Serafini compares Serie A to rugby amid remarkable playing time stat from Verona-Milan

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan’s win over Hellas Verona last weekend was hard-fought, to say the least, and especially the second half was a tough battle. Stats, however, have pointed out a worrying aspect as highlighted by Luca Serafini. 

The Rossoneri’s win was far from certain and they had to rely on a late goal from Sandro Tonali, who battled very hard the entire game. If the game seemed scrappy live, that’s because it was and the stats confirm this.

In his latest column for MilanNews, MilanTV pundit Luca Serafini highlighted the fact that the ball was only in play for a mere 21 minutes in the second half. The debate of implementing active playing time in football has inevitably come to life again.

“We all noticed how much the theatrics in Serie A make our football look more and more like rugby, but the figures for the second half in Verona (21 minutes active playing time) are the worst ever. Despite the fact that stadium tickets continue to cost an arm and a leg, not only for us, no one intends to take into consideration the hypothesis of active playing time.

“The added time at the end of the first and second half is decided by the eye of the referees, clouded by fatigue (at that point) despite themselves contributing to the waste of time. Measures are urgently needed or sooner or later there will be bloody disputes,” he wrote.

Milan will face Monza tomorrow evening and hopefully, the referee will be able to create a better flow to the game. Stops and interruptions are obviously hard to avoid, especially in the second half, but the Verona clash was an extreme.

Tags AC Milan Hellas Verona Luca Serafini


  1. But everyone wants to blame the stadiums situation for the pure revenue of serie A. You can have state of art stadiums but if the product put on the field is bad it won’t matter, fans still won’t go to the stadiums or watch on TV.
    Juventus have a nice stadium but they have trouble filling it up, even at 40k capacity, because their football isn’t appealing.
    Some of our players contribute to the waste of time too.
    Theo takes 30 seconds on every throw in. They should implement a 5 seconds time limit like in the nba.

    1. Agree about Theo, but as much as I like him, unfortunately he contributes in another way as well, by faking injuries when he losses the ball. And you’re right, people like to watch Premier League more not only for the quality of the players, but also for the pace of the games. Remember how Mount didn’t fall and didn’t complain when he was held by Tomori? That’s how most of them behave in England. I would love to see that at Milan at least and I know Pioli feels the same way.

      1. Yet in England the average play time is under 55 minutes the same in Spain, Germany and Italy, this is not an Italian football problem it is a football problem, when you come up against an attacking team the best tactic for the other side is often to stop the other team playing by faking injury more often than not. Does Theo do it? Yes sometimes normally when we are leading and after having to deal with it for 60 min, we are one of the biggest victims of this tactic, but it happens in prem just as much has in Italy

  2. I watched Liverpool – Man City before this game. Was like on entire different sport. So little play time i got bored at few times and switched the channel

  3. Let’s just agree that the situation needs to improve. It’s absolutely ridiculous that out of 45 mins only 21 were active play. I did notice at one point it took Verona over a minute to give the free kick they received – and the funny thing is that the player didn’t even need treatment. So basically they managed to waste 55 extra seconds on a 5 second task.

    Although Milan did their part in the final 10 minutes but that’s understandable when trying to protect the lead at any cost.

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