Juve’s Arturo Vidal certainly deserves to be the Old Lady’s Player of the Year, but Dave Taylor believes there is only one genuine contender for the Serie A equivalent.
The finale to Juventus’ title defining season has been an Arthurian tale of a shining knight leading his teammates on a quest for victory. Over the last few months King Arturo Vidal sat at a round table and led the Bianconeri to the Holy Grail of the Scudetto. 'Capitan Unico’,aptly named for his unique knack of winning the ball by hooking it from behind while practising a slide tackle, has consequently and deservedly won the club’s Player of the Year award for those services.
The Chilean midfielder has strikingly mature footballing intelligence as regards the recognition of the dynamics of every game he is involved in. He darts in and out of channels with instant acceleration like an Arabian stallion, leaving lumbering defenders stranded as if they were so many Saxons with feet of clay. As befitting the very best midfielders he also sustains a remarkable drive and is, for most of the game, never far from the most significant action. If anyone at Juve deserves to win the award, it is him.
However, as regards the Serie A Footballer of the Year there can be no doubts that this accolade should go to Napoli’s own Prince Valiant, Edinson Cavani. With his long black hair flowing behind him on another dynamic run, he could be the Camelot prince himself. Certainly his fabulous left foot is a metaphorical Flamberge,as he simply cuts through defenders as if they were straw dummies.
The Matador has contributed so much to Napoli’s season and, unlike Vidal, does not have one of Europe’s best midfields to help him out. Yes he has Marek Hamsik and on his day Christian Maggio and the indefatigable Blerim Dzemaili, but in general Juve has the better squad.
Notwithstanding this, the Uruguayan striker’s goals have been integral to Napoli’s success, bringing in as many as 20 points. Goals win games, it’s football’s simplest law and with 27 so far Cavani has netted almost 40 per cent of Napoli’s total tally. It’s a brilliant return from 32 games and included his 100th goal for Napoli scored during the 3-1 win over Inter, when Cavani also scored his fourth hat-trick of the season at the San Paolo.
With Napoli finishing second and an automatic Champions League berth, Cavani’s final achievable target is to lift the prestigious Scarpa d’Oro award. The last time a Napoli player won the Capocannoniere title was when Diego Maradonalifted it in 1987-88 with 15 in 28 games. Back in Napoli’s golden years part one, the Serie A footballer of the year award was not an official recognition, but Diego did win the Best Footballer in the World award for the second successive season that year. At the very least Cavani deserves a mere Footballer of the Year award in Italy.