The Top 10 Serie A Players Since 2000
Thousands of years ago gladiators entertained crowds by killing each other in battles that took place in the collisseum. People roared and cheered for them, and the last man standing received rewards from the Emperor.
Even after centuries the same sporting event is still in existence. However, instead of swords and spears, today's gladiators use a soccer ball as their weapon.
These modern-day gladiators have assembled again for an ultimate showdown now known as Italian Serie A; and the reward is the Italian Cup.
Here are the Top 10 gladiators of Italian Serie A.
10. Andrea Pirlo - Milan
Andrea Pirlo is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer. He currently plays for A.C. Milan, as well as the Italian national team.
Pirlo was an important key figure of the Italian team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Pirlo started his career as an offensive midfielder until coach Carlo Ancelotti developed him into a Playmaker at A.C. Milan. He led Milan in minutes played for the 2006-07 season with 2,782.
In October 2007, he was nominated for the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Award.
He is usually supported by defensive midfielders Gennaro Gattuso and Massimo Ambrosini.
He performs a crucial play-making role on the club, and has the ability to generate both short and long passes; which is crucial for strikers to score.
Another plus about Pirlo is the consistency of his play; he never lets anyone down.
9. Luca Toni-Fiorentina
Luca Toni is an Italian football player. He was a striker for ACF Fiorentina and currently he plays for Bayern munich in German Bundesliga.
He started his professional career at Modena in 1994. After a good Serie B season with Treviso in 1999, he moved to Vicenza Calcio, playing in Serie A for the first time.
He then moved to Brescia Calcio and played for two seasons alonside Roberto Baggio.
He joined Palermo in 2003 and helped the team to win Serie B by scoring thirty goals during the season, consequently gaining his first cap for the national team. In the following season he scored twenty goals. In July 2005, he was signed by Fiorentina for $10 million.
On September 7, 2005 he became the first Fiorentina player to score a hat-trick for the Italian national team in a 2006 World Cup Qualifying match against Belarus (which Italy won 4-1). Toni made a notable start to the season 2005-06 Serie A, netting 21 times in the first 21 games.
He was European gold Shoe winner for the season 2005-06, and he was Serie A's top scorer for the year 2006.
8. David Trezeguet - Juventus
David Sergio Trezeguet is a French-Argentine football striker who plays for Juventus and France. He is currently one of the top five goalscorers for Juventus.
At club level, Trézéguet has played for Platense in Argentina (1994), Monaco (1995-2000), and Juventus (since 2001), with whom he won the Serie A title two times
He was Serie A Footballer of the Year 2002, Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year 2002, and Serie A's Top goalscorer for the 2001-2002 season.
7. Paolo Maldini - AC Milan
Paolo Maldini, born June 26, 1968 in Milan, is an Italian football player. Maldini is a defender and predominantly plays the position of left back, although he sometimes plays at centre back.
Throughout his long career, he has remained with A.C. Milan.
One of the great defenders of all time, he was arguably the best defender of his time at the peak of his career, and remains well known for influential captaincy, ice-cool temperament and flawless defending.
He is still playing at a very high level, which is confirmed by inclusion to FIFPro World XI in 2005, nomination to the UEFA Champions League 2004-2005 most valuable defender title, and second place in the Golden Foot nomination in 2005.
Maldini's Serie A debut came in 1985. He has had a glittering career to date, winning many trophies with Milan.
He was the UEFA Champions League Best Defender of the Year 2007 and Serie A Defender of the Year 2004. He has played 126 matches for Italy.
6. Alessandro Nesta - Milan
Italian soccer players are widely recognized as having the best tactical knowledge and defensive prowess in the World—and Nesta is the perfect example to build a proof upon.
He plays defense for Italian Serie A club A.C. Milan. Widely regarded as one of the most talented footballers of his generation, Nesta is rated by many as one of the greatest defenders of all time.
