Saturday May 25 2013
Team of the Season

It’s been a long tough season with several exciting players making their mark on Serie A. Dave Taylor picks his best XI from 2012-13.

Samir Handanovic [Inter]

It was a tough job choosing between the Slovenian and Lazio’s Federico Marchetti. However, if taking over from the great Julio Cesar wasn’t tough enough, having to stand behind a defence that conceded 57 goals was a real test of character. Yet despite only two ‘keepers personally conceding more than him (53), Handanovic’s superb reflexes and ability to stand up to an avalanche of shots per game helped save Inter from an even worse season and this just gives him the edge. Walter Zenga-like

Marquinhos [Roma]

The Brazilian teenager has been a revelation this season, especially considering he only played six games last year in Brazil. Yet his ability to play in several positions and his coolness on the ball belied his inexperience. His pace, intelligence and ability to carry the ball pulled the Giallorossi out of several tricky situations. Consequently his future looks very bright and Roma may have a problem holding onto him. Aldair-reborn

Hugo Campagnaro [Napoli]

A resilient defender whose consistency, pace and strength were highlighted against Lazio in February. Following Senad Lulic’s long ball that fooled Morgan de Sanctis, he raced back to clear off the line. Then with just minutes left he moved up field with an ease that suggested he knew exactly what needed to be done and did it. Finding space from a corner, the Argentine performed an acrobatic scissor-kick and powered the ball high into the roof of the net to earn a well-deserved point. Rudi Krol-ish

Andrea Barzagli [Juventus]

Missing just four matches, the powerhouse defender has been the most consistent, making almost six clearances per game with a 90 per cent successful passing rate. He also seems to know what the opposition are going to do next and gets into position to do something about it, making everything look simpler than it actually is. His power, determination and energy have contributed heavily to the Bianconeri having easily the best defensive record in Serie A. Ferrara-like

Juan Cuadrado [Fiorentina]

One of the reasons for the Fiorentina renaissance, his energy and Cheetah-like reflexes contributed to seven assists. Unafraid to shoot on sight, out of 17 attempts on target he scored five goals. One perfect example of his needle sharp reflexes was during the November game against Cagliari. Blocking a clearance from Michael Agazzi, he noticed him off his line and cleverly put a little curl on the ball, lobbing it back over the stranded ‘keeper for his first goal. Laudrup-tastic

Arturo Vidal [Juventus]

Power, precision, pace and goals, what more could you want? Juve’s joint leading scorer on 10, he has also contributed eight assists. Combines ball-winning with piercing distribution and is the complete modern midfielder. Still only 25 years old, the Chilean was in so many teams of the week that it was uncanny, and was the driving force behind Juve’s supremacy in the league. Perhaps his best aspects are his sheer energy and adaptability, one minute in defence, the next in attack. Franco Causio-style

Marek Hamsik [Napoli]

With 11 goals and 14 assists he contributed to almost a third of Napoli’s goals directly and only Maradona knows how many indirectly. The Slovakian has not missed a game and his outstanding vision alongside hi, determination, dribbling ability and energy makes him Serie A’s most outstanding attacking centrocampista.The blue-chip midfielder is always at the very heart of everything and makes it all balance out. Antonio Juliano-like

Giacomo Bonaventura [Atalanta]

With his tireless running and 100 per cent attitude and determination to get forward, it’s little wonder clubs like Napoli, Juventus and Inter have shown interest. Always an outlet on the left flank, he has been one of the principle reasons for Atalanta dodging relegation despite the points deduction. He can play anywhere in midfield or the forward line and versatility has resulted in seven goals with two match winning strikes, plus five assists in 35 games. Roberto Donadoni-ish

Edinson Cavani [Napoli]

Scoring an unparalleled 29 goals this season, Serie A’s Capocannoniere also recorded the most shots this season, 156 with 71 on target. Steamrolling all before him, including four magnificent hat-tricks this season, three of them against Lazio, Roma and Inter, he has also been integral in defence. When the team needed that extra punch, they could always rely on the Matador to wave his Muletta. Out would charge the opposition, only for the Uruguayan to hit home on the counterattack and plunge the Estoca in deep, no mercy. Almost unbelievably gifted in every department, his 38 goals in all competitions contributed to 40 percent of Napoli’s total. Careca-tastic

Erik Lamela [Roma]

The Argentina forward can play in any number of positions across the midfield or up front with great effect and is the club’s second top scorer with 15 goals as well as five assists. He has also been blessed with one of the nimblest and most accurate left feet in Serie A, absolutely devastating. Still only 21 years old, he showed his powers off best in the 4-2 defeat of Milan in Week 18 scoring first with that dynamic left foot, then was first to the ball to head home number four. Totti-supportive

Antonio Di Natale [Udinese]

Still doing it after all this time, the 35-year-old is once again amongst the very top scorers with 23, of which a massive 10 were match winning goals. He scores with his right foot, his left, penalties, tap-ins and a shining example of his outstanding agility was best illustrated in Week 33’s win over Lazio. Finding space and fooling two defenders in the box, he leapt up to meet a cross and scissor-kicked a volley past a stunned ‘keeper for the game’s only goal. Absolutely lethal and selfless. Abel Balbo-style


Special mentions: Adem Ljajic [Fiorentina], Francesco Lodi [Catania], Gonzalo Rodriguez [Fiorentina], Andrea Pirlo [Juventus], Stephan El Shaarawy [Milan], Alessio Cerci [Torino], Hernanes [Lazio], Federico Marchetti [Lazio]

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Have your say...
Defenders should be all Juve's.

