 and 2002 (Internazionale)
- 23x15px Zinedine Zidane: 1998, 2000 (Juventus)
- 23x15px Pavel Nedved: 2003 (Juventus)
- 23x15px Fabio Cannavaro: 2006 (Juventus1)
- 23x15px Kaká: 2007 (Milan)
1Player was a member of the club for the first half of the calendar year (The second part of a finished season - January to May)
2Player was a member of the club for the second half of the calendar year (The first part of a new season - August to December)
Official match ball
- 2007–2008: Nike T90 Aerow II
- 2008–2009: Nike T90 Omni
- 2009–2010: Nike T90 Ascente
- 2010–2011: Nike T90 Tracer
- 2011–2012: Nike Seitiro
- 2012–2013: Nike Maxim
- 2013–2014: Nike Incyte
- 2014–2015: Nike Ordem
UEFA Country Ranking at the end of the 2013-14 season: Last updated 5 May 2014
- 01 15px (1) 23x15px La Liga
- 02 15px (2) 23x15px Premier League
- 03 15px (2) 23x15px Bundesliga
- 04 15px (6) 23x15px Serie A
- 05 15px (4) 23x15px Primeira Liga
- 06 15px (5) 23x15px Ligue 1
- 07 15px (11) 23x15px Süper Lig
- 08 15px (10) 23x15px Eredivisie
- 09 15px (7) 23x15px Ukrainian Premier League
- 12 15px (6) 23x15px Russian Football Premier League
- 13 15px (12) 23x15px Superleague Greece
- 14 15px (14) 23x15px Belgian Pro League
- 15 15px (15) 23x15px Danish Superliga
- 16 15px (8) 23x15px Liga I
- 17 15px (11) 23x15px Scottish Premiership
- 1815px (16) 23x15px Norwegian Premier League
(see UEFA coefficients full list for more information)
Until 1993, Serie A matches were played at same hour: on Sunday afternoon, at 2:30 or 4:30 (according to sunlight). In 1993–94 season, Lega Calcio made a notable edit: a deferred match, scheduled for Sunday evening at 8:30 (8:45 from 2009–10). This format was changed again in 1999–2000, due to emergence of pay television in Italian football:
- Saturday: two matches, the first at 6 p.m and the second at 8:45;
- Sunday: the most part of a matchday takes part at 3 p.m, while a deferred match is still present.
In 2004, due to presence of 20 teams, is also possible to play in midweek: on Wednesday evening, with some matches on Tuesday and others on Thursday (at 8:45). In 2010, "lunch match" was introduced: a match played on Sunday at 12:30. Finally, in few weeks, matches can be played on Friday or on Monday (in evening hourly).
List of Lega Serie A presidents
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- List of foreign Serie A players
- Italian clubs in European football
- UEFA coefficient
- List of Italian football club owners
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- , 
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