With the 2017/18 Serie A season now over, we take a look at who makes our team of the season.
SERIE A TEAM OF THE SEASON: 4-3-1-2
Alisson; Joao Cancelo, Milan Skriniar, Giorgio Chiellini, Aleksandar Kolarov; Luis Alberto, Miralem Pjanic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic; Paulo Dybala; Mauro Icardi, Ciro Immobile
GK – Alisson (Roma)
The starkest breakthrough campaign experienced by any player in Europe. The Brazil No1 went from playing zero games in 2016/17’s Serie A, to being by far the best goalkeeper in the competition. Phenomenal agility was exhibited throughout a campaign that featured 17 clean sheets – only Napoli’s Pepe Reina notched more.
RB – Joao Cancelo (Internazionale)
The flying right-back has proved a revelation since being picked up on loan from Valencia last summer. Has added real dynamism to a position that Inter have failed to fill in the years since Javier Zanetti exited. If owners Suning Holdings Group can find the free cash, a permanent move is a must.
CB – Milan Skriniar (Internazionale)
Another expert summer addition by the Inter hierarchy. The €20 million (Dh86.5m) required to prise the 23-year-old from Sampdoria appeared wiser by the commanding performance. This influence is extended to both penalty boxes. It is no wonder that teams such as Barcelona have been so strongly linked to him.
CB – Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
At 33-years old, Chiellini’s best days are behind him. But this doesn’t mean he cannot act as the snarling face of a Juventus backline that remained the best in Italy. His enduring quality is shown by the fact his 350th Serie A appearance was notched in March. A goalless draw, of course, against SPAL.
LB – Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma)
The Serbia left-back has enjoyed an Indian summer now he’s been freed from the sidelines, or centre-back duties, at Manchester City. Even though he’s turned 32-years old this term, he’s consistently provided a lively presence from left-back for Roma. A return of eight assists is utterly outstanding and helped quell doubts caused by his Lazio ties.
CM – Luis Alberto (Lazio)
Another whose talent blossomed this term. The attacking midfielder has been central to a campaign for Lazio that promised so much until the final day. A tally of 11 goals and 14 assists points to his excellent productivity. A feint that took out the entire SPAL defence was his season highlight.
CM – Miralem Pjanic (Juventus)
The glue that held the omnipotent Juve midfield together. At 28-years old, the Bosnia international is beginning to apply a huge influence. A tally of five goals and nine assists points to his continued ability from dead balls. The only black mark was the fortune that saw him denied a red card against Inter.
CM – Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio)
The Serbia international is, unquestionably, a coming force in football. Standing more than 1.90 metres tall but blessed with divine poise and grace, he made the left-hand side of Lazio’s centre midfield his own. Was Lazio’s second-highest scorer with 12 goals. This €100m-rated (Dh432m) prospect deserves the Champions League-stage.
FW – Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
The Argentina forward burst out of the blocks in 2017/18, registering 12 goals and four assists during a sensational opening seven Serie A games. There looked few better players on the planet at that time. His level would then dramatically fluctuate, but it’s hard to question a spot in the team of the year.
CF – Mauro Icardi (Internazionale)
A truly talismanic figure for Inter. The skipper’s 29 goals in 34 Serie A games dominated the club’s tally. Without the weight of this contribution, a return to the Champions League for the first time in six years would not have happened. What a loss for World Cup 2018 that he has not been picked by Argentina.
CF – Ciro Immobile (Lazio)
After an underwhelming few years on the road, Lazio continues to feel like home for Immobile. Built on 2016/17’s fine debut campaign, finishing joint Capocannoniere – top scorer – with Icardi. The 28-year-old’s insane back-heel volley to snatch a late 2-2 draw at Cagliari will live long in the memory of all calcio watchers.
With the 2017/18 Serie A season now over, we take a look at who is our young player of the season.
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON
SERGEJ MILINKOVIC-SAVIC (LAZIO)
‘Mr 100 million’ – as La Gazetta dello Sport call him – has grown throughout 2017/18 into a player that Europe’s super clubs wildly covet.
Born with the frame of a basketballer but gifted the poise of a ballerina, this is a talent set that only Manchester United’s Paul Pogba can match.
Milinkovic-Savic’s brilliance on the left side of Lazio’s centre midfield has made him a young prospect without compare. This expert utilization by head coach Simone Inzaghi has been rewarded with 12 goals and three assists.
A stellar achievement for a 23-year-old. Highlights include a brace to inspire a comeback from 2-0 down at Atalanta, plus his breathtaking role even amid crushing defeat to Inter this weekend.
He really should be playing in the Champions League.
Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan)
There’s been a coming of age for the 20-year-old, who first joined Milan 12 years ago. The strong No9 scored 10 goals in 28 Serie A games as big names around him struggled.
Giovanni Simeone (Fiorentina)
Forms a promising attacking duo with fellow footballing progeny, Federico Chiesa. Scored the most out of the pair, with the 22-year-old Argentine – son of Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone – notching an impressive 14 times.
Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria)
A defensive midfielder of true promise is emerging amid the attacking adventure of head coach Marco Giampaolo’s gung-ho outfit. The 22-year-old missed only two top-flight fixtures in 2017/18 and is going to the World Cup with Uruguay.
With the 2017/18 Serie A season now over, we take a look at who is our player of the season.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
MAURO ICARDI (INTERNAZIONALE)
No player had a greater influence on the success – or failure – of their team than Icardi. The 25-year-old experienced the most-prolific season of his career, notching 29 times in 34 league appearances as Inter earned a cherished return to the Champions League.
Pertinently, this accounted for 44-per-cent of Inter’s overall tally – second-top scorer Ivan Perisic scored 18 fewer. Highlights included a hat-trick to lift his team past AC Milan in October.
There was also the four-goal haul at former club Sampdoria in March and August’s brace as head coach Luciano Spalletti enjoyed an instant winning-return to Roma. His, apparent, show of fealty after Sunday’s win at Lazio is another huge boost.
Luis Alberto (Lazio)
The 25-year-old Spanish playmaker really came into his own this season, notching 11 goals and 14 assists.
Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria)
This was a vintage season for the 35-year-old striker. His 19 goals put him fourth on the Serie A scoring list – one place ahead of Napoli and Belgium ace Dries Mertens.
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
The early months promised one of the great Serie A campaigns. But even though the Argentina forward, 24, could not reach legendary status, a tally of 22 goals – with one coming every 107 minutes – shows his ability.