Serie A is over for another year and we have had just as much excitement as in previous campaigns.
We saw another formidable Juventus side take the Scudetto, the return of Mario Balotelli, as well as, a nailbiting relegation battle.
A number of sides this year have found life difficult, none more so than Pescara who end the season as the worst team to have been promoted as Serie B champions.
Inter and Roma also endured tough campaigns, so it remains to be seen how these clubs will change in the summer.
But we must digress and reveal those who made it into Forza Italian Football’s Serie A team of the season 2012/13.
The formation is 3-4-3 making full use of Serie A’s attacking talents seen this season.
Samir Handanovic (35 Serie A apps): Eyebrows were raised when Inter pushed the treble winning Brazilian shot stopper Julio Cesar out of Appiano Gentile but the worries that Interisti had when Cesar left were soon washed away when Handanovic arrived. With lightning reflexes, superb shot stopping abilities and a frightening record of saving penalties, Handanovic has been the only shining light of a dark season for Inter.
Andrea Barzagli (34 apps; 1 assist): It’s been another season of perfection for Barzagli, who won his second consecutive title for Juventus after another series of calm and commanding performances. Able to read the game better than any other defender in Italy, Barzagli’s composed attitude to defending is emphasised by the lack of cautions, five this season, the Bianconeri stopper has received since arriving in Turin.
Marquinhos (26 apps): Next to Juventus’s experienced defender is one of Serie A’s brightest stars. Shockingly competent at just 18, Marquinhos has been a surprise breakthrough at Roma, without whom the Zeman era for much of the season could have more damaging for the Giallorossi.
Gonzalo Rodriguez (35 apps; 6 goals; 2 assists): Fiorentina replaced Matija Nastastic with the experience and cool of Rodriguez, who along with Borja Valero, joined from Villarreal and brought a defensive stability to Florence that hasn’t been seen there since Cesare Prandelli strolled the touchlines. His return to form after leaving Spain has been a direct contribution to Fiorentina’s return to prominence and almost reaching the Champions League.
Juan Cuadrado (36 apps; 5 goals; 6 assists): Perhaps the most underrated signing of the summer. The Colombian wing back is full of energy, grit and is blessed with superb technique, as shown by his goal against Torino in April. Cuadrado has been one of Fiorentina’s most consistent performers and his attack minded approach to playing on the flank is one of the reasons why Montella has succeeded in his first year with La Viola.
Arturo Vidal (31 apps; 10 goals; 8 assists): Juventus won the league comfortably, and Vidal was Juventus’s best player by a similar distance. Frank Lampard-esque in his forward runs, and he leads the Bianconeri in goals during a Scudetto charge that has been more about teamwork than most others.Vidal is everywhere at all times for Juventus, and it’s hard to see them being successful without him.
Borja Valero (37 apps; 1 goals; 11 assists): Another superb signing made by the Delle Valle family up in the Florence boardroom. Valero has taken his silky skills to Italy asif he’s been playing there for a decade. Rarely ruffled, rarely gives the ball away, Borja Valero has rarely been anything other than excellent this season.
Marek Hamsik (38 apps; 11 goals; 14 assists): Second only to Iniesta, and joint with Franck Ribery, in assists this season in Europe’s top leagues, Hamsik has once again justified his reputation as the best attacking midfielder in Italy. Blessed with excellent vision and marries it with energy and vigour. If Napoli are to succeed, then the Cavani-Hamsik partnership needs to remain intact.
Francesco Totti (34 apps; 12 goals; 12 assists): At 36, Francesco Totti is still surprising us, amazing us and making us fall in love with the Roma idol all over again. From the extraordinary nonchalance of the backheel assist against Parma to the way he beat Lazio almost completely on his own for another time in his career. Breaking record after record this season, he is now the second highest goalscorer in the league’s history with 227 goals, only 47 behind Silvio Piola, who he has vowed to overtake. Totti has seemingly carried the not only the capital on his back for another season, but all of Calcio.
Antonio Di Natale (33 apps; 23 goals; 4 assists): Another veteran whose legs defy his age – Di Natale scored over 20 goals once again for the fourth season in a row despite turning 35 last October. Like a good bottle of wine, Di Natale seems to get better each year, the goals more outrageous, yet his performances just become less surprising. Same again next year?
Edinson Cavani (34 apps; 29 goals; 4 assists): Serie A’s most destructive individual player. Edinson Cavani has had another goal-packed year in a league that tends not to allow them at all. His 29 goals in Serie A crowned him Capocannoniere once again, and 36 in all competitions saw the Uruguayan score almost 40 percent of the Partenoperi’s goals this season. Cavani is the difference maker for Napoli, and probably the biggest difference maker in Serie A, as well as most of Europe.