Inter is the Italian revival
Italy has the most clubs participating in the Champions League quarterfinals, with Napoli and Inter leading the charge.
The surprise of the 16 rounds of all three European competitions was the Italian teams, indicating the country's return to prominence in continental competitions. Inter, Napoli, and AC Milan won their Champions League matches and will be playing in the quarterfinals. They represent the country with the most clubs, with three. England, Portugal, Spain and Germany each have one. This is not the first time it has happened. Three Italian clubs reached the quarterfinals in 2005, 2006 and 2005, respectively, but it has been a long wait. In the 2002-03 season AC Milan, Inter and Juventus all reached semifinals. The Derby della Madonnina reached the semifinals that year, with the Rossoneri taking home the trophy against Juventus in Manchester.
The three major players in Italian soccer regrouped in 2006 and 2005, but the Bianconeri were eliminated in the Champions League group stage. Luciano Spalletti's Napoli reached the quarterfinals for only the second time in their history. This is an incredible result and a testament to how well the team is performing. They have a 18 point advantage in the Serie A table, and are very close to winning their first Scudetto title since 1983.
AS Roma and Juventus were also able win against Freiburg, Real Sociedad and Real Sociedad in the round 16 of the UEFA Europa League. Fiorentina won the same against Sivasspor, and will now play in the quarterfinals in the UEFA Conference League. Lazio was the only club to fail in the European competitions, losing to AZ Alkmaar.
First, there are some important players who are shining this year like Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, one of Europe's best talents. The Georgian player has already scored 13 goals in 29 games, and provided 15 assists to his teammates. His impact on the maximum European competition is incredible. He was integral in all of his games, including the two legs against Eintracht Frankfurt (5-0 aggregate).
Kvaratskhelia has demonstrated confidence in his ability to score from headers, take on defenders one-on-one with his dynamic pace, and take shots from outside or within the box. All of this combined with his early returns suggests he's on track to be one of the top players around. It won't surprise if top European clubs knock on Napoli next summer along with other team stars like defender Kim Min Jae and Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen.
Some key clashes were won by the Italian teams in the group stage. Inter won against FC Barcelona at home and was able to draw away at Camp Nou in one of the most memorable games of the competition. The win by Inter put the Italian club in a good position to advance, as Barca were eliminated. The failures of the Italian teams in such games were the main highlight of previous seasons. However, this season, things have changed significantly thanks to a favorable draw for the three Champions League clubs.
Finally, Serie A has become more competitive. The competition has improved over the past few years. This is not only for the players who are active every week but also for the quality and quantity of the soccer played. Inter and AC Milan were also part of a remarkable run that saw the Rossoneri win their first Scudetto in 11 years, just like their city rivals under Antonio Conte. These historic sides needed these wins to get back on track in Europe after some disappointing years. They are more confident and have the ability to play at the highest level than they have been lately. Napoli are another story. They're living a dream and nobody wants them to wake up.sport