Seven games into the season, Udinese rise over the odds to sit fourth in the Serie A table. They have not finished in the top half of the table since 2013. Le Zebrette has won five consecutive games leading one to think if they are about to achieve the unthinkable.
The Improbable Task
The owner of Udinese, Giampaolo Pozzo, said- “It is not easy to compete with the biggest clubs for a club with the dimension of Udinese.”
The quote summarizes the big spending across top-flight football. In the Italian Serie A, Juventus spent a staggering €102 million in the 2023 summer transfer window. Atalanta & Napoli spent €98 million & €68 million respectively.
Udinese spent a meager €46 million. Further, these figures are no match for Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, & Real Madrid.
After years of producing less impact on & off the pitch, the club has started brightly. Decisive wins against the league giants Inter Milan & AS Roma are a testament to that.
To add to it, Udinese has lost a few key players over the years. Alexis Sanchez and Rodrigo De Paul are two of the notable ones. Despite the loss, Udinese has stood firm.
Pozzo, who has owned the club for 36 years, said- “The goal of Udinese has always been, and will always be, to discover great talents.”
This strategy continues to work wonders, as winger Beto has scored four goals in 297 minutes of action in Serie A. The midfielder Lazar Vujadin Samardžić has scored two goals while producing exceptional performances across only 171 minutes.
Players including Roberto Pereyra, Gerard Deulofeu, Marco Silvestri, & Adam Masina will also have a major role to play between now and the end of the season.
Overall, they have scored 15 goals & have only conceded seven goals so far.
Can Udinese Rise Over The Odds?
In a league where top clubs possess better squad depth, Udinese lacks depth. But the sky is the limit, as they say.
History has seen numerous instances where a club rose from the ashes to achieve glory. The recent Serie A triumph by AC Milan is an example. The Rossoneri won the Serie A, despite a limited spending budget.
Far from Italy, Leicester City enthralled the world by winning their maiden Premier League title in the 2015/16 season after pipping some elite clubs, including Manchester City.
The above tales may provide Udinese a tinge of inspiration needed to ignite the spark.
Message of Resilience
Since their last relegation from the top flight in the 90s, the Italian outfit has not suffered relegation. Despite being less impactful in Serie A, they have achieved financial stability.
A lack of ambition is a common criticism for most mid-table clubs, but such has not been the case.
Pozzo said- “It is not easy to compete with the biggest clubs for a club with the dimension of Udinese. We always work, and we will work harder to close this gap.”
The quote is a message of resilience as Udinese attempts to rise over the odds to do the unthinkable this season.