‘The Italian Dream’: New reality show looks to bring brightest MENA talents to Serie A

With the backing of former AS Roma captain Francesco Totti, Serie A is set to collaborate on a reality TV series that could see one talented young footballer in the MENA region earn a professional contract with an Italian club.

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Lega Serie A have joined up with Middle East and North Africa broadcaster Starzplay to create a new reality television programme that could see one talented youngster from the MENA region join an Italian top-flight club.

As reported by Sportface.it, the collaboration has led to the creation of ‘The Italian Dream’, a series that sees aspiring young footballers compete to earn a place in the academy of a Serie A club.

Promoted by former AS Roma captain and Italy Men’s National Team star Francesco Totti, the series is set to be produced over an 18-month period, with broadcasting expected in 2025.

Francesco Totti at the Europa League final. (@ASRomaEN)

Serie A’s strong presence in Arab world

Starlets from Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates will take part in the series across three months, with candidates eliminated weekly in the process. A live final is set to take place in Abu Dhabi, with the winner given the chance to earn a contract with a top-flight Italian club.

The deal comes as Serie A looks to develop stronger ties with the Arab world and secure more lucrative television broadcasting rights. The Supercoppa Italiana has been hosted in Saudi Arabia in three of the past five seasons. It was previously held in Qatar twice.

Sofyan Amrabat in action for Fiorentina. [@ACFFiorentinaEN]

With Italian football hugely popular in the MENA region, the league is looking to tap into this support and The Italian Dream comes off the back of the opening of a new office base in Abu Dhabi.

Italian football tapping into MENA potential

“This project consolidates Lega Serie A‘s partnership with STARZPLAY, introducing a new dimension to the collaboration with a structured content platform that combines sport and entertainment for audiences across the region,” Lega Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo declared.

AS Roma midfielder Houssem Aouar scored against Hellas Verona (@ASRomaEN)

“By telling the stories of dreams and ambitions of a group of young talents, “The Italian Dream” will strengthen the daily bond between Serie A and football fans in this part of the world where more than 50% of the audience is under 30 years old.

“Above all, this series represents Lega Serie A‘s desire to invest in talent in the MENA region, offering the best young local players the opportunity to grow, learn and showcase their skills in one of the most important football leagues in the world – Lega Serie A“.

Serie A already has a strong MENA presence, with the likes of AS Roma‘s Algeria international Houssem Aouar and Fiorentina‘s Moroccan midfielder Sofyan Amrabat representing the region.

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