NEWS
Monday May 9 2011
Pagelle: Rating the champions

Milan are champions of Italy for the first time since 2004. Football Italia rates the performances of the players that made it happen

Christian Abbiati

Arguably enjoyed one of his best and most consistent seasons in a Milan shirt, Abbiati has been a reliable last line of defence for the Diavolo. Some games have seen minimal involvement, but his levels of concentration and an injury-free run has seen him contribute greatly to the best defensive record in the League. 9/10

Marco Amelia

Brought in to challenge Abbiati, and in his own words push even for national team involvement, it has been a disappointing season for Amelia. Despite showing promise when called upon, he has been unable to displace in-form Abbiati. 6/10

Ignazio Abate

This has been Abate’s breakthrough season, displaying not only the same attacking intent in a more consistent manner for the team, but shaping his defensive game to become a more solid, all round full-back on the verge of Azzurri involvement. 9/10

Alessandro Nesta

Successfully avoided long injury lay-offs to put together a run of games to remind fans of his importance to the side’s defensive strength. Although caught out for pace at times, his intelligence and capacity to read the game has never been better, with the team again indebted to his influence at the back. 9/10

Thiago Silva

Continued good form from last season, and benefited greatly from the extended opportunity to play alongside Nesta in the back-line and form a formidable partnership. Also displayed a new side to his game when asked to move into midfield for a brief period. 9/10

Gianluca Zambrotta

Started the season in a strong run of form before injury interrupted his rejuvenation. His versatility when fit has been of use to Allegri, filling in at both right and left-back when required. 6/10

Luca Antonini

Endured another inconsistent season defensively. Offered a more dependable and influential presence going forward than previous, but struggled to support that with reliable performances in defence, often over-run and targeted by opponents. 6/10

Mario Yepes

Used sparingly during the campaign, waiting until November to make the first of his handful of appearances for the club to date. However, he has offered consistent cover for Nesta and Silva when called upon. 6/10

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Minimal involvement in his first season at the club, making just a handful of appearances. Still only 22, this season has come too early for his development. 5/10

Daniele Bonera

In and out of the side as injury troubles once again interrupted any flow. Played out of position on occasion at left-back and caught out for a lack of pace, more comfortable when at centre-back. Poor games against Cesena and Udinese stand out in otherwise consistently average return of form. 5/10

Marek Jankulovski

Only managed a few appearances before injury ended his season early. 5/10

Nicola Legrottaglie

Made one appearance since surprise January move, despite originally looking to leave Juventus for first-team action. 5/10

Massimo Oddo

Brief cameos have shown the full-back’s capacity to still offer effective service from wide areas and defensive support, but good performances against Napoli and Parma have then been followed with injury problems. 6/10

Urby Emanuelson

Arrived in January but has so far only played a bit-part role, generally from the bench, but has shown glimmers of promise to take into next season. 6/10

Massimo Ambrosini

Was again generating momentum in his performances and holding influence in Milan’s defensive play before injury cut short his contribution this season. 7/10

Clarence Seedorf

Another up and down season for the Dutchman. Caught out for pace and slack defensive play at times, a strong end to the campaign has otherwise reminded fans of his capacity to dictate games at a whim. Versatile with unrivalled passing range, Allegri has relied upon his experience more than once this season. 7/10

Gennaro Gattuso

The 33-year-old has been Milan’s most consistent midfielder this season, ably supporting the defence to double up on opponents and creating a stronger midfield line the rest of the team has been able to build from. Has excelled under Allegri to again showcase his on-the-pitch leadership and tactical acumen. 9/10

Andrea Pirlo

Missed a chunk of season through injury, but before that showed a willingness to adapt to Allegri’s wishes of a more balanced midfield, playing on the left on occasion to ensure the defence is better protected. Still exerted great influence on the pitch to open up opponents. 7/10

Kevin Prince Boateng

Worked his way into the team, the Ghana international exudes confidence, vitality and versatility to offer a strong presence on the pitch that teammates have often looked to. He has been a key component to Allegri’s tactical adjustments and his work-rate has been second to none. 8/10

Mark Van Bommel

Arrived on a low-cost short-term contract, with minimal expectations. Whilst injuries to others gave him an extended run in the team, his form and use to Allegri has re-imagined his reputation as a more all-round midfielder. 7/10

Mathieu Flamini

Allegri has come to rely on the Frenchman’s tenacity at times this season, and he has responded with his most consistent return of form since joining the club. Works well in tandem with Gattuso, and has regularly offered support in attack. 7/10

Alexander Merkel

Broke into the first team and has shown brief signs of the talent regularly showcased in the Primavera side. One for the future. 6/10

Rodney Strasser

Scored the winning goal against Cagliari in Week 18 to announce himself, but only managed brief cameos so far. Expect him to feature more next season given the composure he has shown this. 6/10

Alexandre Pato

Another mixed season of excellent promise hit by niggling injuries, but in spite of this the Brazilian has still kept pace with Ibrahimovic in the goal-scoring charts, and provided a central attacking outlet in the Swede’s absence. 8/10

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Milan’s first big name player to find form this season and maintain it. His goals and assists have directly earned the team 21 points and accounted for over 40 per cent of the team’s League goals. Campaign only marred by indiscipline towards the end that saw two needless red cards. 9/10

Filippo Inzaghi

A cruciate ligament injury ruled him out of the season as he managed just five League appearances. His biggest contribution came in Europe as he again briefly held records for the highest and the oldest goal-scorer in European competition. 6/10

Ronaldinho

Showed flashes of some excellent work under Allegri’s double-trequartista formation, only for his San Siro stay to end disappointingly in January as club happier to cash in on €8m contract. 6/10

Antonio Cassano

Four goals and six assists is a sharp return for the fantasista, and ensures his contribution to the side is more than a brief cameo from a mid-season transfer. 8/10

Robinho

After a slow start to the season, the Brazilian has grown into a more dynamic footballer, showcasing an excellent work-rate and rediscovered positive attitude to match his ability on the ball. Also not far behind Ibrahimovic and Pato in the scoring charts. 8/10

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