Selecting Serie A's greatest XI from the last decade (2010-2020)

  • Kobe Tong

It’s been a hectic decade for Serie A.

Starting out with a Champions League victory for Inter Milan, Italian football’s crowning competition has since become mired by Juventus’ monopoly over the last eight Scudettos.

However, there’s a feeling that Serie A is beginning to return to its former glory days with Inter making a comeback, Atalanta staging a surge and some bloke called Cristiano Ronaldo arriving.

But before we get carried away with the the future, we’ve been working our way through various teams of the decade here at GIVEMESPORT and it’s the turn of Serie A to take centre stage.

Selecting the best possible XI from between 2010 and 2020 certainly wasn’t easy, but we’ve come to a conclusion that features both obvious and controversial decisions. Check out the team below.

GK – Gianluigi Buffon

Sure, Samir Handanovic and Wojciech Szczesny have both been superb since 2010, but this is an absolute no-brainer and Buffon swans into the team as one of the greatest goalkeepers in history.

Buffon experienced a late career renaissance halfway through the decade, impressed during runs to two Champions League finals and remains a top 20 shot-stopper at the grand old age of 41.

RB – Christian Maggio

Not the most thrilling choice in the world, but Serie A has been surprisingly short of top full-backs over the last 10 years and Maggio emerged as the leading candidate for his brilliant decade with Napoli.

Maggio was selected in the Serie A Team of the Year for the first three seasons of the decade; won the Coppa Italia twice in three years and bagged the 2014 Supercoppa Italiana to boot.

CB – Leonardo Bonucci 

Playing four at the back means we’re having to break up Juve’s legendary ‘BBC’ and Bonucci has narrowly beaten former teammate Andrea Barzagli to a place in the XI.

Putting his bizarre spell with AC Milan aside, Bonucci has been faultless since 2010 and confirmed his status as one of the sport’s best defenders with a place in the 2017 FIFA FIFPro World XI.

CB – Giorgio Chiellini

For us, Chiellini has been the standout defender in Serie A over the course of the decade and that’s no small statement when you consider the likes of Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly were biting at his heels.

The 35-year-old has featured in over 500 matches for Juventus, won 16 major honours, appeared in the Serie A Team of the Year four times and is currently the 14th highest-rated player on FIFA 20.

LB – Alex Sandro

We could have moved some more talented centre-backs out wide, but we’re being strict with our positions here and Sandro edges out Patrice Evra as Juventus’ best left-back of the last 10 years.

Despite lacking some of the individual awards of his defensive partners, Sandro has accumulated over 170 appearances in the last five years and has bagged four Scudettos for his efforts.

CDM – Radja Nainggolan

One of the most dynamic and versatile midfielders of the modern era, Nainggolan has been a great servant to the Italian game across spells with AS Roma, Inter Milan and Cagliari.

The Belgian was a mainstay in the Serie A Team of the Year between 2015 and 2018, doing enough to oust players like Clarence Seedorf, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal who boasted similar modi operandi.

CM – Andrea Pirlo

One of the easiest choices in the whole team. Right up until his departure from Juventus in 2015, Pirlo was one of the sport’s classiest operators and hoovered up four Scudettos with the Old Lady.

Four Serie A Team of the Year appearances, three Serie A Footballer of the Year awards and a seventh place finish in the Ballon d’Or represent a rather spectacular decade for Pirlo.

CM – Daniele De Rossi

Starting the decade with the Italian Athlete of the Year award set the tone for a Roman warrior who neutralised some of the world’s best midfielders in almost 300 appearances during the epoch in question.

Paul Pogba came very close to forcing his way into the team after four brilliant seasons in Italy, while Marek Hamsik and Wesley Sneijder both deserve a tip of the hat for their own contributions since 2010.

CAM – Francesco Totti

It’s credit to Totti’s incredible talents that the Roma legend makes this XI pretty comfortably despite having played his best football before the decade started. 

The World Cup winner rolled back the years across more than 200 outings during the decade in question, finding the net on 63 occasions and being crowned the Serie A Assist Leader in 2013-14.

ST – Antonio Di Natale

Maybe not the most glamorous selection to lead the line, but the statistics show exactly why Di Natale deserves a call-up over Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o.

Despite already being 32 at the start of the decade and playing for a mid-table Udinese side, Di Natale was crowned Serie A’s top scorer in 2010 and 2011 as well as qualifying for the Team of the Year three times in a row.

ST – Gonzalo Higuain

Higuain is worthy of an inclusion for his 2015-16 season alone, which wrapped up a spectacular three-year spell at Napoli with no fewer than 38 goals in 42 games. Naturally, the Serie A Golden Boot came in tandem.

The goals have dried up a little since his move to Juventus, but 55 goals during his first two seasons and a new lease of life under Maurizio Sarri have solidified his legacy in Italian football.

A spectacular XI

Just imagine if those 11 players shared a dressing room in their primes.

With one of the greatest ever goalkeepers between the sticks, a legendary centre-back partnership, an Italian midfield spine and two prolific goal-scorers up top, success would have been guaranteed.

It goes to show that Serie A has seen plenty of talent over the last 10 years and if it’s current trajectory is anything to go off, their next team of the decade will be even better. 

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