EThe Italian premier league is drawing to a close, and also the European tournaments are coming to an end. Before the long soccer season ends, leaving alone the supporters that in the long and hot summer days of this 2011 deprived of European and World Championship will have to content themselves with summer matches, the Champions League preliminaries, and the latest news about transfer market, let’s try to take stock of the situation and to see how this soccer season is ending.
A soccer season that has nothing more to tell to Italian supporters as far as European cups are concerned. Out of both Europa and Champions League, the Italian teams cannot but watching the other foreign teams challenging each other to see who will win these prestigious cups. Now in the semifinal phase, the Europa League has already given an answer: the winner of the cup will undoubtedly be an Iberian team. Apart from the Spanish of Villareal, who gained the semifinal after beating the Dutch of Twente, all the other teams that have qualified for the semifinal are Portuguese: form Porto, who eliminated the Spartak Mosca, to Braga, who succeeded in qualify with a 0-0 against Dinamo Kiev, to Benfica, who beat the Dutch of PSV, the Europa League semifinals will speak almost exclusively Portuguese. Waiting for the semifinals, which will be played on the 28th of April and on the 5th of May (Benfica against Sporting Braga on the one hand and Porto against Villareal on the other), and for the final which will take place on the 18th of May, we already know that a Portuguese team will fight to win the cup.
Iberian, but Spanish in this case, are two of Champions League’s semifinalists: the “usual” Real Madrid and Barcelona will challenge each other during one of the two semifinals (the other one will be played by the German team Schalke, which inflicted a sound beating to Inter during the quarter-finals, against Manchester United, another habitue of the competition), scheduled for the 26th – 27th of April and the 3rd -4th of May. To know who will win the most longed-for international cup we will have to wait until the 28th of May, when spotlights will illuminate the Wembley Stadium, which will host the last act of the tournament.
The Italian teams have nothing more to say in the Europena cups, but in Italy they are still busy with the latest matches of the league. As far as the Italian Premier League is concerned, the feeling is that Milan is traveling towards an announced victory, with Naples having 6 scores less and Inter 8 scores less. Moreover, Milan has a more advantageous calendar. And while Milan and Inter are having a foretaste of the Champions League qualification for next year without having to play preliminaries, Juventus is struggling for the Europa League qualification. At the end of the ranking Bari has almost moved down to First Division, while Brescia and Sampdoria are risking a lot. In the First Division Siena and Atalanta are in pole position for the qualification in the Premier League, while Triestina, Frosinone and Portogruaro are in the deep waters of relegation.
In few weeks the curtains will fall on the Premier League, on the First Division and on the European tournaments, making or breaking the protagonists of this season.