With the Serie A in its winter break, Goal.com thought it was a good time to look back at who have been the best players in Serie A at the half way point of the season. This is the Serie A all-star team that they came up with.
Sebastien Frey (Fiorentina) – The Frenchman beats off competition from Juventus’ Alex Manninger and Catania’s Albano Bizarri. Frey has continued his outstanding form from last season, which saw him named Goal.com’s Goalkeeper of the Year. The 28-year-old has been an ever-present in Serie A and has conceded fewer (four) in home games than any other shot-stopper.
Douglas Maicon (Inter) – The Brazilian has probably been the top player in Serie A this season and is now surely the best right back in the world. His defending, which was once suspect, has improved markedly, while going forward he is an unstoppable machine, steamrolling up and down the right flank every game for 90 minutes. Has scored five goals this term, as well as providing countless assists.
Ivan Cordoba (Inter) – A close call between Cordoba and Juve’s Nicola Legrottaglie, but the Colombian just edges it. Inter have the best defensive record in Serie A, conceding just 11 goals in 17 games, and much of this has been because of Cordoba. Has also scored two key goals, including an injury-time winner at Reggina.
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) – The true heart and soul of this Juventus outfit, Chiellini puts his life on the line every time he goes out on the pitch and is surely a future club symbol and captain. The 24-year-old has been a rock at the back, and is now one of the best centre backs in Europe.
Marek Jankulovski (Milan) – With the exception of a horror show against Juventus in Week 16, Jankulovski has been very impressive down the left flank. Full of energy and running, there are few better crossers of the ball than the Czech Republic international.
Walter Gargano (Napoli) – One of the most underrated players in Serie A, Gargano has been absolutely pivotal to Napoli’s rise. The Uruguayan is tactically intelligent, has wonderful stamina and never wastes possession, with every move going through him. There have been reports that a number of big English clubs are after Gargano, but don’t expect Aurelio De Laurentiis to sell.
Esteban Cambiasso (Inter) – Jose Mourinho has compared Cambiasso to former Real Madrid star Fernando Redondo, stating that “he also wasn’t that fast, but thought much faster than everyone else.” Cambiasso is simply perfect for the Italian game, as tactically he is perfect. Another reason Inter have been so mean defensively this season is because of the Argentine’s anchoring role in front of the defense.
Momo Sissoko (Juventus) – Forever poked fun at for his poor passing ability, there can be no doubting the impact that Sissoko has had on Serie A. Brings a real physical presence to the Juventus midfield, and the better the opponent, the better Sissoko seems to play. Needs to add a little more consistency to his game but, nevertheless, most Juve fans love him.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter) – Has already scored 10 goals in Serie A this season and, unlike last year, none of them have been penalties. No team in Serie A relies more heavily on one player than Inter do on Ibrahimovic – he is the focal point of every attacking move. If he can start performing in the big European games, which he hasn’t in the past, a Golden Ball is not out of the question.
Amauri (Juventus) – Has almost been as important to Juventus this campaign as Ibrahimovic has been to Inter. A big-money signing from Palermo, Amauri has settled in Turin immediately, scoring 11 times in Serie A with no fewer than five of these changing a draw into a win. A beast of a frontman, will there be any way back in the team for David Trezeguet?
Diego Milito (Genoa) – Rejoined Genoa hours before the closure of the transfer window, and what a move it has been. Twelve goals in just 15 appearances have taken him to joint-top of the Serie A scorers charts, as well as catapulting Genoa up to sixth in the table, just three points off a Champions League place. Any team in Europe would take Milito.
Albano Bizarri (Catania), Alex Manninger (Juventus), Nicola Legrottaglie (Juventus), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lazio), Felipe Melo (Fiorentina), Sulley Muntari (Inter), Rino Gattuso (Milan), Kaka (Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Matteo Brighi (Roma), Houssine Kharja (Siena), Sergio Floccari (Atalanta), Marco Di Vaio (Bologna), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Mauro Zarate (Lazio), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).
What do you think? Surprised that Kaka or Del Piero did not make the starting eleven?