BLOG ITALIA
Saturday May 25 2013
Team of the Season

It’s been a long tough season with several exciting players making their mark on Serie A. Dave Taylor picks his best XI from 2012-13.

Samir Handanovic [Inter]

It was a tough job choosing between the Slovenian and Lazio’s Federico Marchetti. However, if taking over from the great Julio Cesar wasn’t tough enough, having to stand behind a defence that conceded 57 goals was a real test of character. Yet despite only two ‘keepers personally conceding more than him (53), Handanovic’s superb reflexes and ability to stand up to an avalanche of shots per game helped save Inter from an even worse season and this just gives him the edge. Walter Zenga-like

Marquinhos [Roma]

The Brazilian teenager has been a revelation this season, especially considering he only played six games last year in Brazil. Yet his ability to play in several positions and his coolness on the ball belied his inexperience. His pace, intelligence and ability to carry the ball pulled the Giallorossi out of several tricky situations. Consequently his future looks very bright and Roma may have a problem holding onto him. Aldair-reborn

Hugo Campagnaro [Napoli]

A resilient defender whose consistency, pace and strength were highlighted against Lazio in February. Following Senad Lulic’s long ball that fooled Morgan de Sanctis, he raced back to clear off the line. Then with just minutes left he moved up field with an ease that suggested he knew exactly what needed to be done and did it. Finding space from a corner, the Argentine performed an acrobatic scissor-kick and powered the ball high into the roof of the net to earn a well-deserved point. Rudi Krol-ish

Andrea Barzagli [Juventus]

Missing just four matches, the powerhouse defender has been the most consistent, making almost six clearances per game with a 90 per cent successful passing rate. He also seems to know what the opposition are going to do next and gets into position to do something about it, making everything look simpler than it actually is. His power, determination and energy have contributed heavily to the Bianconeri having easily the best defensive record in Serie A. Ferrara-like

Juan Cuadrado [Fiorentina]

One of the reasons for the Fiorentina renaissance, his energy and Cheetah-like reflexes contributed to seven assists. Unafraid to shoot on sight, out of 17 attempts on target he scored five goals. One perfect example of his needle sharp reflexes was during the November game against Cagliari. Blocking a clearance from Michael Agazzi, he noticed him off his line and cleverly put a little curl on the ball, lobbing it back over the stranded ‘keeper for his first goal. Laudrup-tastic

Arturo Vidal [Juventus]

Power, precision, pace and goals, what more could you want? Juve’s joint leading scorer on 10, he has also contributed eight assists. Combines ball-winning with piercing distribution and is the complete modern midfielder. Still only 25 years old, the Chilean was in so many teams of the week that it was uncanny, and was the driving force behind Juve’s supremacy in the league. Perhaps his best aspects are his sheer energy and adaptability, one minute in defence, the next in attack. Franco Causio-style

Marek Hamsik [Napoli]

With 11 goals and 14 assists he contributed to almost a third of Napoli’s goals directly and only Maradona knows how many indirectly. The Slovakian has not missed a game and his outstanding vision alongside hi, determination, dribbling ability and energy makes him Serie A’s most outstanding attacking centrocampista.The blue-chip midfielder is always at the very heart of everything and makes it all balance out. Antonio Juliano-like

Giacomo Bonaventura [Atalanta]

With his tireless running and 100 per cent attitude and determination to get forward, it’s little wonder clubs like Napoli, Juventus and Inter have shown interest. Always an outlet on the left flank, he has been one of the principle reasons for Atalanta dodging relegation despite the points deduction. He can play anywhere in midfield or the forward line and versatility has resulted in seven goals with two match winning strikes, plus five assists in 35 games. Roberto Donadoni-ish

Edinson Cavani [Napoli]

Scoring an unparalleled 29 goals this season, Serie A’s Capocannoniere also recorded the most shots this season, 156 with 71 on target. Steamrolling all before him, including four magnificent hat-tricks this season, three of them against Lazio, Roma and Inter, he has also been integral in defence. When the team needed that extra punch, they could always rely on the Matador to wave his Muletta. Out would charge the opposition, only for the Uruguayan to hit home on the counterattack and plunge the Estoca in deep, no mercy. Almost unbelievably gifted in every department, his 38 goals in all competitions contributed to 40 percent of Napoli’s total. Careca-tastic

