“The Serie A Should Be Reduced, The Workload Is No Longer Sustainable For The Players”

Written By Onyeka Daniel

Most recently, there has been an ongoing debate on whether to reduce the number of teams currently playing in the Italian Serie A and as it is well known, Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan are at the forefront of those in favor, while Lazio president, Claudio Lotito is on the opposite side, alongside the other teams, with a couple of teams remaining neutral.

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Expectedly, Inter president Beppe Marotta, touched on the subject in a recent interview with Radio Anch’io Sport, where he also talked about other topics, including Italy’s Euro 2024 adventure, Oaktree’s strategy, the contract talks with Simone Inzaghi and more. The Nerazzurri were dominant on their way to winning the 20th Scudetto this season under the guidance of Inzaghi, who has transformed the team into a dominant outfit.


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Despite their disappointing Champions League exit, it was a positive campaign for the club, who are now entering a new era. Steven Zhang and Suning have left, being replaced by US fund Oaktree, who are looking to move the project forward under the Italian coach. Inter are planning a sustainable summer transfer window ahead of the 2024-25 campaign, which’ll see them take part in the revamped Club World Cup.

In the lengthy interview, Marotta first discussed Italy’s 2-1 win over Albania in their opening Euro 2024 game. “I went as a fan and as a director of Italian football and I was impressed by the atmosphere, the enthusiasm of the guys and the coach. I’m very optimistic for the future. “We’re reigning champions and, as such, we are in the sights of our opponents. But it’s clear that this is a squad with human and technical foundations of great depth.”

He was asked about next year’s revamped Club World Cup. “The information we have isn’t very concrete. It’s clear that this Club World Cup, a source of pride for us and an important showcase at world level, represents a further overloading of the schedule, a serious problem in our football that’ll become even tougher next season. “There’ll be more matches with the new Champions League format, to win the cup you may play as many as 17 matches, including the playoffs.

“The schedule is getting more and more compressed, it should be reviewed, and Serie A should be reduced to 18 teams. We must protect the work of our guys, the current workloads are no longer sustainable. The risk of injury is very high, and it also risks compromising the spectacle. “To make it clear, in the 2022-23 season, Barella played 52 matches from mid-August to the beginning of June. In addition, too much supply can generate a negative effect, football could lose its attractiveness.”

Marotta gave his thoughts on the quality of the Italy squad, considering the relative lack of a standout star. “I think we have the right average age. As Buffon said, this is a team that’ll give us great satisfaction in a couple of years when they reach their peak maturity. “The foundations are being laid so that this group can continue, with occasional additions, and can give us a lot of satisfaction.” He spoke highly about Inter’s Davide Frattesi, who is part of that Azzurri squad.

“Frattesi is another very good element, he’s a very modern player. He makes his competitive strength a feather in his cap, but he can adapt well tactically. Football is always looking for eclectic players. It’s the task of us directors to look for and find players who have these characteristics.” Marotta discussed the increasing emergence of Saudi Arabian money in football and Oaktree’s mindset in charge of Inter.

“Sport represents a great relevant heritage of our Italy, which must be protected. We’re no longer the Eldorado of football as we were in the early 1990s, today we represent transitional football. Our players are often attracted by big salaries, and it becomes difficult to keep them. “Our ability should be to worthily replace them and not to create barriers by buying players recklessly. Of the 20 Serie A owners today, 10 are foreign, this means that our patronage model of the 60s and 70s is no more.

“We must take note of this, and indeed it’s a good thing that foreign capital is arriving, otherwise our football would be uncompetitive and at risk of default. “From this point of view, it’s clear that these investors, as in the case of Oaktree, manifest a desire to always maintain consistency and stability in their management, but with transparency and great economic-financial rigidity.

“That seems fair to me. No to crazy spending, yes to increasing value of young players, this is the motto that must distinguish us.” Marotta weighed in on the debate surrounding agent fees and commissions.“Absolutely, last season we almost reached a billion in commissions, a billion that goes outside the system and therefore does not provide for further investment. “I understand that this profession has to exist, but we often see unclear situations. The actions of these professionals who are now part of our movement must be regulated.”

He was asked about the idea of seeing Inzaghi take over at the Italy job one day. “Inzaghi is very young and still has time to gain experience. This year he has made a remarkable leap forward, he’s a modern coach who combines professional and human qualities. Obviously, there is a lot of pressure on him, he is the technical manager of a worldwide club and as such he is expected to achieve certain results.

“I’m very happy and optimistic for his future, the hope is that he can stay with us for many years.” Marotta also spoke about Antonio Conte’s move to Napoli. “I hope that our league will be more and more attractive, when there are more teams competing for the Scudetto, coached by winning coaches. The hope is that we can enjoy it. Then it’s obvious that the hope is to see us become champions of Italy once again.”

He provided an update on Inter’s new stadium project. “The problem of stadiums in Italy is truly remarkable and heartfelt. Today we have great difficulties, because there is a bureaucratic slowness of authorizations that then leads to an almost flight of potential investors. “We have stadiums that are almost 70 years old on average. The hope is that a definitive location can be found, we’re working on it.

“We have identified the Rozzano area, where the club have extended the exclusive contract with the company that owns the land until 2025.“Then there is this proposal from the mayor to deliver a project for the redevelopment of the San Siro stadium. We’ll see, but right now it’s a bit early to say.” Marotta confirmed that Lautaro Martinez’s new contract is almost fully finalised.

“Virtually he has already signed it. We have to collect his signature and, as he is busy with his national team, it’s only a matter of a few days but there are no problems. We consider Lautaro’s renewal already secured.” Finally, Marotta discussed Inter’s ambitions for the new season. “We must not set ourselves limits. We are Inter, we represent a historic club. We take great pride in our second Scudetto star, the goal to pursue is to always be competitive.” He further added.


The Nerazzurri, alongside Juventus, and Torino are keen to sign teenager Sampdoria defender Giovanni Leoni this summer, according to a report from Corriere dello Sport, and the player is expected to cost at least €5 million. Teenage defender Leoni spent last season on loan at Sampdoria.

The 17-year-old was at the Marassi on loan from Padova, and despite his young age, Leoni carved out a place for himself at the heart of the Ligurian side’s defense. Sampdoria had a purchase option to sign Leoni from Padova for €1.5 million. And there was never any question that they would exercise this.

Even if the Blucerchiati do not keep hold of the teenager, they can certainly sell him for a profit. The report has it that Sampdoria should easily be able to sell Leoni for a fee triple what they paid by triggering the purchase option to make his loan deal from Padova a permanent spell.

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Now, the question is whether Sampdoria will keep hold of Leoni for another season as they take another run at promotion back to Serie A after remaining in the second division last season.And the Corriere note that there are big clubs from the top flight keen on Leoni.

The Nerazzurri reportedly had scouts watching Leoni during a Serie B match between Sampdoria and Ternana in April.Should Leoni get a move to a big club in Serie A this summer, it is not certain whether he would then go out on loan.

Leoni made a total of twelve appearances in Serie B last season for Sampdoria. These totalled 766 minutes on the pitch.The teenager defender even scored one goal for Andrea Pirlo’s team.

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