It wasn't that long ago (or maybe it was) that Italy's Serie A was perceived by many as the most dominant league in European football. I remember watching games on Canal + and recall the likes of Maradona or Ronaldo lighting up el "Calcio" after their respective spells with FC Barcelona. Arrigo Sacchi was the tactical maestro and that classic AC Milan side with Rijkaard, Gullit, Van Basten and Italian giants such as Baresi, Maldini, Donadoni and Ancelotti and it's possibly one of the finest club sides of all time. Ramón Mendoza, former Madrid president was never more happy than making it onto the cover of the iconic pink La Gazzetta dello Sport and he even went so far as to copy the towers of San Siro when the Bernabeu underwent renovation in the early 90's.
Time has moved on and Serie A is not what it used to be. Tactical nous took over to a point where talented players were sidelined as the game in Italy became akin to games of chess where mercurial talents such as Roberto Baggio would be resigned to the bench in favour of a more defensive approach to the game. Serie A changed completely and although Maradona never returned to Spain, the likes of Ronaldo and Zidane felt that LaLiga was more suited to their more expressive style of football. This all happened at a time when English football was undergoing a face-lift and establishing itself as the key league in overseas markets.
I picked up La Gazzetta dello Sport recently and the headline read: “Tele: Spain lead the way”. The rights for Italian league football have been picked up by Mediapro and there is interest that Javier Tebas is hired as a key figure to drive Serie A forward. A fine article from Gazzetta's Madrid based Filippo Ricci talks about the unlikely alliance that has been formed by Roures (Mediapro) and Tebas with both men holding starkly different political views with the television magnate being a former communist whilst Tebas was a member of extreme right wing political party "Fuerza Nueva" back in the 80's in his native Huesca. Despite different political standpoints, their business acumen together has seen LaLiga reach new heights and their next objective is to the same with Italian football.