Erik Lamela [Roma]

The Argentina forward can play in any number of positions across the midfield or up front with great effect and is the club’s second top scorer with 15 goals as well as five assists. He has also been blessed with one of the nimblest and most accurate left feet in Serie A, absolutely devastating. Still only 21 years old, he showed his powers off best in the 4-2 defeat of Milan in Week 18 scoring first with that dynamic left foot, then was first to the ball to head home number four. Totti-supportive

Antonio Di Natale [Udinese]

Still doing it after all this time, the 35-year-old is once again amongst the very top scorers with 23, of which a massive 10 were match winning goals. He scores with his right foot, his left, penalties, tap-ins and a shining example of his outstanding agility was best illustrated in Week 33’s win over Lazio. Finding space and fooling two defenders in the box, he leapt up to meet a cross and scissor-kicked a volley past a stunned ‘keeper for the game’s only goal. Absolutely lethal and selfless. Abel Balbo-style

 

Special mentions: Adem Ljajic [Fiorentina], Francesco Lodi [Catania], Gonzalo Rodriguez [Fiorentina], Andrea Pirlo [Juventus], Stephan El Shaarawy [Milan], Alessio Cerci [Torino], Hernanes [Lazio], Federico Marchetti [Lazio]

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Have your say...
This list is missing the best player of all:
SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO a.k.a.
La formica atomica (the atomic ant).
on the 14th June, 2013 at 3:50am
Napolitan//

I've seen every Romagoal this season and Totti has been involved in 40-42 of them, that's far over 50%. The reason Udine got ahead of Roma was because the rest of their team played better than Roma and they got a much better coach. Totti has the best average rating in the whole league this season if you look at the italian papers such az Gazzetta, tuttosport and Corriere.
on the 1st June, 2013 at 2:42pm
Totti should be in every team of the season every year
since his debut,he is simply outstanding and nobody past or presant has his vision,i know there are great players out there but for me Totti is a legand...forza
francesco !!!!!
on the 31st May, 2013 at 3:20pm
Shocking...that is all! Handanovic over Buffon, no Marchisio. Agree with those who said Lamela shouldn't be in although the gentleman who said the whole Juve team should be 'his' team of the season is simply laughable. I am a Juventus supporter and here is my XI:

Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Cannavaro, Chiellini
Marchisio, Vidal, Jovetic
Cavani, Di Natale, Totti
Special mentions: Hernanes, Pogba, Theyreau, Aquilani, Valero, Illicic
on the 30th May, 2013 at 10:30am
Im very pleased with the ultimute XI, fantatic to see a fiorentina player here 2 (:
on the 29th May, 2013 at 11:55pm
Buffon, barzagli, chiellini , banucci, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner, Pirlo, pogba, Marchisio, Vidal and Vučinić = best team in Italy = champion ....simply the best.....#ForzaJuve
on the 29th May, 2013 at 8:58pm
What a joke of a team... lamela serious? Valero?? Bonaventura has about 5 good games!!! This is a much better shout... 
on the 28th May, 2013 at 8:01pm
Totti for Lamela. Lamela had a great first half of the season, but really dipped in the second half. Also wildly inconsistent. I would have selected Osvaldo over Lamela, truth be told. But I digress. As many said, Totti literally carried the team on his back, and was in, or an honorable mention for, the team of the week, every week. His energy level and commitment were something to be hold, including defending back along the left flank. He was everywhere this season.
on the 28th May, 2013 at 12:19am
Wouldn't have minded an honorable mention nod to Cyril Thereau, largely responsible for keeping Chievo Verona up this season. He'll be one more crucial cog in Fiorentina's dynamic attack next year... Don't forget I told ya!
on the 27th May, 2013 at 10:55pm
no 1 from milan &no pogba chillini or pirlo no dzemaili
on the 27th May, 2013 at 5:29pm
No TOTTI
NO PARTY
on the 27th May, 2013 at 3:01am
Valero? agazzi? I'd put Agazzi or Marchetti ahead of the other lad, even as a Florentine, I'd say 'pogba' ? He's one of the players that'll help Calcio back on their feet,
on the 26th May, 2013 at 7:41pm
That team would be bad, there's no balance at all. It's basically 3 center backs and Vidal who can defend. Then the rest are attacking. It would get so exposed down the left wing
on the 26th May, 2013 at 6:06pm
Too many Totti fans here who don't know about other footballer in Italy.

