6 Best Serie A Moments In 2018: Cristiano Ronaldo, Napoli & Renaissance

Never let anyone tell you that Italian football is boring and defensive. It’s neither of those things. A look at the best moments of 2018 proves that this is a league full of color and excitement, and what follows is a run-down of the best moments of the year.

1. Kalidou Koulibaly Shocks Juve

It was billed as the title-deciding match as Napoli traveled to Turin in late April, as a win for the visitors would see them close the gap to Juventus to just one point with four games remaining. It would be no easy task, however, as the all-dominant Old Lady had never lost to Napoli at the Allianz Stadium since it opened in September 2011. 

As the match grew closer to its conclusion, the play became ever edgier, neither side wishing to show their hand by pushing forward for the win. Yet in the 89th minute, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly rose up from a corner with a towering header that sent the world of football into sheer shock — for a moment, Napoli seemed on the verge of overthrowing the Turin giants. 

It turned out not to be for the Partenopei, as a defeat to Fiorentina in the next match ended their hopes of stopping Juve from winning a seventh consecutive Scudetto, but this remained a truly dramatic moment in the story of the 2017-18 campaign. 

2. Quagliarella’s Outrageous Strikes

At the age of 35, Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella has been in the form of his life during 2018, scoring a total of 31 goals in the 12-month period of what can only be described a veritable renaissance. Now free from the stalker nightmare that had to remain a secret for a long period of his career, the veteran is firing in the most audacious kind of goals, with backheel strikes and outrageous volleys delighting all those who watch him.

Fabio Quagliarella is like a fine Barolo — just getting better with age.

3. Juve Win Historic Seventh Title

Gonzalo Higuain was Juve’s key man in the title race, his 89th-minute strike away to Inter sealing victory in dramatic fashion just one week after the disappointment versus Napoli.

No team had ever won more than five consecutive Scudetti in the history of Serie A, but Juventus had made it seven in a row by the end of May 2018. Indeed, a look at the cumulative total for Max Allegri’s men during the entirety of the calendar year reveals that they earned 101 points, more than any other side in Europe’s top leagues.

It was not all tears of joy though, as supporters said farewell to legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon at the end of the campaign after 17 years in Bianconero, the stopper moving on to a new challenge at Paris Saint Germain. Fans also said goodbye to club favorite Claudio Marchisio early in the new campaign.

4. Bonucci Celebrates . . . Then Makes A Return

Leonardo Bonucci caused shock waves across world football when he made the switch from Juventus to AC Milan in summer 2017, but the controversy would not die down once 2018 began. On March 31, the defender not only scored versus his former side, but took the opportunity to fully celebrate his goal at his former home thanks to the frosty reception he received.

Just five months later, he returned to Juve with his tail between his legs as he opted to re-sign for the club he so acrimoniously left. 

5. Florence Unites For Davide Astori

The sudden death of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori seems ill-placed in a discussion regarding the best Serie A moments of 2018; however, the response of the city of Florence to the terrible tragedy certainly deserves a mention. Grief-stricken Viola fans packed into Piazza Santa Croce in the center of Florence for Astori’s funeral just days after the terrible event on March 4, creating a scene of purple flares and banners that was shared all over the world. 

Those supporters even applauded Buffon and representatives from the squad of most hated rivals Juventus, such was the event’s transcendence over the normal routine of football. Just one week after the death of the captain, Fiorentina’s players did not crumble, but instead turned out for a home match with Benevento, a game with the most surreal atmosphere ever witnessed inside the Stadio Artemio Franchi and maybe even the world. 

Vitor Hugo – Astori’s replacement in the side – appeared to be lifted up as he jumped to an incredible height to score the only goal of the game, the defender rushing towards the bench to salute a picture of the departed captain that had been held aloft. 

6. Cristiano Ronaldo Comes To Serie A

The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin was announced during the World Cup final, his move from Real Madrid totally unexpected for many. Juventus supporters have reveled in the opportunity to see one of the world’s best players in Serie A, but so have supporters of other teams. 

Tickets for matches at various stadiums around the country have become like gold dust when Juventus are in town, with Empoli press officer Marco Patinostro having revealed that he received over 1,000 inquiries via email once their match with the Bianconeri was announced. The superstar’s arrival can only serve to benefit the league in terms of attracting attention from abroad, a factor that can be seen as a blessing and a curse in equal measure. 

