I’m sure you’ve noticed how the various European leagues are panning out this season – its all been very exciting; we’ve seen Manchester City, Real Madrid, Montpellier, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus carrying big pots around their home towns. You may not have noticed the teams parading around with slightly smaller pots. England’s Reading, Spain’s will be either Deportivo la Coruna or Celta Vigo, France’s Bastia, Germany’s Greuther Fürth and Italy’s Pescara or Torino.
Something may jump out at you there. Not just the fact that the two great Galician rivals are fighting out in the Liga Adelante (though they are, and obviously, good luck Depor), but Italy. Once again, I will take you for a brief trip to Italy. If Torino beat bottom of the table AlbinoLeffe at the weekend; or if Pescara fail to beat Nocerina (there’s a two point gap in favour of the Granata), Torino will be champions of Serie B.
Of course, the city of Turin is home to both Juventus and Turin. Italy could be looking at having two champion teams in just one city for Season 2011/12. I thought to myself that that may well be a rare proposition. I did not realise how rare the eventuality is. Looking back through the history of Europe’s top two divisions, I can see only the following examples of such singular city domination.
1934/35 – Arsenal & Brentford – LONDON (Grounds are 20.8 miles apart) 1988/89 – Arsenal & Chelsea – LONDON (Grounds are 9.3 miles apart)
1959/60 – Juventus & Torino – TURIN (Shared a ground – 0 miles apart)
Three times. Three times in the history of five different leagues – especially considering that London has so MANY teams, and there’s English cities with a fair few Football League clubs. Cheer Torino on, then, as I will be at the weekend. They’re not just trying to make their own history, they’re trying to make European history.
(If they do manage it; and here’s hoping, the new Juventus Stadium is 6.01 miles from the Stadio Olimpico)