I am quite sure that the editor of this article has watched much more Serie A games (include those other than Roma's game) than you.
on the 26th May, 2013 at 5:36pm
@ Luca A joke with Bonaventura when there are at least a dozen better players than him in this position this season Hernanes,Naingolan,Pogba,Montolivo,Dzemaili,etc.
And the final insult is not seeing El Shaarawy in the team of the season??
None of the above play on the left wing or have it as their secondary role. This is a team with 11 players who have to balance out not the best 11 individual favourites of the biased. EL Shas great but not all season Totti greta but where does he fit in
on the 26th May, 2013 at 9:36am
Totti is a glaring omission. He has been consistently great all season long first under Zeman often wide left and recently playing centrally with AA. His fitness levels have been markedly improved and he's barely missed a match at 36! Most successful through balls in Europe this season as well I believe.
on the 26th May, 2013 at 7:44am
To the guy who said Totti scored all of his goals from the spot, that is simply untrue, he only had two.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 10:49pm
Dave Taylor obviously didn't watch the last game of the season where Handanovic clearly let in 5 to help his old Udinese team mates out. Shameful that he is anywhere near this team. Inter barely made the top 10 and Handanovic was poor in many games!
on the 25th May, 2013 at 10:41pm
@Anonymous
Totti and Messi only players to have double digits goal and assists? BS, look at Hamsik you biased Roma fan. De Natale literally carried Udinese into a spot in Europe over Roma, and has contributed to over 50% of Udinese goals. Totti over Lamela, but not over Di Natale. Just look at the quality of goals he scored too, like 2 wondergoals. You're just a biased Roma fan
on the 25th May, 2013 at 10:37pm
Should have read the page better. Barzagli's there, no quarrels then.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 10:24pm
No Andrea Barzagli here is an absolute crime. Best defender in Serie A hands down.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 10:23pm
Laughable. Di Natale over Totti? Totti and Messi are the only players in the major european leagues with double digit goals and assists.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 10:12pm
Pogba? El Shaarawy?
on the 25th May, 2013 at 7:43pm
give me a break!
where is totti?!
on the 25th May, 2013 at 7:28pm
@Viktor
Bs half our team will be sold. Probably Aronica, Maggio, Mesto and Donadel but with Benitez, a strict and respected manager we will be strengthened during the summer. If Cavani is sold, we'll get alot of money plus extra players so we'll still strengthen. We'll get Naingollan, Ilicic, Ogbonna and with Benitez some players from the premier league
on the 25th May, 2013 at 7:10pm
@ForzaNapoli
Perhaps I was being a bit harsh on ElSha but I find it perfectly fine he wasn't on the team. He dissappeared in the 2nd half of the season, and eventhough he was pivotal to their run up, he was completely anomynous for the 2nd half. With that logic you may well involve Balotelli for shining out for Milan at 1 half of the season. Elsha's age is irrelevent, but De Na and Cavani were better. About Lamela, its a tricky one and we will have different opinions because Lamelas a revelation
on the 25th May, 2013 at 7:07pm
BORJA VALERO ?!
on the 25th May, 2013 at 7:03pm
No pogba, marchisio? Really...
on the 25th May, 2013 at 6:40pm
It's absolutely farcical not having El Shaarawy in the team. Until Mid January he was the best player in the league and since then he's still played really well without scoring goals. His work rate is amazing and he never stops chasing the ball for his team. Without SES Milan wouldn't have finished in the top 5, nevermind securing their CL qualifier.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 6:34pm
To AP-- the reason Milan won third place was their 12th, 13th, and 14th man, but there's too many too list, tagliavento etc etc
on the 25th May, 2013 at 6:16pm

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