Juventus were crowned Serie A champions for the eighth consecutive time, the first for new signing Cristiano Ronaldo, as they dominated domestically in 2018/19.
Napoli were right behind the Bianconeri, and qualified to the Champions League together with an impressive Atalanta and pazza Inter.
Torino and Lazio also had positive seasons, as did Sampdoria, who were led by Capocannoniere Fabio Quagliarella.
Our Forza Italian Football Team of the Season 2018/19 is deployed with a 4-3-3 system. Let us know your thoughts!
Salvatore Sirigu – Torino
Torino battled for a European spot – even flirted with a top four finish – until the very end, a lot is down to the great defending, and to the consistency of Sirigu. The goalkeeper was almost perfect, hardly ever making mistakes, and often being the key to Torino’s successes, with a number of fine saves. He managed 15 clean sheets, saving two penalties out of four (including Quagliarella’s only miss from the spot this season) and being regularly called by Roberto Mancini for Italy.
Hans Hateboer – Atalanta
Pretty much every Atalanta defender has been exceptional this season, and to be the best of the crop truly is an achievement. The perfect wing back for Gian Piero Gasperini’s system, Hateboer was a tractor down the flank, always being in the right place at the right time both defensively, when he had to meet passes to score goals – a total of five – or be the one serving assists – also five.
Francesco Acerbi – Lazio
A monster of consistency, replacing Stefan De Vrij at the heart of Lazio’s defence in the best possible way. With 35 appearances in Serie A, five in the victorious Coppa Italia campaign and eight in the Europa League, Acerbi has been one of the few regular starters for Simone Inzaghi, showing leadership, charisma, quality on the ball and perfect timing in positioning. A tactical understanding of the game that has elevated him to one of the best centre backs in Italy. The icing on the cake has been an exemplary behaviour throughout the season.
Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli
The goalline clearance to deny Lautaro Martinez’s goal at the Stadio San Paolo is emblematic of the season Koulibaly has had, both in Serie A and in European competition – a mix of perfect positioning, physical strength, optimal decision making and the ‘never give up’ mindset that only the best players have. He has confirmed his status as one of the best defenders in the world. Even with Raul Albiol’s leadership lacking for most of the season, Koulibaly guided the Napoli defence perfectly, no matter his partner.
Aleksandar Kolarov – Roma
Still the best left-back in Serie A, even at the age of 33. A mix of defensive ability, attacking quality and that necessary leadership to be a difference maker in the changing room. The moment it was announced that Daniele De Rossi was leaving Roma, Kolarov immediately spoke out saying it was a bad idea. Always a strong presence in the Giallorossi changing room, he scored eight Serie A goals, plus one in the Coppa Italia, this season, an incredible number for a defender.
Josip Ilicic – Atalanta
Literally unplayable when on top form, the Slovenian has made the most of Gasperini’s coaching advice to become an absolute machine, getting over his consistency issues he used to have throughout his career. With 12 goals and seven assists to his name, he has been one of the key factors in Atalanta’s incredible season, and whenever he switched off – such as in the Coppa Italia final – the whole team struggled to maintain the level of their football.
Marcelo Brozovic – Inter
The mind and motor of Inter’s midfield, being the only truly consistent player for the Nerazzurri aside from the defenders. The Croatian started this season just as he finished the last, with the regista role handed to him by Luciano Spalletti. A lot of hard work in covering at the back, as well as quality in the build up have made him one of the best holding midfielders in Serie A. Two crucial goals – against Sampdoria and Lazio – were the icing on the cake of his season.
Fabian Ruiz – Napoli
One of the biggest surprises of this Serie A campaign, the former Real Betis man has been key to Napoli’s attempt to move on from the legacy of Maurizio Sarri. Combining physicality with impressive quality on the ball, he has been employed both as a winger and as a central, box-to-box, midfielder, as well as being the mind behind the Napoli attack, bagging five goals himself as well. He was disappointing in the double legged encounter against Arsenal in the Europa League, but so were most of the team, but before and after that he has emerged as one of Napoli’s finest players.
Duvan Zapata – Sampdoria
The slow start to his season – failing to score in the first 10 games – was absolutely blown away by what happened afterwards. The Colombian made the most of Ilicic returning as a regular starter and of what he could learn from Gasperini to become an absolute goal machine, helping Atalanta to improve a little more. Andrea Petagna, who was the centre forward last season, was great at helping the team, but hardly ever scored. Zapata has been able not only to combine perfectly with his striking partners, with seven assists to his name, but also proved to be an excellent finisher, netting 23 goals.
Fabio Quagliarella – Sampdoria
We’ve ran out of adjectives for Quagliarella, who has demolished a number of records in a season that sees him become Capocannoniere with 26 goals, at the age of 36. He has also become the oldest player to ever score for Italy – 36 years and 54 days – as well as equalling Gabriel Batistuta’s record streak of 11 consecutive Serie A matches with a goal, as well as picking up Forza Italian Football‘s prize for Striker of the Season. All of this, without forgetting to add class and quality to his goals. The back heel beauty scored against Napoli is one of finest goals ever scored in the history of the calcio.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus
The first man to score 600 club goals, the first to win the league title in three of Europe’s top five leagues. And so on, and so forth. Cristiano was bought to raise the bar in the Champions League, and he did his job, scoring five goals in the knockout stages, but was let down by the rest of the team. In Serie A, it was business as usual, confirming his status as big game player with goals against Inter and AC Milan and in the Turin Derby, with a total of 21 goals scored and eight assists provided in his first Serie A season.