The article is divided by league's; Serie A, Serie B, Serie C - all three of which are playable in FM21.
First let's start off with Italy's top flight - Serie A where last season Juventus won yet another title;
SERIE A (Tier 1)
Juventus (Last Season: 1st - Won Serie A)Despite being consistent Serie A champions, Juventus’ biggest quest is the long-awaited Champions League trophy. Having one of the worst final’s records in the competition, appearing nine times but only winning twice and their last success in 1996, the top European trophy is long overdue. Five finals since their last success, time to give the old lady their third ever Champions League trophy. Still, if they did win it they are far behind AC Milan who have the most of any Italian club with 7 and Internazionale who have 3.
Lazio (Last Season: 4th)The run in Serie A for the 2019/2020 season made many in the capital whisper about a potential challenge for the Scudetto. Despite having the top scorer in Ciro Immobile, Lazio ended up 4th, tied with Atalanta in 3rd on points and only five points behind champions Juventus. With a first group stage appearance in the Champions League since 2007/2008, and a close run to add only their 3rd ever Scudetto, the last one coming in 1999/2000 – Lazio look to be on the up and make a more permanent stamp in being one of Italy’s elite. Hopefully this good form next year can translate to decent form in Europe.
A.C. Milan (Last Season: 6th)Typically labeled as a “Sleeping Giant” from their glory days, Milan is in a need of re-establishing themselves as one of the elite. Gaining a 6th place finish – mostly thanks to a poor Napoli showing who finished 7th this past season - and into the Europa League qualifying rounds, Milan has a lot of work ahead of them to compete with the teams around them and get back to consistently competing for league titles and the Champions League where they claim they belong.
Fiorentina (Last Season: 10th)One match they will blow you away, the next Fiorentina shock with how terrible they can be. At the beginning of last season the club came under new owner’s and Montella was sacked as they were hovering around the relegation zone. Finishing in 10th with a squad hosting some decent talent such as Federico Chiesa, Fiorentina’s aims should at least be looking into the European places with their last taking place in the 2016/2017 Europa League campaign where it looked in seasons previously, they could establish themselves as a regular European side.
Parma (Last Season: 11th)Seemingly impossible, Parma are back from the brink of permanent death. They were re-founded in Serie D as recently as 2015/2016 and after three straight promotions, they were back in Serie A for the 2018/2019 season barely surviving relegation. Now with a more solid finish in 11th, the worst days of Parma’s troubles seem to be far behind – however their history suggests anything but. Becoming a more solid side and bringing back the glory days at the turn of the century seems like a reasonable challenge to make Parma into a more permanent top Italian side.
Torino (Last Season: 16th)After WW2, Torino were seen as one of the greatest sides in European football, known as the “Grande Torino” – however that ended in 1949 when the team were killed in the Superga Air Disaster. Known for being “the other club” in Turin - the other club being Juventus, Torino have always been in the shadows of other clubs, especially Juventus. Torino have really done nothing as of late in Italian football, a far cry of where they should be as Torino has a wealth of history in football and plenty of heated rivalries which bring spark to the Italian game. What could have been if that Grande Torino team survived.
Benevento (Last Season: 1st - Promoted from Serie B)By far and away they were the best side in Serie B for the 2019/2020 season, finishing well ahead of Crotone who came in second. Their first ever season in Serie A came in the 2017/2018 where they finished at the very bottom of the table and immediately relegated, this new campaign in Serie A for the 2020/2021 season hopefully brings a promise of staying in the top flight rather then dropping back down once again.
Spezia Calcio (Last Season: 3rd - Won Promotion Playoffs)Spezia will play in Serie A for the first time in their history after winning promotion via the playoffs. In fact this is the first time they have been promoted to the top flight in over 114 years of history. It’s a beautiful achievement and easily makes them an easy love for fans in Serie A starting next season. However, things will not be easy and Spezia have their work cut out to stay in the top flight. Under your care it may just be possible.
SERIE B (Tier 2)
A.S. Cittadella (Last Season: 5th - Lost Promotion Playoffs)They have never been promoted to Serie A, the young club who were founded in 1973 had their first ever promotion to Serie B in 1999 and recently lost in the Promotion Playoffs to Frosinone for the 2019/2020 season. Promotion to the topflight would bring uncharted territories to this club, starting a new and hopefully successful journey under your care.
Ascoli (Last Season: 14th)Ascoli have always punched above their weight, coming from a small city of 50,000 people and yet have competed in 16 seasons in Serie A, the first in 1974 and finishing 4th in 1979/1980 season. Their most recent season in Serie A was 2006/2007, only getting promoted for the 2005/2006 season thanks to Genoa and Torino being relegated due to fraud and financial troubles. Definition of a small-town club who have a permanent sitting in Serie B, a new birth to take them into Serie A can make them the darlings of Italian and European football.
