Serie A: Top 11 Players so Far

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMarch 6, 2012

Serie A: Top 11 Players so Far

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    Watching the Serie A has been a joy this season. You have Juventus' resurgence, AC Milan playing sumptuous football, Inter Milan's demise and Lazio being a dark horse to win it all. 

    Who have been your best 11 players so far? 

    One prerequisite is the player must have played 20 Serie A games this season. So Kevin-Prince Boateng and Francesco Totti are unfortunately not on the list. 

    My list is based on this season's form alone, not reputation. 

     

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11. Stevan Jovetić, Deep-Lying Forward, Fiorentina, Age: 22

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    Stevan Jovetić has directly and indirectly contributed to 58.3 percent of Fiorentina's goals in the Serie A. 

    Without Jovetić, Fiorentina would be relegation bound like Novara and Cesena. 

10. Germán Denis, Centre Forward, Atalanta (on Loan from Udinese), Age: 30

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    Germán Denis edges out Edinson Cavani and Miroslav Klose on my list, because what he has accomplished is harder to achieve. 

    He's managed to score 15 goals playing with the likes of Maximiliano Moralez and Luca Cigarini.

    Meanwhile Cavani has two "Tenors" and Klose has a world-class teammate in Hernanes.

9. Daniele De Rossi, Defensive Midfielder, Roma, Age: 28

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    Daniele De Rossi's contract extension not only ensured that he became the Serie A's highest-paid Italian, but it preserved his status to join the likes of Giacomo Losi and Francesco Totti as a one-club man for Roma. 

    De Rossi is playing lights out, and the best improvement of his game this season is his discipline. No more elbows being thrown means no more red cards and suspensions. 

    His tackling is fierce as usual, and he deserves every bit of the reported €6.5 million per year.

    Keep in mind, he would have earned a lot more money and won more trophies with Manchester City, so his loyalty to Roma is admirable. 

8. Ezequiel Lavezzi, Attacking Midfielder, Napoli, Age: 26

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    On reputation, you would rank Napoli's triumvirate as: 1) Edinson Cavani 2) Ezequiel Lavezzi 3) Marek Hamšík. 

    On form, it's 1) Lavezzi 2) Cavani 3) Hamšík. 

    Cavani has been a bit hot and cold this season, and he wouldn't have scored as many goals without the genius of Lavezzi. 

    What some people fail to notice about Lavezzi is him dragging opposing players out of position and allowing someone like Christian Maggio to exploit the vacant space. 

7. Hernanes, Attacking Midfielder, Lazio, Age: 26

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    Lazio spent €11.1 million, which is the equivalent of £9.2 million, on Hernanes whilst Liverpool spent £20 million on Jordan Henderson. 

    Hernanes is a world class midfielder whereas Henderson is nothing special—yet the Englishman's transfer fee was significantly higher. 

    Hernanes is the primary reason why Miroslav Klose is scoring so many goals because the Brazilian can split an opposing defence open by himself. 

6. Samir Handanović, Goalkeeper, Udinese, Age: 27

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    For me, Samir Handanović has been a more consistent goalkeeper and a bigger presence than Gianluigi Buffon this season.

    Handanović has made 78 saves this season, and seven of those came in a 1-0 win over Palermo. 

5. Fabrizio Miccoli, Centre Forward, Palermo, Age: 32

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    This season, Fabrizio Miccoli's goals scored/created average of 1.09 per game in Serie A is better than Antonio Di Natale (0.96) Edinson Cavani (0.75) and Miroslav Klose (0.71). 

    Miccoli not only scores consistently but he also creates. He's the only player in Serie A with more than 10 assists this season (12). 

4. Thiago Silva, Centre-Back, AC Milan, Age: 27

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    Thiago Silva is composed when in possession and world class when reading the play.

    Statistically, this translates to a 90.4 pass completion percentage and 86 interceptions. 

    To think he once didn't make the grade at Porto and Dynamo Moscow. 

3. Antonio Di Natale, Centre Forward, Udinese, Age: 34

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    The fact Antonio Di Natale is still scoring at a prolific rate even without Alexis Sanchez shows how great the Italian is. 

    In the last 10 games, Di Natale has scored eight goals and provided two assists. 

2. Andrea Barzagli, Centre-Back, Juventus, Age: 30

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    There's a reason why Juventus have the best defensive record in Serie A and are still unbeaten—Andrea Barzagli.

    I'm not saying Barzagli is a better defender than Thiago Silva and Giorgio Chiellini, but based on this season's form so far, Barzagli is the best defender in Italy. 

    If you ask Fabio Cannavaro, he'd agree.  

    Talking about Chiellini, he would be on this list if he didn't play 10 games at left-back. Mind you, he's still better than Cristian Molinaro at left-back. 

    Potentially Juventus could fail to win the Serie A because of Barzagli's injury, which has ruled him out for three weeks. 

    Antonio Conte is left with a make-shift centre-back pairing of Martín Cáceres (who has been playing at full-back for Sevilla) and Leonardo Bonucci (a liability). 

    Why no  Chiellini? He's injured too. 

1. Zlatan Ibrahimović, Centre Forward, AC Milan, Age: 30

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    I didn't need that great hat-trick against Palermo from Zlatan Ibrahimović to put him in this spot, but it's just an indication of how easy it can be for the giant Swede. 

    When he wants to dominate, he can. There's no reason why he can't score at the same crazy rate as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo do in Spain. 

    Ibrahimović's combination of brute strength and technical finesse makes him almost unstoppable. 

    The only person that can stop him is himself because, from time to time, he does some daft things, whether it's slapping people or kicking them. 

    Many people bring up Ibrahimović's streak of winning eight consecutive league titles, but the last two teams he left went on to win the UEFA Champions League the year after. 

    Season Ibra's Team
    UCL Winners
    2008-09 Inter Milan Barcelona
    2009-10 Barcelona Inter Milan
    2010-11 AC Milan Barcelona

     

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