Legendary former Inter striker Alessandro Altobelli believes that there is no longer enough focus on the Coppa Italia among top Italian teams due to overall fixture congestion.
Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in yesterday’s print edition, the former striker gave the view that more should be done to elevate the place of the Cup in modern football.
The Coppa Italia remains a prestigious competition in Italy, but teams can struggle to put their full focus on it given the number of other commitments they have which distract them.
Top sides now have 38 Serie A matches which means that they virtually always have a potentially vital clash in the race for the Scudetto, top four, or survival around the corner.
Adding to this is the fact that the top sides tend to be in either the Champions League or the Europa League, meaning that they will have multiple big matches every week.
Altobelli finds this to be a regrettable state of affairs, stating that “There are too many commitments, a congested calendar – there is little space in which to play.”
“And it really kicks off during the cold months which means fewer fans,” he added,. “It’s the wrong time for it.”
He gave the view that “We need to find different dates, and it makes no sense for the top eight of the last season to enter at the round of sixteen.”
“The ideal thing would be head-to-head clashes from August, perhaps on the field of the weaker teams,” he went on. “I am thinking of matches like Catania-Inter or Messina-Juve in direct elimination matches.”
“With the current formula, however, the big teams enter at the second round,” he stated, “what chance do the small sides have?”