At long last, Serie A is back. January 4 sees the Italian top flight play its traditional New Year fixture, with all sides in action through the course of the day.
On Monday evening, a huge bombshell dropped from Turin. Juventus announced that club President Andrea Agnelli, Vice President Pavel Nedved and the entire board of directors were stepping down.
In 1934, Italy won the World Cup, even though it was the first time they had entered the tournament. Angelo Schiavo finished as second-top scorer with four goals, and remains Bologna’s all-time top scorer with 252 in 361 appearances.
As the World Cup begins in Qatar, one major nation is conspicuous by its absence.
Since winning the tournament in 2006, Italy has failed to qualify for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, and failed to get out of the Group Stage of the competition in 2010 and 2014.
That’s all while winning Euro 2020 under boss Roberto Mancini last summer too.
Yet while the Azzurri will undoubtedly be missed, there are plenty of links to the Bel Paese to look out for this winter.
After 15 games, Serie A will now take a break for the World Cup until the beginning of 2023.
But with less than half of the season played, how’s it looking at the top?
Napoli has proven to be unstoppable up until now, their 3-2 win over a Udinese side that has enjoyed some success themselves this season a keen indicator that they were determined to reach the break with a win.
Napoli traveled to Bergamo to face an Atalanta side that had only lost once this season, with boss Luciano Spalletti all too aware of the threat they posed.
Diego Maradona may have passed away almost two years ago, but in Naples, he most certainly lives on. This season, Napoli are the hot favorites to take the Serie A title, having drawn five points clear at the top with only 12 games played.