Cristiano Ronaldo may have been brought in to fire Juventus to Champions League glory, but in terms of domestic success he was excellent as he scored 21 goals on the way to the Turin side’s eighth consecutive title, and in doing so become the first player ever to win Serie A, La Liga, and the Premier League. Massimiliano Allegri’s charges cruised to the championship by eleven points after Napoli’s challenge derailed. The best stories of the season belonged to Atalanta, who qualified for the Champions League for the first time, and Fabio Quagliarella, who, at 36, won the Capocannoniere award for top scorer.
Juventus parted with over €100m in order to acquire Ronaldo from Real Madrid, and as well as CR7 they made the permanent signings of Douglas Costa, Joao Cancelo, and Leonardo Bonucci, who returned to the club after just one season at Milan, with Gonzalo Higuain going in the other direction on loan. The Rossoneri spent big again on the likes of Mattia Caldara, Krzysztof Piatek, Lucas Paqueta, and Samu Castillejo. In the same city, Inter brought in Radja Nainggolan and Lautaro Martinez. Roma’s famed Director of Football, Monchi, splurged cash on Steven Nzonzi, Javier Pastore, Justin Kluivert, and Patrick Schick. Napoli’s biggest coup of the summer was bringing in Carlo Ancelotti as head coach, while Fabian Ruiz proved to be an astute signing from Betis.
It took Ronaldo a little while to get going in Serie A, as he didn’t find the back of the net until his fourth fixture when he scored a double against Sassuolo in a 2-1 win. By then, he, and Juventus, were truly up and running.
The Old Lady may have not been particularly swashbuckling on occasions in the season, but their championship know-how was in evidence. They were relentless in their pursuit of points and wins and they would not suffer their first defeat of the campaign until the middle of March when, without Ronaldo, they were defeated 2-0 by Genoa.
Juve would lose three more times in the season, but two of the losses came after they were already crowned champions. Their run of victories included key wins against championship challengers including doubles against Napoli and Milan, and only dropped points versus Inter and Roma after the title was secured.
For the Parnetopei, their key fixture came at the start of March when they were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Juve at the San Paolo, with Miralem Pjanic and Emre Can on target.
Outside Juventus’ dominance, the most impressive team was Atalanta, who lit up the league with their fluent attacking play, their forwards Duvan Zapata, Alejandro Gomez and Josip Ilicic combining to terrorise Serie A defences.
It took them until the final day of the season, but they eventually secured Champions League football for the first time ever with a 3-1 home win against Sassuolo, with Zapata, Gomez, and Mario Pasalic getting the goals.
For Fiorentina and Genoa, after completely dismal campaigns, they went into the final fixture of the season hoping to survive. Fiorentina and Genoa played each other, and in fitting fashion they played out a dull 0-0. But thanks to Inter, and a late Nainggolan goal against Empoli, they survived at the expense of The Blues.
The eighth scudetto must be celebrated, we have won it five games from the end of the season and this says it all about what we did.Massimiliano Allegri
Both Milan outfits had a season of ups and downs. On occasion, they would look excellent, with Piatek and Paqueta looking promising for the future for Milan in particular.
For Inter, their campaign could be summed up by captain Mauro Icardi refusing to play in a Europa League fixture after being stripped of the captaincy following comments made by his wife criticising the team.
Roma, despite spending big in the summer, were poor and sacked Eusebio Di Francesco, replacing him with Claudio Ranieri, who has just been fired by Fulham.
At the end of the campaign, there was an unprecedented exodus of coaches of top clubs. Allegri exited Juventus, Ranieri left Roma, Luciano Spalletti was gone from Inter, and Rino Gattuso walked away from Milan.
Down at the bottom of the table, Empoli were joined by Frosinone and Chievo in being relegated.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
MANAGER OF THE SEASON
GIAN PIERO GASPERINI
Led Atalanta to the Champions League for the first time, and in style, too.
FABIO QUAGLIARELLA- 26 GOALS
TEAM OF THE SEASON
GOAL OF THE SEASON
FABIO QUAGLIARELLA enhanced his reputation not just as a great goalscorer but a scorer of great goals as he delicately flicks a cross into the far corner in mid air.
MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFER
Real Madrid to Juventus
KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON
Mario Pasalic scored the goal which secured Atalanta’s first adventure into the Champions League.