'Serie A has become the Serie B of Europe' - How Italian football descended into disarray

When Angel Di Maria's Juventus move was first mooted in June, Gigi Buffon argued that the Argentine's arrival would not only be a massive boost for the Bianconeri, but also Italian football. "For Serie A," the goalkeeping icon told Gazzetta dello Sport, "Di Maria is like [signing] Maradona."

It was meant as a massive compliment to the enduring excellence of a player that Buffon has long admired.

In reality, though, it was a shocking illustration of how far Serie A has fallen since the golden age of Maradona, Marco van Basten and Lothar Matthäus. An Italian team hasn't won the Champions League since 2010, while the Azzurri have failed to qualify for a second consecutive World Cup, making the Euro 2020 triumph look like a glorious anomaly.

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