And the Ariete is a joke.
Main gun: Standard 120mm, inferior to the Merkava's and the Leclerc's
Armor: Its armor is only focused on its frontal arc. It's less well protected than either an Abrams or a Leopard 2A6.
Mobility: it is no faster than an Abrams or Leopard 2. Coupled with the inferior armor...
Fire Control: It's capable of engaging ground targets on the move. Big whoop, the Merkava Mk4 can engage helicopters for chrissakes.
Size: It's no smaller a target than any of the other main battle tanks. Again, couple this with the inferior armor...
Cost effectiveness: With only 200 built, the per-unit cost is still affected greatly by the development costs. It would've been cheaper for Italy to buy 200 Leopard 2s, and they'd have a better tank to boot.