He was Serie A Defender of the Year in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.
5. Gianluigi Buffon - Juventus
Gianluigi "Gigi" Buffon is an Italian FIFA World Cup-winning goalkeeper who currently plays for Italian Serie A club Juventus F.C. and the Italian national team. He is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time.
In 1995, at the age of 17, Buffon was signed by Parma A.C., and made his Serie A debut against A.C. Milan. In his fourth season with the club, he won the UEFA Cup.
He transferred from Parma to Juventus in 2001 for a world-record goalkeeper's fee of around £32 million.
In 2003, he received the UEFA Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper awards. He was Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006and 2008.
He won Onze d'Or (Best Goalkeeper) in 2003 and 2006, and got UEFA Club Football Awards for Best Goalkeeper in the year 2003.
4. Zlatan Ibrohimovic - Inter Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimović is a Swedish football striker. He is currently playing for Inter Milan.
One of Zlatan's goals against NAC Breda on August 22th, 2004 was by Eurosport considered "Goal of The Year". Zlatan dribbled through several NAC defenders before putting the goal behind the keeper.
Ibrahimović is 192 cm tall and powerfully built, and thus physical strength is one of his greatest assets.
He was Serie a Foreign Footballer of the year 2005 & 2008.
He was Serie A Footballer of the year 2008, and winner of Serie A Goal of the Year in 2008.
3. Alessandro Del Piero - Juventus
"Alessandro Del Piero" is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer. He is the captain of Juventus where he holds several club records (218 goals) and he is a member of the Italian national team.
Del Piero plays as a supporting-striker and occasionally between the midfield and the strikers, known in Italy as the "Trequartista" position.
Although he is not very tall, Del Piero's playing style is regarded by critics as creative in attacking, assisting many goals as well as scoring himself, as opposed to just 'goal poaching.' His free-kick and penalty taking is also highly regarded.
In terms of goalscoring, Del Piero holds the all-time record at Juventus. He is in sixth place in the UEFA Champions League all-time goalscorer records. Within the Italian national team, he is currently joint fourth with Roberto Baggio in the all-time scoring records.
He was Italy's Footballer of the Year in 1998 and 2008.
He won the Coppa Italia (Top Scorer) in 2006 and the Golden Foot in 2007.
He was Serie a top scorer of the year 2008.
Juventus all-time highest scorer.
Juventus all-time leading no of appearances.
2. Francesco Totti - AS Roma
Entire footballing career has been with AS Roma, his Serie A debut was on 28th March 1993 against Brescia. Roma won 2-1. He has been a lifelong fan of this club it must be more than a dream come true that he is now captain of his team.
Francesco Totti's position is that of a striker or an attacking midfielder, though he's best known for playing as the "trequartista," a compromise between the two positions where the player acts as a link between midfield and attack.
He is also Roma's first choice to take free kicks, having scored a number of goals from dead-ball situations.
He was Guerin d'Oro (Serie A Best Player) in 1998 and 2004. He was Serie A footballer for the years 2000 and 2003, and Serie A's top scorer for season 2006-07.
He was European Gold Shoe winner for the year 2006-07.
He holds Roma's all-time scoring and appearance records. He got Serie A's Fair-Play award for the 2006-07 season.
1. Ricardo Kaka - AC Milan
Kaká made his debut at São Paulo FC in 2001 when he was 18 years old. In the first season, he scored 12 goals in 27 appearances, and 10 goals in 22 appearances in the following season.
His performance attracted attention from European clubs, and it was AC Milan who won the race to sign him.
In 2006, Real Madrid showed an interest in signing the 24-year-old star, but Milan refused to sell him and Kaká signed a contract extension until 2011. He said he never wanted to go to Real and was happy at Milan.
He was Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2004 and 2007, Serie A Young Footballer of the Year in 2003, and Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year in 2004, 2006, and 2007.
He was Best Fielder of the Year in the UEFA Champions League in 2005.