The door has been shut on another season in Italy’s Serie A and the campaign was nothing if not eventful, with powerhouses AC Milan knocking Inter off the top of the tree to claim their first Scudetto since 2004.

Inside Futbol’s Luca Ferrato picks Serie A’s team of the 2010/11 season, opting for a 4-3-3 system:

Goalkeeper – Christian Abbiati (AC Milan)

Abbiati won his first Scudetto with the Rossoneri in the 1998/99 campaign at the age of just 21, but failed to build on that success and in the summer of 2005 joined Juventus. From there, Abbiati moved to Torino and Atletico Madrid, though still never quite hitting the heights of his first season with Milan. In 2008, the shot-stopper returned to the Rossoneri, struggling with Brazilian keeper Dida for the number 1 shirt. This year, with Dida released, Abbiati has been superb, with outstanding displays against Inter (3-0) and at Brescia (1-0) in one of the final games of the season.

Right back – Ignazio Abate (AC Milan)

Until last season, Abate was considered average and improvement seemed off the agenda. This year though, with Massimiliano Allegri coaching the 24-year-old, he has become one of the best right backs in Serie A, impressing against Inter, Napoli and Real Madrid in the Champions League. Abate was born a midfielder, but has made the right back slot his own.

Centre back – Andrea Ranocchia (Genoa/Internazionale)

After the Treble of last year under Jose Mourinho, the 2010/11 season was one of disappointment for the Nerazzurri, getting off to a bad start under former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez before opting for ex-AC Milan legend Leonardo. However, in this troubled twelve months, Inter discovered a top class centre back in Andrea Ranocchia. Just 23 years old, Ranocchia began the season at Genoa, but was soon idenfied as the perfect replacement for injured Argentine international Walter Samuel. The youngster showed poise, class and no shortage of talent.


Centre back – Thiago Silva (AC Milan)

It is a measure of how highly Thiago Silva is rated at AC Milan that some sections of the club’s support have even begun to draw comparisons with Rossoneri legend Franco Baresi, “il Capitano”. The Brazilian was a rock at the heart of a Milan defence that only conceded 24 goals in the league and played no small part in the Scudetto win. Alongside Alessandro Nesta, Thiago Silva can rightfully be considered one of the best defenders in the world.

Left back – Domenico Criscito (Genoa)

The 25-year-old defender may have failed in his first season in Serie A with Juventus (2007/08), but he has been reborn with the Rossoblu. Criscito is now Italy’s first choice left back under Cesare Prandelli and stood out in a Genoa team which endured a poor campaign.

Defensive midfielder – Gökhan Inler (Udinese)

Swiss international Inler had a key role in Udinese’s exceptional season, helping the southern Italian club finish fourth. The tough-tackling midfielder does not usually get amongst the goals, but remained crucial to coach Francesco Guidolin’s tactical plans. Equipped with a winner’s drive and a real leader on the pitch, Inler is on the radar of just about every club that counts in Europe.

Defensive/attacking midfielder – Kevin-Prince Boateng (AC Milan)

The young Ghana star began the season as a defensive midfielder at the San Siro, but in December, Milan coach Allegri opted to move Boateng into a “trequartista” role, and this switch proved inspired. Boateng was a key man in Milan’s Scudetto triumph, proving fast and unpredictable for his opponents, netting important goals. Last summer, after a fine World Cup with Ghana, Boateng was bought by Genoa and then loaned to Milan. Now Adriano Galliani, Milan’s vice-president, is fighting with Rossoblu president Enrico Preziosi to buy the midfielder.

Attacking midfielder – Marek Hamsik (Napoli)

Marek Hamsik arrived in Naples for the 2007/08 season and is now one of Napoli’s top performers. The Slovak schemer usually plays in an attacking role, just behind Edinson Cavani and Argentine phenomenon Ezequiel Lavezzi and has continued to dazzle this year. Both AC Milan and Real Madrid are keen on Hamsik, but president Aurelio De Laurentiis has promised the player will remain with the Azzurri for years to come.


Right winger – Antonio “Totò” Di Natale (Udinese)

Totò Di Natale is a “never-ending goalscorer”. The forward has kept on producing the goods at Udinese, season after season, and ended with 28 to his name – a major reason Udinese finished in a Champions League spot. He underperformed at the World Cup in South Africa last summer, but with the Zebrette, Di Natale has the right surroundings to show his class.

Left winger – Samuel Eto’o’ (Internazionale)

The former Barcelona forward played a big part in helping the Nerazzurri in their disastrous first half of the season. Under Benitez, the Cameroon international played all across the frontline, scoring many crucial goals for his Spanish boss. Last year, with Jose Mourinho at the helm, Eto’o began to play on the left or right hand side of an attacking unit, leaving the centre to Diego Milito (last season) or Giampaolo Pazzini (in this campaign). Eto’o scored 21 goals in Serie A and played a vital role in helping Inter win the Club World Cup in December.

Forward – Edinson Cavani (Napoli)

Following a superb World Cup with Uruguay last summer, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis bought Edinson Cavani from Palermo, and this proved a masterstroke. Cavani has been simply sensational, helping Napoli to an unlikely title challenge and the ultimate prize of Champions League football. With 26 goals to his name, Cavani improved throughout the season and has become world class.

Coach – Massimiliano Allegri (AC Milan)

The former Cagliari boss was the brain behind AC Milan’s Scudetto success this season. Starting with a 4-3-3 formation that included Ronaldinho, but offered the side little balance, Allegri soon switched to a 4-3-1-2 system, with three defensive midfielders (usually Mathieu Flamini, Mark van Bommel and Gennaro Gattuso) and Kevin-Prince Boateng in a “trequartista” role. The coach also found a new attacking position for Robinho, with the Brazilian scoring 16 times for the Rossoneri in perhaps his finest season to date. Allegri convinced all Milan’s stars to contribute to his new project and ended Inter’s reign of five consecutive Serie A titles in the process.