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The strange autarchy of Serie A The foreigner does not pass on the bench

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The strange autarchy of Serie A The foreigner does not pass on the bench

Only 38% of Italian players go to the field, but the trend is reversed among the coaches: only three coaches are imported (Juric, Mihajlovic and Mourinho)


Esterophiles to excess in the field, very autarchic on the bench. It is the paradox of Serie A which uses players from abroad in abundance, placing itself in second place behind the Premier League among the main European leagues. But he becomes extremely protectionist with the coaches. At the start of the 2022-23 tournament there will be just three non-Italian helmsmen: Ivan Juric, Sinisa Mihajlovic and José Mourinho. The minimum in continental summit movements. They are double in Liga and Bundesliga, seven in Ligue 1. Even 12 in England.

The percentage of foreign players in Serie A equal to 62% drops to 15% among coaches. It is an established trend. In the last ten years at most there have been four foreign technicians on the 1st day, never more. The positive version of this phenomenon is that Italian coaches represent a prestigious school, among the best in the world. This is confirmed by the latest edition of the Champions League won by Ancelotti with Real Madrid. And a big Premier, like Tottenham, called Conte to recover last year. The downside is that in this way the Italian league does not absorb the innovations of the various international football cultures, while it has no fear of compressing the space available to Italian footballers by relying without hesitation on hundreds of grafts from abroad, often of low quality.

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The currently most competitive championship in the world, on the other hand, easily fishes numerous masters across the Channel, from Holland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, United States, Portugal, France, Denmark. This mixture also contributes to improving the level of the Premier League. The same French tournament, which expresses the world champion national team, opens up to coaches coming from across the border. The Bundesliga also calls American coaches, such as Pellegrino Matarazzo in Stuttgart, of Italian origins.

In Italy, the school born between Austria and Germany is completely absent, with branches in Switzerland, which has the Red Bull galaxy between Leipzig and Salzburg as its polar star. The reference point is Ralf Rangnick who was about to arrive in Italy in 2020 at Milan. Then the club preferred to continue with Pioli, a choice rewarded with the return to the Champions League and the Scudetto. But in the days of July two years ago, following that decision, Ivan Gazidis stressed that Serie A must take a step to de-provincialize. He shouldn’t be afraid to open up to foreign coaches and managers. We need grafts from abroad at every level of the organizational charts because this represents a useful wealth for growth.

The recent roll of honor of the Champions League is also clear. In the last decade, only three coaches have been prophets at home: Luis Enrique with Barcelona 2014-15, Heynckes and Flick with Bayern Munich 2012-13 and 2019-20. So it only happened with the two most territorially rooted European top-tier clubs. Something similar happened in Italy too. The last two Uefa trophies have been raised by Mourinho: the 2010 Champions League with Inter and the May Conference League with Roma. –

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