GK: Sebastien Frey (Inter, Verona, Parma, Fiorentina, Genoa)
Sebastien Frey was iconic for anyone watching football in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. His shock of dyed blond hair made him instantly recognisable and it is easy to forget how good he was. His composure, athleticism and good footwork did well for him at Inter, Parma, Fiorentina and Genoa. It was perhaps for the Viola that he was at his absolute best.
RB: Lilian Thuram (Parma, Juventus)
Thuram was quite simply one of the best centre-backs of his generation, but for much of his Juventus career, he excelled at right-back. For a decade between 1996 and 2006, the intelligent, dynamic and athletic defender graced Serie A for Parma and Juventus. He won a Coppa Italia, a UEFA Cup and a Supercoppa with the Gialloblu and two Serie A titles and a Supercoppa with the Old Lady.
CB: Marcel Desailly (Milan)
Playing Desailly at centre-back may be pushing the boundaries, but it is still possible. The adaptable destroyer did play in the back line for Milan occasionally and he simply had to be in this team. One of the best French players to step onto Italian soil, for a time he was unplayable. Strong, quick, skilful and determined, he was part of potentially the greatest club side of all time. His ability to be so adaptable was a major asset; he could have played in three positions in this side.
CB: Jonathan Zebina (Cagliari, Roma, Juventus, Brescia)
Not a name many might expect to be on this list, especially as Laurent Blanc played for Inter and Napoli and could have taken his place. Blanc’s time in Italy was questionably not a success and so Zebina goes in for two reasons. First, he played over 250 times in Italy and you do not do that for the likes of Roma and Juventus without having talent. Secondly, he was also adaptable and played much of his career at right-back.
LB: Vincent Candela (Roma, Udinese, Siena, Messina)
Candela played 210 games for Roma, scoring 14 times, taking the Scudetto and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2001. He is in the Giallorossi’s Hall of Fame and the World Cup winner also had spells at Udinese, Siena and Messina. He could play left-back or in a more advanced role and was a very quick and offensively-minded option.
CDM: Didier Deschamps (Juventus)
Between 1994 and 1999, the ‘water carrier’ was part of a transforming Juventus team. His selfless work defined the defensive midfield role, as he specialised in breaking up the play and starting the next attack. His leadership and tactical reading of the game were superb and in five years, he picked up an astonishing 10 honours, including three Scudetti and a Champions League medal.
CDM: Patrick Vieira (Milan, Juventus, Inter)
Many might not remember Vieira’s five appearances for Milan in 1995-96, but he returned to far more success in 2005. He spent a season at Juventus before they their relegation to Serie B, then moved to Inter and under Roberto Mancini helped Inter claim four back-to-back Championships, establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in world football at the time.
CAM: Michel Platini (Juventus)
The best French footballer of all time? Maybe. What's for sure is that he is a legend in Turin. He played 147 times for the ‘The Old Lady’ over five years, scoring 68 times and winning two Scudetti, a Coppa Italia, a Cup Winners Cup, the European Super Cup, the European Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. Finishing top scorer in Serie A for three consecutive seasons, he also won three European Player of the Year awards. When he was in Italy, he was simply unplayable.
CAM: Zinedine Zidane (Juventus)
If anyone was going to argue about being the best French player in history, it would be Zidane. The fact that Youri Djorkaeff missed out on this team shows the immense talent he has. Over five years the midfielder wowed crowds around Italy with some sublime skill, superb range of passing and some spectacular goals. He took six major honours for Juventus before eventually joining Real Madrid. One of the best in his generation, Zizou had God-given talent.
CAM: Paul Pogba (Juventus)
It is hard to think now just how devastating Paul Pogba was at Juventus. Not only for his determination, directness and skill, but also for the quality of the goals he produced. This team was nearly going to have an extra striker, Jean Pierre-Papin, but while we remember him fondly, it is arguable his time at Milan was not as successful as it should have been, and therefore Pogba gets the nod. Four league titles, two Coppa Italia trophies and a Supercoppa is not a bad haul in four years.
CF: David Trezeguet (Juventus)
It could not be anybody else. Trezeguet’s rapport on the pitch with Alessandro De Piero will go down in history. In his 10-year career he played 245 Serie A games for the Old Lady, scoring 138 times. He had pace and power, but above all would ghost behind defenders to be in the right place at the right time. Trezeguet was Capocannoniere in 2001-02 alongside Dario Hubner with 24 goals. Due to Juventus being stripped of two titles, he left with only four major honours in this time, but he will always be adored by the fans for when he went down to Serie B following Calciopoli.
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