That's a fact !
on the 25th May, 2013 at 4:55pm
Not a bad list...but Chiellini, Maggio, Jovetic, Totti all deserve honorable mentions.

Tho I can't understand Cuadrado...especially at the expense of Borja Valero. No honorable mention for Valero is beyond criminal.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 4:26pm

Kiddo, I'm glad your going to lose half or your team. Ses clearly deserved a spot in team of the season. Tell me ONE other 20 years old kid that scored 16 goals in first half of the season.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 4:16pm
How can El Shaarawy not be in the team of the season?? He is the reason Milan won third place. Who cares if he was only great for half a season? So was Di Natale. And Lamela is just a showboat.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 4:05pm
Totti scored most of his goals from the spot. I'm surprised not to see Luis Muriel get even a mention.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 3:50pm
Whatever team we choose, others will always highlight glaring omissions from the 11. But at the very least, I would have expected to see Totti, Montolivo, Candreva, Radu, Pogba etc given special mentions.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 3:45pm
You'd think at the age of 36 Totti's 12 goals and 12 assists would get him a place in the TOTS. At times he has carried the entire Roma attack on his back. His exclusion is lunacy. Lamela has impressed in relation to last season, but his goals scored mask a problem with consistency.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 3:23pm
Haha, no El Sharaawy on the list. You know why? Because Milan's best asset was the referee. I'm glad there are no Milan players there.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 2:30pm
The fact that Totti is not even on the special mentions list is hard to believe. 12 goals and 12 assists, whereas hamsik had 11 goals and 14 assists, but to be fair he was feeding cavani. Totti was superb this year, and the fact that players like cerci and ljajic made even the special mentions list over him is absurd.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 2:26pm
If you understood anything from this season,if you watched any game at all you would reize that Campagnaro shouldnt be included even in the special mentions!!
And what is this joke with Bonaventura when there are at least a dozen better players than him in this position this season:Hernanes,Naingolan,Pogba,Montolivo,Dzemaili,etc.
And the final insult is not seeing El Shaarawy in the team of the season??!!!!Thanks to this season the boy got into the FIRST TEAM if Italy!!! A DISSAPOINTING ARTICLE!
on the 25th May, 2013 at 2:09pm
And Valero should have a special mentions also, in all fairness.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 2:01pm
no totti?! not even an honorable mention either?! he creates and scores. not to mention his place in italian & club history book this year. he is a champion dave! does your opinion change dave if he and roma win the coppa italia?
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:57pm
It seems you only remember the ones who finish the season in high form...
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:53pm
Decent eleven, I've seen worse, but HOW can you put Lamela in front of Totti and not even mention him in "special mentions"?!

You ask me - Totti, Vidal or Hamsik are the ones fighting for Serie A player of the year. Lamela have been great, even though hes been severly overrated considering how little he actually contributes to play.

Totti got the best overral grades by italian magazines this season, got 12 goals and 12 assist, and you don't even mention him?
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:52pm
no Totti no party
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:45pm
Did you actually not include Totti? what a joke.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:34pm
I would like to add Mario Balotelli (at least to special mentions), he included in Milan team very well.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:31pm
Handanovic? Seriously? Just look at some of the goals he conceded (Quagliarella's goal for instance), where he was just standing there, watching the ball go by.
Marchetti was much better then him this season, Lazio are a bottom-table team without him.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:13pm
I think "Marchetti", "Buffon", "Sorrentino" are better than "Handanovic" on many way.

and then "Diamanti", no reason to forget to attach him for the list
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:11pm
You forgot about bonucci. The lad progressed admirably this year. At least give him an honourable mention + I would put.valero instead of bonaventura
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:10pm
Only two Juventus players, I expected more, they deserve it.
on the 25th May, 2013 at 1:01pm
I have to be honest from barzagli to di Natalie that is all spot on on who should be on the team of the season... But campagnaro!!?? Lol there's so many defenders this season that have been more consistent that he has, and I'm quite shocked that totti Pogba and Valero have not been in the special mentions part
on the 25th May, 2013 at 12:53pm
I'm not just saying this because I support Lazio, but where is HERNANES ?!?!?!
on the 25th May, 2013 at 12:47pm

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