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Marco van Basten

As foreigners take over Inter and Roma, Italian soccer's patriarchs fade away

The late Giovanni Agnelli used to wake up his Juventus players with friendly phone calls at the crack of dawn — just to see how they were doing.Massimo Moratti wept with joy when Inter Milan won the Champions League in 2010, emulating his father's success as the team's head nearly half a century earlier.At AC Milan, Silvio Berlusconi has been known to dictate lineups and even formations to his coaches.The Agnelli, Moratti and Berlusconi families have been the face of Italian soccer for decades.Now, though, with a group of Indonesian entrepreneurs taking over Inter Milan, Serie A leader Roma already controlled by Americans and Berlusconi deep in legal troubles, the high-profile strongmen at the top of Italian soccer are fading away.With crumbling stadiums, poor attendance and repellant outbursts of racism, Serie A clubs no longer attract the world's best players.Once home to Diego Maradona and Marco van Basten in their primes, Italy is now behind the English Premier League and German Bu...

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