Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon
At the age of 37, veteran Gianluigi Buffon has had one of the best seasons to date as Juventus challenge for the treble.
The Juve legend has kept 18 clean sheets in Serie A conceding just 20 goals – the best in the league. The nearest challenger is Roma’s Morgan De Sanctis with 16 clean sheets.
He oozes confidence to all the players in front of him and is a great leader. I hope he lifts the Champions League this week, a trophy that has proved elusive, so far.
Right-Back: Matteo Darmian
The Torino full back has been sensational this season. His bursting forward runs alongside his defensive capabilities have helped Torino to a successful campaign – finishing in 9th position and reaching the last 16 in the Europa League.
It was between him and Juve’s Stephan Leichsteiner for that right back slot.
Over the last two years, Darmian has emerged as arguably Serie A’s premier fullback, establishing himself not only in the Torino line-up but also becoming a regular starter in the Italian national setup.
Having represented Italy at all youth levels and progressing from Milan’s ranks, Darmian possesses pedigree in abundance, making it no surprise that European powerhouses such as Juventus and Arsenal reportedly interested in his services.
Should he decide to cross the city, he would be the perfect replacement for the ageing Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Right Center-Back: Leonardo Bonucci
For me, Leonardo Bonucci has been the best defender in the league this year.
Part of a side that have clinched their fourth consecutive Scudetto, therefore, we have been aware of his qualities, but he has matured this season.
A performance that immediately springs to mind is Juve’s 3-2 win against Roma back in October. His spectacular late volley gave Juventus victory in a fiery top of the table encounter.
Not only is he a great defender, but also he’s incredibly comfortable on the ball, whether in possession or passing. – often initiating the attacks.
Left Center-Back: Giorgio Chiellini
I was reluctant to pick another Juventus centre back, but it’s hard to look past a side among the best defensive record in Europe. Giorgio Chiellini has been a rock once again.
He’s had some dodgy moments this season, particularly in the first half of the season with a couple of slips, but he has finished the season strongly.
He lifted the Coppa Italia last month, scoring a great equaliser against Lazio. It was a brilliant improvised goal – a true warrior!
Left Back: Stefan Radu
The Romanian fullback has had a consistent season, helping Lazio to Champions League qualification and a Coppa Italia final. He has been at Lazio for 7 years and is a fan favourite and you can understand why.
Radu has been solid,, he is powerful when on the offensive and brilliant in the air -demonstrated with his goal versus Juventus in the Coppa Italia final.
His versatility is crucial for Lazio as he can play in the centre of defence as well as left back.
Right Wing: Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian only moved to Serie A in January, but he’s made such an impact that I had to include him in my team.
Salah has contributed to 6 goals in 16 league games, which is a good return. His strengths include frightening pace and ball control.
Italy have certainly warmed to the “the Messi of the Pyramids” as he is referred to by the local media. This was evident when a restaurant in Florence created a pizza in his honour!
Chelsea were foolish to let him leave.
Center Midfield: Radja Nainggolan
The Belgian has been the best player for Roma this season, he has been a motor for Rudi Garcia’s side.
The Belgian’s box-to-box contributions are at the heart of everything positive about Roma—from their solid defensive work to their ability to devastate opponents on the counter-attack.
He doesn’t contribute to goals as much as he’d like, he’s scored 5 goals this season.
Center Midfield: Claudio Marchisio
Often an underrated figure in the Juventus side – the Italian international has barely put a foot wrong this season. He’s only scored 3 goals this term and registered 6 assists – admittedly, an area in his game he must improve.
Claudio has played a deeper role this season, replacing Andrea Pirlo when he’s been out. He can play anywhere across the midfield – that versatility along with his commitment to sacrifice for the team has helped Juventus to a domestic double (potentially triple).
Left Wing: Felipe Anderson
The Brazilian has been a revelation in Serie A this season. He has registered 10 goals and 7 assists this term.
The 22 year old has an outstanding range of talents, and the most important of them is that he is naturally two footed. The Brazilian is equally comfortable controlling the ball or shooting with either foot, and that – together with his lightning speed and change of direction – makes him a nightmare for the opponents.
The stand out performance for me was when Lazio travelled to Milan to face Inter back in December, the match finished 2-2 – Anderson scored both goals.
Forward: Carlos Tevez
With 20 goals, and 7 assists, Carlos Tevez has had a brilliant season. He’s relished playing under new manager, Massimiliano Allegri, the coach has given the Argentine the freedom he weren’t able to possess under Antonio Conte.
He operates up top alongside either Alvaro Morata or Fernando Llorente and often comes deep into midfield to collect the ball. Which has been extremely affective.
His tireless running and infectious work ethic is an attribute Tevez has always possessed and it rubs off onto his teammates – leading from the front. He has once proven to be the difference-maker for the Champions League finalists.
Forward: Mauro Icardi
Mauro Icardi has been a shining light in a lacklustre Inter Milan side. The Argentine forward has registered 22 goals and assisted 6 times. He’s had to share Capocannoniere title with Luca Toni.
Inter Milan finished in the lowly 8th position, which makes his goal ratio even more impressive.
His physical presence, clinical finishing and refined hold-up play make shim one of Europe’s feared strikers.
The 22-year-old is seen as a key building block for the Nerazzurri as they start their long climb back to the summit of Italian football.
Written by Serie A Writer
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