Over the past few seasons, it's clear that Italian clubs have not performed particularly well in the UEFA Champions League and in the Europa League—even though Inter Milan is the current holder of the Champions League trophy.
This is a contrast to the 1990's, when Italian clubs were dominant in the competitions.
The top clubs do not hold such a huge advantage over the rest of the pack.
Examples of that can be draw to draws Wednesday by Inter, with recently promoted Lecce, and a draw between Juventus and Brescia, which also spent last season in Italy’s Serie B.
Many in Italy say that the bottom sides are tougher to beat than in other leagues, as they resort to zone defenses which make it more difficult to operate.
But while many look at answers from the Italian game back in the peninsula, Italians are making a huge impact away from their homeland.
Italians have clearly made a statement that they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the nation producing the most quality coaches.
Fabio Capello, one of the greatest managers of all time, leads England’s National Team. Capello has turned around the national side, and probably would have fared much better in the World Cup had his side faced anyone but Germany, which like typical Capello sides, are very well organized.
Giovanni Trapattoni, another who has earned legendary status, leads Ireland’s National Team. Had it not been for the hand ball by Thierry Henry that resulted in a goal for France, he might have led the Irish to the 2010 World Cup.
Carlo Ancelotti has made Chelsea the top side in England’s Premier League the past two seasons and is a strong contender to take Inter’s Champions League trophy this year. Roberto Mancini is developing Manchester City into one of England’s elite sides.
Alberto Zaccheroni recently took over Japan’s National Team and promptly earned a victory over Argentina in his debut.
And now there is Carolina Morace.
Morace is one of the greatest women’s soccer players of all-time, scoring 105 goals for her country on the international level.
Morace briefly coached a third-division men’s side in Italy in 1999, but resigned due to media pressure after just two matches. Since then she has coached Italy’s Women’s National Team and has shown to be a very credible analyst on Italian television.
Last year she took charge of Canada’s National Team and promptly led the Canadians to the CONCACAF region title and a spot in the 2011 Women’s World Cup.
Her side defeated Mexico twice on Mexican soil, while the United States fell 2-1 to Mexico, and will have to face Morace’s native country in a two-legged playoff with the winner going through to the World Cup in Germany.
If the U.S. fails to make it through to the World Cup or qualifies and yet plays poorly in Germany, Morace might be a name the U.S. Soccer Federation may want to consider down the road as Swedish coach Pia Sundhage could be shown the door.
If Italians aren’t getting it right on the pitch, it appears that they are doing just fine operating from the sidelines.
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