Building the Perfect Serie A Player

Matteo BonettiContributor IJanuary 2, 2014

TURIN, ITALY - DECEMBER 16:  Andrea Pirlo of Juventus FC looks on during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and Atalanta BC at Juventus Arena on December 16, 2012 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

When you look at building the perfect Serie A player, you first have to take a deep dive into the league and the characteristics that some of the more successful players have.

While the Serie A has long been known for its astute tactical ways and watertight defensive lines, it has progressively changed over the past few years, becoming a high-octane goal fest where possession play and rapid counter attacks trump the weakening defensive mentality.

Suddenly, teams like Fiorentina and Napoli are able to achieve success by playing three to four strikers at once, with midfields and attacks that far outweigh the quality of their respective back line.

To build the perfect Serie A player, let's first choose a position. One of the most historical positions in Italy that's still striving is the Regista—otherwise known as a deep-lying playmaker that can sit in front of the defense and spray pinpoint passes to his teammates.

While Andrea Pirlo fills this role almost to perfection, you get the sense that it'd be possible to further improve his limited athletic abilities and create a super-player, one that would adopt characteristics from some of the biggest stars on the peninsula and be able to play anywhere on the pitch.

Without further ado, it's time to build the perfect Serie A player:

 

Physique: Paul Pogba

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has the perfect physique for a modern-day footballer.

Standing at more than 6'3'', Pogba is an incredible athletic specimen that has plenty of pace, strength and dexterity to deal with the rigors of Serie A.

TURIN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 27:  Paul Pogba of Juventus in action during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Juventus and FC Copenhagen at Juventus Arena on November 27, 2013 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

His long strides make it seem like he almost effortlessly glides across the pitch, using his long limbs to intercept passes or make critical aerial challenges.

 

Mentality: Javier Zanetti

A consummate professional, the perfect player would have Javier Zanetti's brain.

He's almost an extinct breed of footballer, a family man who has had the same haircut for two decades—who cares less about the earrings he wears or the clothes he dons and more about keeping himself in premier physical fitness despite being 40 years old.

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  Javier Zanetti of FC Inter Milan celebrates during the Serie A match FC Internazionale Milano and AC Milan at San Siro Stadium on February 24, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Zanetti embodies the definition of a professional athlete and is one of the classiest people in the sport.

 

Vision: Andrea Pirlo

No surprises here.

Our super-player would adopt Andrea Pirlo's incredible technique that allows him to effortlessly lob balls to streaking team-mates, or put the ideal free kick into the top corner of the goal.

PARMA, ITALY - JANUARY 13:  Andrea Pirlo of Juventus FC scores the first goal during the Serie A match between Parma FC and Juventus FC at Stadio Ennio Tardini on January 13, 2013 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

One of Pirlo's other characteristics is his slithery dribbling ability when being pressed by a defender, which makes it very hard to take the ball away from him.

 

Loyalty: Francesco Totti

The Italian term for a player being loyal to one club and sticking with it throughout his entire career is Bandiera

ROME, ITALY - MARCH 17:  Francesco Totti of AS Roma greets his fans seen from behind during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Parma FC at Stadio Olimpico on March 17, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

In this new age of super-agents, the internet and newly-rich clubs—it's almost impossible to see a player refuse lavish offers from abroad and actually stay with his childhood club throughout his career.

Totti has epitomized the term Bandiera and feels a loyalty towards his beloved Giallorossi that has made him into a near-untouchable, demigod-type figure in the Italian capital.

 

Skill: Mario Balotelli

When it comes to pure skill, few compare to the mercurial superstar known as Super Mario.

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 23:  Mario Balotelli of AC Milan in action during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Genoa CFC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 23, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

While Balotelli surely has his slew of critics, he does possess many positive qualities which have propelled him to stardom in his early 20s. His touch on the ball, long distance shooting ability, and incredibly underrated vision have led him to become one of the most unpredictable talents in Europe.

Now if only he could take some of Javier Zanetti's mentality..

 

Conclusion:

By taking the best bits of some of Italy's biggest superstars, we've essentially created a super player that could dominate in virtually every position.

What's your take on the subject? What other characteristics would you steal from other Serie A stars?