Chloe Beresford specializes in Serie A for a number of outlets and can be found on Twitter and on Facebook via her page CalcioByChloe.

DCU's Chris Durkin Looking For A Chance To Showcase At U-20 World Cup


A year and a half ago, Chris Durkin went with the USA U-17 team to the World Cup in India and appeared in all five games. Durkin had signed with D.C. United in June 2016 but had spent most of his time away from the club, either with the U.S. team or playing games in USL with the Richmond Kickers. It was part of United's plan for the defensive midfielder from the Richmond, Virginia, area. Now, with just a couple of months before this year's U-20 World Cup, Durkin is headed to Spain for the U-20 camp with friendlies against Japan and France.

Curacao All Over The Best XI Of Concacaf Nations League Players In Europe

While many of the players in 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League hail from countries that do not have a professional league or from clubs that still compete in the amateur ranks, there are a select few who compete at the highest level in Europe.

Rooney Opens 2019 Account With Hat Trick, Rodriguez Wows With Stunning Goal

Rooney On RSL Game: 'We Were Clinical'

After Saturday night's romp over Real Salt Lake, D.C. United is off to their best start to a league season in a decade. Seven goals scored and zero goals conceded has yielded seven points against Atlanta United, New York City FC, and RSL — all playoff teams from 2018. Wayne Rooney opened his account for the season from the penalty spot, and then didn't stop shooting — and scoring — until he secured his first MLS hat trick in the 5-0 win. 

Lunch Links: Rodriguez Over Morris, Davies Scores For Bayern Munich

Rooney On RSL Game: 'We Were Clinical'

D.C. United dismantled a pretty decent Real Salt Lake team on Saturday night behind Wayne Rooney's first hat trick since moving stateside. Lots of other stuff happened in the MLS over the weekend, but nothing was better than Lucas "Titi" Rodriguez's volley. I promise you that. 

FC Cincinnati Hands Portland FC A Stunning 3-0 Loss In MLS Home Debut

A beautiful sun-splashed afternoon along with 32,500 fans greeted FC Cincinnati when they stepped out of the locker room and onto the home pitch for the first time as a Major League Soccer club.

'Crazy Inter' Win Thrilling Milan Derby In Dramatic 3-2 Victory After PK

Serie A fans were treated to an enthralling Milan Derby on Sunday, as the unfancied Inter pulled off a frenetic 3-2 victory over cross-city rivals AC Milan. The Nerazzurri had been heavily criticized following an awful performance just three days earlier as they crashed out of the Europa League, and reports were rife that coach Luciano Spalletti was close to losing his job.

Make AC Milan Great Again: The Derby Della Madonnina Stakes Are High

Milan’s path to return to greatness is difficult to navigate. With a Juventus’ dynasty not going away, any misstep can knock them off the track. Elliott Management Corp. has installed a stable upper management team with experience. They now have to decide who are the fundamental piece they can build the future on. Both coaches and players are under scrutiny. 

Ruthless D.C. United Make Man Advantage Count Against Real Salt Lake

Rooney On RSL Game: 'We Were Clinical'

Washington, D.C. — Real Salt Lake ended Saturday night's contest against D.C. United with significantly fewer players than they began the game with. Jefferson Savarino was shown a red card for raking Luciano Acosta's face in the first half, and then Marcelo Silva picked up a second yellow for hauling down Lucas Rodriguez in the second half. That made the night easier for the Black-and-Red, as the hosts ran away with a 5-0 victory thanks to a Wayne Rooney hat trick.

Behind Wayne Rooney's Hat Trick, D.C. United Smash Real Salt Lake 5-0

Washington, D.C. — Wayne Rooney netted his first MLS hat trick on Saturday evening, as D.C. United strolled past nine-man Real Salt Lake 5-0. Wayne Rooney scored three times for his first MLS hat trick and added an assist in the second half for Lucas Rodriguez. In front of 17,190 on a cold night at Audi Field, the Black-and-Red took advantage of two red cards to RSL to grab their second win in three tries to start the 2019 season.

D.C. United Must Continue To Succeed At Defending The Box vs Real Salt Lake

Brillant: Defense Is Confident

Last week, D.C. United went to Yankee Stadium, looking to win for the first time ever on the road against New York City FC. United were confident after their opening day win against Atlanta United and could have taken a first-half lead on two occasions, if not for the stellar play of keeper Sean Johnson. The game ended 0-0, which was probably the fairest result, even if both teams felt like they could have walked away with a win.