Florence has long reigned as one of Italy’s greatest cities. A city of culture, art and wonder. A city with one of the most historic and eldest Italian universities. Florence is a real treasure of Italy.
Fiorentina is a real treasure of the city itself. One of Italy’s most famous clubs has been the place for many great players to showcase their ability, Gabriel Batistuta and Robert Baggio to name two.
They have had both a glorious and dark history, best shown between 2001 and 2002; in 2001 the club won the Coppa Italia for its sixth time to only go into administration a year later.
Thankfully, the club rose again and now in the 2015/2016 season (despite losing to Napoli on the weekend just gone) Fiorentina currently sits top of Serie A, hopefully they can stay there.
Fundamentally, it would be good for football and Italian football in particular for Fiorentina to reign victorious this season. No club, outside the cities of Turin, Milan and Rome have won Italy’s top footballing prize since Sampdoria won their first Serie A title in the 1990-1991 season.
The three cities have in the main dominated Italian football. Fiorentina, quite simply need to establish themselves among these Italian footballing heavyweights. A title win could be the catalyst for this. They certainly would get the support for it. An easy comparison is that of Atletico Madrid. The season before last, the red and white half of Madrid won the La Liga title against all the odds.
They even came close to winning the Champions League only to be denied by a last minute Sergio Ramos goal of which acted as the spring board for their arch-rivals Real Madrid to claim their tenth Champions League. In that season many people across Europe supported Atletico Madrid in their pursuit of claiming numerous trophies.
Diego Simeone’s side became everyone’s second team. People reading this article will believe that popular support for teams like Atletico Madrid is because we naturally support the ‘underdog’.
However, simply giving teams like Altetico Madrid that status doesn’t do them justice. In Altetico’s challenge to the Spanish footballing dictators in the form of Barcelona and Real Madrid they are not just underdogs having a one off good game against better teams.
They are something greater than that. They are in fact making a real dent to the norm and a sustained challenge, not a one off attack to the established footballing supremacy in Spain, which is why they managed to draw so much support from across the continent.
Fiorentina could easily do the same if they manage to build a title challenge this season or, even better go and win the top division in Italian football. Additionally, Altetico are now carving out an empire themselves and look set to become Champions League regulars for years to come and are very much in the running for trophies this season.
This is a consequence of that one season where they reigned victorious domestically as well as having a fantastic European campaign. The example is there for Fiorentina to follow.
No doubt Fiorentina fans would happy with simply finishing in top three in Serie A and therefore bringing Champions League football back to Florence. Nevertheless, It would be brilliant for Fiorentina to mount a title challenge this season (well maybe not so brilliant for fans of other Italian teams) as it would be refreshing for many fans and avid watchers of Italian football to see a different team, especially one with such a great footballing history lift the famous Italian trophy.
The real question is, ‘Are Fiorentina good enough to win the Serie A?’ Simply put, ‘no’ but that still might not hold them back from their third Serie A title. This could be more down to the dynamics of the league itself than the ability of La Viola.
Fiorentina might not have a star studded team or even enough ability to win the league in most seasons gone by, yet this season could be theirs because of the power vacuum that has opened up at the top of Serie A.
From early signs the Serie A title could be anyone’s due to state of Italy’s three most successful clubs: Juventus do not look the same team after their sales in the summer and lack the energy, buzz and general ability they had last season, Milan still seem to have deep issues at the heart of the club which even their huge summer spending doesn’t seem to have fixed, while Inter though starting the season brilliantly are now starting to stutter as they have had a dip both in performance and form.
On the other hand, the pack who historically are chasing the big three are doing relatively well; Roma, Lazio and Napoli have all won four out of their last six games and along with Fiorentina are the form teams in the Italy’s top division. It seems that this season the fight for the crown is an open one. Yet one must stress that the day is still young, these are just early signs.
We are eight games into the Serie A season, much could and will probably change. As a general fan of Italian football however it would nice, refreshing and pleasing to see the purple warriors from Florence reign supreme next May.