The Italian broadcaster Rai recently aired a piece of nostalgia that would have brought a tear to the eye of many Serie A fans.
It was a 1991 league game between AC Milan and Sampdoria.
Onto the pitch at Milan's imposing San Siro stadium strode a galaxy of stars, with the likes of Ruud Gullit, Roberto Mancini, Marco Van Basten, Gianluca Vialli and Attilio Lombardo strutting their stuff.
It was a glimpse back to a golden age. This was an era of almost fantasy football -- competitive, technical, flamboyant, creative and Italy basked in the knowledge that its top division was the envy of the world.
Ironically it was Serie A, and the Italia 90 World Cup, that played a key role in the resurgence of England's now all-conquering Premier League.
In 1991 English football was still grappling with the aftermath of the Heysel and Hillsborough disasters and many games were played in comparatively dilapidated stadiums under hooliganism's shadow.
Serie A, with its foreign stars and newly-renovated arenas, presented a seductive model to follow.
Fast forward 22 years and things appear to have changed completely. Serie A seems not only to have fallen behind the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga, but also Germany's Bundesliga and Italy's latest usurpers, France's Ligue 1.
Drained of its international talent, plagued by corruption scandals and racism controversies, and struggling to update its creaking infrastructure, the once mighty Serie A looks a pale imitation of its former self.
Historian John Foot, author of the authoritative "Calcio, A History of Italian Football", has observed the Italian game's descent from its 90s peak, and laments its self-inflicted decline.
"They had a golden goose in the 90s and they killed it, which is incredible really," Foot told CNN.
Part of Serie A's financial malaise comes from the way the league's television rights have been sold. While the English Premier League's TV deals swelled its teams' coffers, Italy instead split the rights among individual clubs.
"The way the league has previously been packaged on television has been disastrous," says Foot, "with clubs acting purely in their own interests."
Back in the early 90s, UK football fans, relatively starved of football on TV, consumed the freshly aired Italian football product with enthusiasm.
The standard bearer for Serie A on British television was broadcaster James Richardson, who can see some signs of positive change in an Italian game that has long been in the doldrums.
"You can see progress", he says, "and there's definitely a sense that Serie A is moving forward; the problem is that it's moving fairly slowly."
Richardson's enthusiasm for the Italian game remains strong, but he points to the pace of change in other leagues as a cause for concern.
"You have to view Serie A's progress in context," he continued. "The thing is that there has been an explosion of money in other leagues.
"The Premier League, the Bundesliga and now France have taken things to another level in that respect, so even though Serie A is improving too, the gap is actually widening. There are positives, but they're positives in a provincial sense."
He also points out Italy lost its fourth Champions League spot -- only three Italian clubs currently qualify for Europe's premier competition, though ironically Juventus earned the most revenue in last season's tournament, surpassing even winners Bayern Munich.
"That was a huge financial blow, and you can see its effect on the second tier of Serie A clubs," noted Richardson.
Italy's "Old Lady"
Interestingly, a beacon of hope for the league is actually the club that suffered most from the fall-out of 2006's Calciopoli scandal.
Juve was heavily censured by the authorities at the time, but has since undergone a remarkable renaissance, culminating in the construction of an impressive new stadium -- the only club-owned facility in Serie A.
That revival saw Juve reach the Champions Leauge quarterfinals and also become the first to go unbeaten in Serie A's new 38-game format.