A.C. Chievo Verona (Last Season: 6th - Lost Promotion Playoffs)Sharing a stadium with heated rivals Hellas Verona who had a very impressive campaign by finishing 9th last season. Chievo are the “lesser” of the two clubs as Hellas have a Scudetto to their name and boast a Quarter Finals appearance in the Europa League for the 1987/1988 season. Albeit 3 overall European seasons is not something to be super proud of but it’s still a boast as Chievo have lost all three ties in their 3 European seasons. It’s hard to watch a cross-town rival leave you far behind and whilst it’s not the biggest of derby’s – it is still one of the most heated in Italy.
L.R. Vicenza Virtus (Last Season: 1st - Group B, Promotion from Serie C)Vicenza were a main-stay in the topflight during the 1960’s, 1970’s and large parts of the 1990’s. In fact, they won the 1996/1997 Coppa Italia and reached the semi-finals of the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup the following season, losing to eventual winners Chelsea in the Semi-Finals. Recently they have just been promoted back to Serie B, winning Serie C’s Group B the previous campaign.
Reggina 1914 (Last Season: 1st - Group C, Promotion from Serie C)Reggina unfortunately are under the same category as many Italian clubs who have fallen into financial despair and were re-founded at some point in time. Where majority of this stemmed from is of course a scandal - Reggina were targeted after the second round of investigations during the Calciopoli scandal - despite this they barely managed to survive however they were quickly relegated. More financial mismanagement saw them plummet all the way to Serie D and are now slowly back on the rise as they have been recently promoted to Serie B.
SERIE C (Tier 3)
F.C. Pro Vercelli 1892 (Last Season: 14th - Group A)Pro Vercelli are one of the most important clubs in Italian football history – who are now found languishing in Serie C. The club have seven league titles to their name, making them the seventh most successful team in Italy in terms of Serie A titles, beating the likes of Roma, Napoli, Lazio and Fiorentina. However, after professionalism in Italian football was introduced and clubs from larger industrial and business cities rose, Pro Vercelli’s decline started well over 80 years ago with their last ever time in Serie A being the 1934/1935 season and even further, being relegated from Serie B in the 1947/1948 season. It was so disastrous for this club they have been relegated to the amateur divisions – Serie D – multiple times. They regained professional status in the 1993/1994 season, and for the first time in 64 years – the club was promoted to Serie B in the 2011/2012 season. Remaining between the second and third tier, much hope is around the club to bring them back to Serie A and maybe one day, win another Serie A title which is getting close to a 100 year wait.
A.S. Livorno Calcio (Last Season: 20th - Relegated from Serie B)Recently relegated after a dismal 2019/2020 Serie B campaign by finishing at the very bottom, Livorno are destined to be a mainstay in Serie C once again. At the turn of the century things looked up for the club with quick promotions into Serie A and competing for their one and only European campaign in the Europa League for the 2006/2007 season. Their last two campaigns which took place in the top flight ended with a rock bottom finish each time and now being a yo-yo club between Serie B and Serie C.
Calcio Catania (Last Season: 6th - Group C, Lost Promotion Playoffs)Catania is one of the most important clubs in Southern Italy and one of the best supported. Despite that, no major honors decorate the club and back to back relegations see them in Serie C – especially after their former coach and owner admitted to fixing five matches. Recently in late July 2020, Sport Investment Group Italia S.p.A. acquired near all the club’s assets – whether this new ownership could bring success and above their best ever finish in Serie A which was 8th is all up to you.
Cesena (Last Season: 14th - Group B)Renamed and rebranded as former club A.C. Cesena folded and went bankrupt in 2018, Cesena Football Club is the birth of efforts from local businessmen taking over A.S.D. Romagna Centro and renamed it to Cesena F.C. to apply it as a phoenix club of A.C. Cesena. Image rights have not been acquired as of yet. Despite this, Cesena currently sit in the middle of Serie C Group B at the end of the 2019/2020 season. This is a far cry of where the parent club A.C. Cesena once laid. They were regulars in Serie B and having several appearances in Serie A, even appearing in the 1976/1977 Europa League, maybe this “new birth” can bring success as recently seen with the likes of Parma – writing a new chapter in Cesena’s history.
A.C. Perugia Calcio (Last Season: 16th - Serie B, Lost Relegation Playoff)Perugia were a bigger club in Italy at one point in time. They constantly were within shout of European places during the early 2000’s and have held some impressive talents within their ranks in the past such as Marco Materazzi, Fabio Grosso, Paolo Rossi and Fabrizio Ravanelli. Notoriously the club terminated the contract of their own player Ahn Jung-Hwan of South Korea after he scored the golden goal that knocked Italy out of the 2002 World Cup. Now however they find themselves relegated in Serie C after losing the relegation playoff’s to Pescara. Financial mismanagement has seen them languish in the lower tiers and in a sad state compared to where they were and the players they once held.
Best of luck in your FM21 saves. Stay safe and stay healthy.