SoccerAnchor’s chief editor Adrian Del Monte gives you his best XI of the Italian Serie A season.
Yet another Italian campaign has been run and won – this time by Juventus, a club that have gone back-to-back for the first time since their return to the topflight six years ago. At the commencement of the season you could have taken the Old Lady at very juicy odds to win the title, had you placed a bet with our friends at Unibet. If you missed out, you may have to wait until the release of the odds for next season, but for now, please enjoy and have your say on our Serie A team of the season.
Unsurprisingly the Bianconeri feature prominently in our team of the season, while there are a few other notable inclusions, who turned back the clock in the 2012-13 season.
The team is formed in a 3-4-3 formation:
Gianluigi Buffon (GK) Juventus
Rock solid. The Italian national team captain had a sublime season in goal, and played a commanding role in leading his side to another Scudetto. Despite missing a few games through injury, Buffon managed to record 19 clean sheets and ensured that the Old Lady had the best defensive record in the competition – incredibly conceding just 24 goals in 38 fixtures (0.63 goals per game).
Christian Maggio (RB) Napoli
Hard-working and consistent, it was another season to remember for the right-back, who continued to play a pivotal role for the Partenopei. Four goals, a plethora of assists and a number of brilliant performances went a long way to ensuring the club finished in the top two, guaranteeing them of Champions League football next term.
Andrea Barzagli (CB) Juventus
Commanding, ruthless and brilliant. Barzagli was the best of a back three that along with Buffon conceded just 24 goals all season. Since his return to Italy, the former Wolfsburg man has gone from strength to strength, and he will be looking to continue this form for his national team at the upcoming Confederations Cup in Brazil next month.
Marquinhos (LB) Roma
Without doubt the best young player of the year in Italy, the 19-year-old burst onto the scene in Serie A, emerging as a genuine leader of the Roman defence. Already touted as a future superstar, Marquinhos’ efforts this season have seen him linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
Borja Valero (RM) Fiorentina
In this writer’s eyes, the signing of the season. The former Villarreal man was extremely impressive in his first year with the club, earning 37 caps and playing a key role in the club’s surge up the standings. Of the many new players brought in by the Delle Valle family, the Spaniard came up trumps.
Arturo Vidal (CM) Juventus
Irreplaceable is the best way to describe the Chilean, who shone yet again in the Bianconeri colours. Incredibly ended the campaign as the club’s top scorer with 10 in the league, and proved his significance to the nation’s best club. Coach Antonio Conte has already confirmed that the club have received interest from top European teams for the player’s signature, however Vidal has confirmed that his desire is to remain with the Old Lady for the foreseeable future.
Andrea Pirlo (CM) Juventus
Vintage and full of class, Pirlo was the best player in Serie A in the first half of the campaign. While the length of the season did take its toll on the 34-year-old’s ageing body, the maestro was still able to deliver the goods when called upon, and will remain a vital part of the club’s midfield over the next few seasons.
Marek Hamsik (LM) Napoli
The Serie A player of the season. Following the departure of Ezequiel Lavezzi to PSG 12 months ago, further pressure was placed on the Slovak international to excel consistently, and that he did. In a side that lacked the depth of a Juventus or an AC Milan, Hamsik was able to contribute like no other in the competition, scoring 11 goals from midfield and assisting 14 others in another prolific campaign.
Edinson Cavani (RF) Napoli
The Capocannoniere winner yet again, Cavani’s list of potential suitors have unsurprisingly grown in recent months. The Uruguayan scored 29 of his side’s 73 goals in the 2012-13 season, with Real Madrid and Manchester City waiting in the wings to lure him. Prolific and clinical as always, the hitman will have a few decisions to make over the summer.
Francesco Totti (ST) Roma
The talisman of Rome and the symbol of Italian football. Totti wound back the clock this season, incredibly rediscovering some of his very best form that has now sensationally led to some demanding he be recalled to Cesare Prandelli’s Italy squad for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. While that is still 12 months away, the Roma No.10 should be very pleased with his 12 goals and 12 assists, as he inspired the Giallorossi to a sixth place finish in the league, and a spot in the Coppa Italia final.
Antonio Di Natale (LF) Udinese
Easily the most important player to his side’s chances of success, Di Natale was incredibly at it again in 2012-13, as the striker netted a whopping 23 goals in just 32 appearances. The veteran lead his team to a remarkable fifth place finish, assuring them of European football next term, despite Udinese languishing in 15th place after seven matches.
Antonio Conte (Coach) Juventus
Two championships in two seasons with the Old Lady, the passionate and outgoing manager is deserving of the coach of the season award. The Bianconeri improved their performances in Europe – losing to eventual finalists and potential winners Bayern Munich, while they even bettered their points tally from their unbeaten campaign by three points, despite losing six matches this time around. Credit to Conte and his staff for another near perfect season.
Federico Marchetti (Lazio)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus)
Gonzalo Rodriguez (Fiorentina)
Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan)
Stephan El Sharawaay (AC Milan)
Alberto Gilardino (Bologna)
Erik Lamela (Roma)
Miroslav Klose (Lazio)
What do you think about Adrian's team of the season? Do you agree with his selections? Who is your team of the season? Have your say by leaving a comment below...