As Fiorentina fans we all like to think that our team has a real opportunity to win year in and year out. Each season is a new beginning with the hope that our team will be on top of the table in Serie A. Realistically, just like the NBA we all know who is going to win the championship each year. What is the reason to watch sports though if we do not have any hope?
Recently the CIES Football Observatory put out a list of the transfer value estimates of the most expensive players in the world. Now granted this is an outside company and it is opinion based, but it is important to not that Fiorentina does not have a player on the list at all. This list consists of 110 footballers. Not even Federico Bernardeschi made the list of top transfer values. What does this mean? Well it means that la Viola are not valued as highly as the rest of the teams in the world. If they do not have players that can rank highly in transfer value then the players do rank highly in the big picture of professional football. Note though that 18 of the 110 players on the list do play in Serie A. All of those 18 players come from 5 teams in Italy. Those teams are Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Inter, and Torino. Torino only has Andrea Belotti on the list, but they still at least have one guy. The top three teams in Serie A last season are the leaders on that list. This just goes to show that when your players are valued highly you will win.
If Fiorentina wants to compete with the top clubs in Serie A, they need to get players that have value in the open market. Instead of selling off every prospect that may turn into something good, keep those players. The prime example is Federico Bernardeschi. He is a fan favorite that actually seems to want to play in Florence. There is no reason to get rid of someone like that. He is young and at this point still affordable. This can be the guy that the team builds around as they move into their new stadium. Given the Fiorentina past though, Berna will end up in Inter or somewhere else in Europe. In a few years he will be a distant memory and we all will be excited about a new young prospect coming through the ranks. It is just part of the territory of being a Fiorentina fan. Ideally this will change, but the turnover is high in this organization. Once the team develops a talent they just ship him off for money to use somewhere else.
Enough about Fiorentina, it is also important to take a look at the league as a whole. Serie A is not the league that it used to be. Many of the top players in the world would much rather play in England, Spain, Germany, or even France over Italy. Unless, the team is Juventus it is really tough to get the top players in the world to get excited about playing for an Italian club. That is extremely disappointing because of the great football culture and history in the country. The fact that only 18 players are on the list on 110 speaks volumes. The fact that only 5 teams in the whole league have a player on that list also is alarming. Out of the top 20 players on the transfer value list, 9 of them play in England, 6 play in Spain, 2 play in Germany, 1 plays in France, and 2 play in Italy. Hint they play in Torino for a team that is not named after the city.
Italian football is still part of the top 5 football leagues in the world, but are definitely behind England, Spain, and Germany. Just look at what happens when teams from Serie A play other European teams. The only team that can even think about competing is Juventus. The rest of the league is pushed out early and we barely realize they were in the Champions league or Europa league. This is something as a whole that Italians should be furious about. It is time to start holding our team and league to a higher standard. Of course it is easy to say spend more money when it is not my money, but spend more money. Italian teams should be one of the top destinations for international players around the world. If they are willing to invest in the league and the players Serie A can become a destination again.