Italian season review
Skysports.com takes a look back at a 2009/10 campaign dominated by treble-winning Inter Milan.
Last Updated: 28/05/10 3:11pm
Over the past few years Italian football has been dominated by Inter Milan but clubs from the country have struggled to make a major impact on the European stage.
It was a familiar tale for the most part in 2009/10 but with one notable difference as Inter showed they could come out on top against the continent's finest as well as on home soil.
Jose Mourinho may be set to take charge of Real Madrid but he left a lasting legacy by steering the Nerazzurri to UEFA Champions League glory.
Inter could not have had a much tougher route through the competition as they had to negotiate a 'group of death' before overcoming Chelsea, CSKA Moscow, Barcelona and finally Bayern Munich.
As is often the case with Mourinho's teams, results were built on the foundation of a solid defence as the likes of Maicon and Lucio impressed at the back.
The creative talents of Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder cannot be underestimated either, while Diego Milito popped up with several important goals.
As well as scoring twice in the Champions League final, Milito found the target in the Coppa Italia victory over Roma and also got on the scoresheet against Siena as Inter wrapped up the Serie A title on the final day of the season.
Roma therefore had to settle for second place in the league and runners-up medals in the cup despite a remarkable campaign under Claudio Ranieri which included a 24-match unbeaten run.
There was little to shout about for the other established superpowers in Italy, with Juventus enduring a particularly poor campaign after finishing seventh in Serie A and surrendering a 4-1 aggregate lead against Fulham in the Europa League, having already dropped out of the Champions League.
Leonardo parted company with AC Milan at the end of a disappointing first year at the helm, with the Rossoneri failing to sustain a strong title challenge and losing heavily to Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League.
Sampdoria provided one success story, clinching fourth place, although Luigi Del Neri was then appointed Juventus boss as the managerial merry-go-round really started at the end of the season.
Palermo and Napoli emerged as surprise packages to seal Europa League qualification along with Juve for next season, while Bari and Parma also secured creditable mid-table finishes following promotion the previous year.
Lazio and Fiorentina struggled to get going all year and ended up languishing in the bottom half of the table.
While many of the star individuals belonged to Inter and Roma, the top scorer in Serie A actually came from 15th-placed Udinese.
Antonio Di Natale scored a staggering 29 goals to claim the Golden Boot and keep his side afloat.
Cagliari and Bologna were among the other clubs to narrowly beat the drop, with Atalanta, Siena and bottom club Livorno suffering relegation.