Nesta: Serie A is 'going down'
Former AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta has bemoaned the declining standard of the Serie A against Europe's other premier domestic competitions.
The World Cup winner played over 200 games for the red half of Milan, winning two domestic championships, a Coppa Italia, two EUFA Super Cups and two Champions League crowns.
Those success laden years followed on from his earlier career with Lazio where he first won the Serie A title, Coppa Italia, Super Cup and EUFA's Cup Winners' Cup.
But the 37-year-old, now playing in the MLS with the Montreal impact, believes the years of Italian teams dominating Europe are long over, the Serie A falling into disrepair as the world's best talent choose the Premier League, Spain's La Liga and the Bundesliga, home of treble winners Bayern Munich, to ply their trades.
"There's no money in Italy at the moment and the best players go to play in other leagues - Spain, England, Germany. Italy's going down," he told the BBC's World Football programme.
But despite the player drain on the league, including the rumoured departure of Napoli's Edinson Cavani, there is reason to hope, with club's able to attract big names to Italy, including Fiorentina's capture of Mario Gomez and Juventus signing Carlos Tevez.
And despite surprising him, Nesta applauded his old foe Juventus for luring a player of Tevez's pedigree to Turin.
"It's a very good signing. A player like Tevez, I didn't think would play in Serie A now. Juventus did a good job," he said.
But it is not only the lack of star players affecting the league, with former Serie A coaches such as Carlo Ancelotti, now of Real Madrid, no longer taking charge of domestic clubs.
But Nesta believes it is Ancelotti's background at AC Milan that has allowed his former manager to thrive at clubs such as Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and, in his opinion, will do at Madrid.
"He is the best coach for Madrid," Nesta said. "Madrid is a difficult place to coach. There's a lot of pressure and Ancelotti is very good when he's under pressure.
"(At AC Milan, Silvio) Berlusconi and (Adriano) Galliani, all the time, wanted the best for the team. The pressure was very, very hard but Carlo Ancelotti, everyday, had a smile. He was perfect."