For too long Serie A has been something of an afterthought.
Casual fans tend to favour the (Greatest League in the World™) Premier League and La Liga, despite two of the last four Champions League finals featuring an Italian side.
On both occasions that side was Juventus, won have won the last seven Serie A titles. That explains the tendency to discount Serie A as a foregone conclusion.
Cristiano Ronaldo pitching up in Turin, fresh off the back of a 54-goal season and a medical in which he displayed the physical capabilities of a 20-year-old, hasn’t done much to dispel any lack of enthusiasm.
But let’s not forget that Juventus were trailing Napoli until week 27 of last season, or that Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi and Lazio’s Ciro Immobile scored 29 league goals apiece.
This season the stars have aligned to serve up more plot lines than a week in Albert Square.
Cristiano Ronaldo aiming to make history
Andriy Shevchenko, David Trezeguet, Christian Vieri, Francesco Totti, Alessandro Del Piero, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
All heavyweight strikers who’ve won Serie A’s Capocannoniere award for the top goalscorer in the division down the last 20 years.
If Ronaldo achieves the feat in his first season at Juventus he’ll become the first Portuguese player in Serie A history to do so.
Another record. Just what he needs.
Leonardo Bonucci marking Gonazlo Higuain
Don’t adjust your TV sets.
Bonucci has called an end to his Milan adventure and returns to Juventus just one year after leaving the club.
His toughest task may well be marking Higuain, who went to Milan as part of the deal and relishes the chance to show former employers what they are missing.
Higuain scored the winner against Napoli back in December and netted no fewer than four goals against them the previous season.
Prepare the Spiderman memes for when the two players meet.
Inter Milan’s magic spine
Inter appear to be stumbling out of their haze.
Luciano Spalletti has built upon last season’s Champions League qualification with some smart work in the transfer window.
A spine of Samir Handanovic, Milan Skriniar, Miranda, Radja Nainggolan, Lautaro Martinez and Mauro Icardi is one of the strongest in the league.
Throw in Stefan de Vrij, Kwadwo Asamoah, Marcelo Brozovic, Matteo Politano, Ivan Perisic and Sime Vrsaljko and Inter begin to look very strong.
A Luka Modric shaped cherry would make for a delicious looking cake.
In these murky transfer waters where you can accidentally end up paying £50million for Richarlison it’s important to be guided by a steady hand.
They don’t come much steadier than Monchi, Roma’s director of football with a better eye for a bargain than David Dickinson.
Roma have signed Javier Pastore, Justin Kluivert and Football Manager legend Ante Coric on the cheap, as well as snapping up midfielder Bryan Cristante from Atalanta and Ivan Marcano on a free transfer from Porto.
The arrivals have been offset by the sales of Alisson to Liverpool and Nainggolan to Inter meaning Roma should come out of the window in the black.
Forget the mishap with Malcom’s hijacked transfer, Monchi means business.
Carlo Ancelotti’s winning ways
Napoli mounted the strongest challenge on Juventus’ reign of terror at the top of Serie A but still fell short last season.
Ancelotti has replaced Maurizio Sarri with the aim of going one further, something he has serious history with.
At his last five clubs- Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, PSG, Chelsea and Milan- Ancelotti has won at least one league tile, as well as winning the Champions League on three different occasions.
He’s got less of a finished article to work with in Naples but those eyebrows are never far away when league titles are at stake.
Return of Parma
Parma are back in Serie A after three straight promotions from Serie D.
Re-branded as Parma Calcio 1913, the club will start the season with a five point deficit because of texts to striker Emanuele Calaio from Spezia players last season which hinted at ‘reduced effort’.
It’s never straightforward at Parma.
They might technically be a new club, but the kits are as beautiful as ever.