Star-studded la Liga leaves Serie A sulking
Do you ever get the feeling that the good times have gone and that they aren't coming back anytime soon?
Well, watching Ricky KakaÃ¢ÂÂs unveiling at the Santiago Bernabeu reinforced the thought that while La Liga is the new Hollywood, Italian football has become decidedly B-list.
They say that no man is bigger than a club, or a league for that matter.
But watching the Brazilian shine brightly in front of the adoring thousands in Madrid, this side of the Med the feeling is that of a spurned lover.
Kaka laps up his new lovers' adulation
Amid all the hysteria in Spain Ã¢ÂÂ they even courted the Brazilian with Giacomo PucciniÃ¢ÂÂs Nessun dorma Ã¢ÂÂ there seems little that can be done to incite another beauty to fancy Serie A.
Last summer, Jose Mourinho wooed everyone when he strolled into his first Inter Milan press conference and started nattering away in Italian.
While Ronaldinho drew 45,000 to the San Siro as AC Milan finally got their man Ã¢ÂÂ probably two or three years too late.
David Beckham injected a bit of glamour and razzmatazz to banish some of the January blues, but ended up relatively unmolested by one and all.
And now, when traditionally the transfer market should spark into life, there is little to make the heart race that bit quicker or at least persuade fans that they should be first in the queue for a season ticket.
RonaldinhoÃ¢ÂÂs arrival saw MilanÃ¢ÂÂs season-ticket sales leap from a relatively benign 28,000 to something in the region of 45,000.
It's doubtful that the names of Edin Dzeko, Emmanuel Adebayor or Luis Fabiano are going to create anything more than a ripple of mild interest.
Silvio Berlusconi has already revealed that, after going through the clubÃ¢ÂÂs budget sheet, he is not a happy man.
So there may be further bad news for the Rossoneri faithful by the end of the month when Alexandre Pato poses alongside former Milan alumnus Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge.
Champions Inter have been equally low key, concerned more about those seemingly desperate to leave rather than those knocking on the door to arrive.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has priced himself out of the market and will have to make do with achieving the respect he craves throughout Europe by turning it on for the Nerazzurri, while Maicon has been told to shut up and sign up.
Tuttosport summed up the tired feel perfectly with their half-page headline claiming Xabi Alonso was back on Juventus' radar Ã¢ÂÂ again too late, one feels.
AS Roma are the first club back in pre-season training, and the Romans donÃ¢ÂÂt have two shiny cents to rub together to motivate even a pauper to come to the Eternal City.
Such is the uncertainly surrounding whether the Sensi family will relinquish their majority holding that talks concerning Francesco TottiÃ¢ÂÂs contract extension have even been put on hold indefinitely.
"So... about that contract"
And just when you thought things couldnÃ¢ÂÂt get any more dire, who raises his ugly mug once again?
Yes, the Lord of Darkness himself, Luciano Moggi, is back.
Banned from the game for five years but still apparently spinning his web in the shadows, any conspiracy theorists wondering how Bologna somehow beat the drop are in for a field day.
Ã¢ÂÂOld LuckyÃ¢ÂÂ has been chumming it up with Bologna owner Renzo Meriarini and along the way has certainly not lost any of his brashness, claiming: Ã¢ÂÂI was helping him out finding new capital. It was just a bit of free consultancy work.Ã¢ÂÂ
That must have sent a shudder down the spines of all Bologna fans, who believe that it was Moggi and his corrupting system that helped condemn their team to relegation last time round.
In these dog days of summer, we may have lost a glittering star, and we will live with that, but the last thing Italian football needs is a bad stain reappearing.
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