Before the 2014-2015 season, what would be considered the top 5 best teams in the world? Most people would say Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, and either Chelsea or PSG.
Now there is a new team people are finally giving more respect: Juventus. Juventus finished losing the Champions League Final and winning the Serie A by 17 points and the Coppa Italia.
The year before they accomplished a similar feat by having the most points by any European team ever in a season, and winning the Serie A by 19 points.
Still why wasn’t Juventus considered a top five team in the world? Experts felt they were not good enough to beat teams consistently in other leagues.
Juventus and other teams in the Serie A have proved they can handle great teams from other leagues. Many Serie A teams have had great wins against top teams in the other leagues such as Florentina beating Tottenham, Napoli beating VFL Wolfsburg twice, and Juventus beat Real Madrid.
However, the greatest success for the Serie A was the success of Juventus in Champions League. Juventus gave up 8 goals in 12 games leading up to the Champions league Final including one goal to Atletico Madrid and zero for Monaco. Buffon proved to all soccer fans that he is still a top keeper by finishing fifth overall in shot per goal ratio and leading Juventus to third best goal per game average in Europe.
With a highly-skilled defense and midfield, Juventus is a difficult team to breakdown and dominate in the midfield. The only teams that has successfully been able to dominate the midfield of Juventus was Barcelona in the Champions League Final and still Juventus was able to control the midfield for most of the second half.
Juventus is definitely not the only tremendous team in the Serie A. Napoli and Lazio proved themselves again and again in the Serie A, and Florentina played extremely well in Europa League also.
Looking at the records from the top five leagues in Europe, Serie A had one of the best records versus other leagues 7-8-7 (wins-losses-ties). However, Serie A is still not the best league in the world.
La Liga and the EPL contain more top class clubs that are able to win more games against top teams from other leagues. However, Serie A is number three with Ligue 1 and Bundesliga at four and five. The Bundesliga was extremely poor this year with subpar seasons from Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich who combined for 39 fewer points than last year. Bayern Munich were able to win several games in Champions League, but Barcelona dominated them in the first leg with an ankle-breaking move from Lionel Messi on Jerome Boateng that led to a magnificent chip-finish from Messi to win 3-0. Borussia Dortmund played significantly worse in the 2014-2015 season from the previous year as they started their Bundesliga term starting in 17th place for two months. Nevertheless, they performed well in the Champions League until losing at home to Juventus 3-0 without Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba for most of the game.
Ligue 1 was better, but they did not prove themselves in the Champions League or the Europa League. On the contrary, PSG did defeat the EPL Champions, Chelsea, with 10 men and no Ibrahimovic. However, Barcelona was able to dictate the game too easily, and they went by PSG in the knockout with no real challenge.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid make La Liga the best league in the world. In the last seven years for Champions league, four of those winners have been from La Liga (Barcelona-3, Real Madrid-1) with one of those years containing two La Liga teams in the finals (Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid- 2014).
The success from Barcelona this year should keep them from falling in the La Liga for a long time. Now, with the success from Valencia and Sevilla, La Liga should earn the privilege to add five teams into Champions League.
Serie A teams struggled against La Liga losing four of their seven contests in Europa and Champions League.
Even so, Serie A proved this year to have talent and the ability to have upsets from lower clubs similar to other leagues.
Looking at the top five teams in the Serie A versus the bottom three teams in the Serie A, the bottom three teams were able to at least get one win on one of the top five teams in Italy with Parma defeating Juventus, Cesena beating Lazio, and Caligiari beating Florentina.
Also, Serie A has numerous talents that have created interest from top class teams in the EPL and La Liga.
After this year, Juventus is beginning to augment new great talent, and Inter Milan and AC Milan are showing more interest to shop for players in the market. The Serie A definitely had a great year, and they will only get better from here.