Football

Serie A: Best XI of all time

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Totti celebrated 20 years in the Roma first-team this year. (©GettyImages)
Totti celebrated 20 years in the Roma first-team this year. (©GettyImages).

The Serie A has had its ups and downs in it’s long history. Match-fixing scandal have scarred the face of the famous league time and time again.

But looking away from the controversy we would like to honour those that have lit up the Italian league. Here are the best eleven players ever to grace Serie A.

Goalkeeper | Dino Zoff  | Udinese, Mantova, Napoli & Juventus 

The legendary Italian Keeper helped Juventus endure one of its most successful periods and was an integral part of the 1982 World Cup winning Italian squad. He didn't concede a goal for almost two years for Italy and was voted Italy's Golden Player by the Italian Football Federation. 

Right-back | Javier Zanetti | Internazionale

The Argentinian has been at Inter for almost two decades now and his incredible fitness levels suggest he will be there for a very long time. He has won the Serie A an incredible five times with Inter and captained them to Champions League glory in 2010. Inter have won 16 trophies since he joined the club in 1995 making him an integral figure in Inter's recent dominance of Italian football.

Centre-back | Franco Baresi | AC Milan

One-club man, Baresi served at AC Milan for two decades before retiring in 1997 - the number six jersey was retired in his honour. Considered one of the best defenders ever, Baresi won 18 trophies in his 20 years at Milan. His defensive performances helped Italy win the 1982 World Cup. In 2004 he was listed as one of the '125 greatest living footballers'. 

Centre-back | Fabio Cannavaro  | Napoli, Parma, Internazionale & Juventus 

The only defender to win the coveted Ballon D'or, Cannavaro is easily one of the modern greats in football. A product of the Naples academy, Cannavaro started his career at Napoli before moving to Parma. His defensive performances were acknowledged at Parma where he won four trophies including a UEFA Cup. 

He then played for Inter and Juventus where he was respected by fans and players alike. He captained Italy to World Cup glory in 2006 and also won the Ballon d'Or the same year. He has been included in the FIFA World XI twice and has also won Serie A defender of the year a couple of times. 

Left-back | Paolo Maldini | AC Milan 

Maldini was one of the longest serving players ever, playing all 25 seasons of his career for AC Milan. The number three jersey was retired in his honour at Milan as he became a symbol of the club. 

He won an incredible 25 trophies when at Milan including five Champions League triumphs. Maldini finished as the runner up for FIFA player of the year in 1995 and also won the best defender trophy at the UEFA Club Football awards. 

Defensive-midfield | Andrea Pirlo | Brescia, Internazionale, Reggina, AC Milan & Juventus 

The Italian magician has been playing in the Serie A for 18 years now making his debut in 1995 as a 16-year-old. His game has gradually transformed, making him one of the best central midfielders in his era. 

His most successful time was at AC Milan where his accurate passing and long balls helped Milan win many battles in the midfield. He was part of the 2006 World Cup winning squad and was also included in the FIFA World XI that year. 

Pirlo was rejuvenated in 2012 when he made the move to Turin winning many personal accolades such as Serie A and Juventus player of the year. He was Italy' stand out performer in Euro 2012 and finished 7th in the Ballon d'Or standings.

Right-midfield | Roberto Baggio | Vicenza, Fiorentina, Juventus, AC Milan, Bologna, Internazionale & Brescia 

Baggio was one of the most prolific midfielders of all time scoring 291 goals throughout his career. He won trophies with almost every club he played for and his personal honours include winning the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year in 1993. 

He was also included in the FIFA World Cup All-Star team in 1994, Azzuri team of the century in 2000 and FIFA dream team of all time in 2002. His illustrious career makes him one of the gems of Italian Football.  

Central-midfield | Francesco Totti | Roma 

Another one-club-man, Totti is arguably the best ever Roma player and is popular outside Italy too. He has spent all his 21 career years at Roma scoring 282 times for them in all competitions. 

Although he endured a poor international career, his performances in the Serie A were nothing short of sensational. A creator and scorer of goals, Totti leads by example for Roma and has won five trophies with Roma including a Serie A title in 2000/01. He's won the Italian footballer of the year a record five times and was honoured with the "Golden Foot" in 2010. 

Right-forward | Giuseppe Meazza | Internazionale, AC Milan, Juventus, Varese & Atlanta 

Meazza was one of the most versatile and prolific forwards in the Serie A scoring 347 times for club and country in just 564 appearances. He won the Serie A three times with Inter and won the Coppa Italia once for both Inter and Milan. He didn't flourish at other Italian clubs but his formidable goal scoring record is one of the best ever in Serie A. 

Centre-forward | Silvio Piola | Pro Vercelli, Lazio, Torino, Juventus & Novara

The late Piola was one of the best Italian strikers ever. He played in the Serie A for 25 years and scored 333 goals in this period. He didn't win any major honours for his clubs but was a standout goal scorer carrying Juventus and Inter to runners-up spots in the Serie A. 

Left-forward | Gunnar Nordahl | AC Milan and Roma 

Nordahl was arguably AC Milan's best ever striker. His record of 210 goals in 257 games for Milan is an incredible feat. Nordahl scored an astonishing 43 goals in 33 starts for his country Sweden. One of the most prolific goal scorers in Serie A, he scored a further 15 goals in his short stint at Roma. He won the Serie A twice and was the Serie A top scorer on five separate occasions. 


DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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