2010 Serie A End-Of-Year Awards

James RiggioContributor IDecember 21, 2010

2010 Serie A End-Of-Year Awards

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    2010 was a great year in Italy as Internazionale won the UEFA Champions League title, the Italian Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup title in addition to the Scudetto. Thus, Inter is well represented in the 2010 Serie A End-Of-Year Awards.

    Click further to find out who was named Serie A's MVP for the year, the Starting XI, the Coach of the Year as well as several other awards.

Goalkeeper Of The Year

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    Julio Cesar wins this easily as Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon spent much of 2010 sidelined.

    Inter allowed just 34 goals in 38 Serie A matches during the 2009-10 season, the lowest total in the league.

Defender Of The Year

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    Maicon wins this because he was dominating in the 2009-10 season. He has not fared as well since the start of the 2010-11 season. But he still did enough to easily win this award.

Midfielder Of The Year

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    Palermo's Javier Pastore wins the award over Wesley Sneijder because much of Sneijder's success was in the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup.

    Pastore has emerged as one of the best players in the world and at 21 has as much upside as any player in Serie A. He helped Palermo finish fifth in Serie A last season and has been ever more impressive in the new season.

Forward Of The Year

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    Antonio Di Natale is a no-brainer for this one as he easily won the Serie A scoring title last season and hasn't slowed down this season.

Comeback Player Of The Year

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    This award goes to one of the all-time greats in AC Milan's Alessandro Nesta. Nesta played just one match during the 2008-09 Serie A season due to back problems that kept recurring. Some believed Nesta would call it a career. But Nesta returned and while he isn't as dominant as he once was, he is still as good any defender around.

Best Utility Player Of The Year

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    This is a category created simply because no list of Serie A's best would be complete if it didn't include Javier Zanetti. Still going as strong as ever, Zanetti's flexibility to play in the midfield and as a wing back on either side allowed coaches Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez to make a number of changes that turned out to be crucial for the club.

Biggest Surprise Of The Year

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    This award goes to Palermo attacking midfielder Josip Ilicic. The Slovenian and teammate Armin Bacinovic both joined Palermo later in the summer after their club Maribor defeated Palermo in a Europa League Cup match. The next day Palermo acquired the pair, who have both been impressive. But it is Ilicic's presence that will make it easier for Palermo to sell superstar Javier Pastore as the club already has a replacement.

Most Improved Player

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    Leonardo Bonucci is a player who went from being a prospect inserted in a trade to now being a starter with Italy's National Team.

    Bonucci left Inter in the summer 2009 and was shipped to Genoa and then Bari. A relatively unknown, Bonucci's play was so impressive that the central defender moved to Juventus in the summer of 2010.

Coach Of The Year

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    The self-proclaimed "special one" Jose Mourinho wins the award because of the trophies he brought to Inter.

    However, a lot of credit should be given to Luigi Del Neri for bringing Sampdoria to a fourth-place finish considering he had a squad that really lacked in depth.

    Edy Reja's work with Lazio, Walter Mazzari's with Napoli, Claudio Ranieri's with Roma and Delio Rossi's with Palermo should also be noted.

Most Valuable Player

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    No player has meant more to his team than Antonio Di Natale has for Udinese. Di Natale scored 29 of his club's 54 goals in the 2009-10 season to lead the league and has already scored 10 early on the in the 2010-11 season.

Best XI: Goalkeeper

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    As previously mentioned, Julio Cesar wins this award as he clearly was the best goalkeeper in Serie A for 2010.

Best XI: Right Back

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    Maicon was the best right back in the world in 2010 as he often featured in Inter Milan's attack. He scored six goals in Serie A during the 2009-10 season.

Best XI: Central Defender

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    AC Milan's Alessandro Nesta re-established himself as one of Serie A's greats in 2010.

Best XI: Central Defender

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    Lucio joined Inter from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2009 and was certainly one of the key reasons why the club won as much as it did in 2010. Certainly one of the greatest defenders of his generation.

Best XI: Left Back

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    No longer in Serie A, Aleksander Kolarov was the brightest spot for Lazio during the 2009-10 campaign.

    Kolarov was a constant threat for clubs as he often played up as a midfielder.

    After just three years with the club, Lazio was able to sell him to Manchester City for almost 20 times what it paid for him.

Best XI: Defensive Midfield

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    The captain of Sampdoria, Palombo was the key reason why the squad from Genoa stunned everyone with a fourth-place finish in Serie A. His play earned him a trip to South Africa for the World Cup, where Marcello Lippi made the mistake of not making him a starter.

Best XI: Defensive Midfield

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    Daniele De Rossi, AS Roma's vice captain, was on the top of his game in 2010 with Roma. The club finished just two points behind Inter for the Scudetto and that was following an early season coaching change that saw Claudio Ranieri take over for Luciano Spalletti.

    He has clearly emerged as the leader of the club ahead of Francesco Totti.

Best XI: Attacking Midfielder

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    Wesley Sneijder's addition gave Inter something it lacked and that was a true attacking midfielder.

    He deserves much of the credit for Inter's success in 2010.

Best XI: Attacking Midfielder

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    Javier Pastore became an international superstar in 2010. He is now one of the most wanted players on the planet. At 21, the Palermo star helped lead the club to a fifth-place finish in Serie A for the 2009-10 season with many assists to teammate Fabrizio Miccoli. With Miccoli was out for the beginning of this season, Pastore took on a bigger role and also became a big goal-scoring threat.

Best XI: Forward

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    Antonio Di Natale of Udinese was the heart and soul of his club in 2010. He even rejected a transfer to Juventus in the summer. Di Natale was Serie A's leading scorer with 29 goals in 2009-10 and has continued to impress in 2010-11 with 10 goals heading into the holiday break.

Best XI: Diego Milito

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    Milito had 22 goals in Serie A in 2009-10 and was Inter's top scoring target. Hampered by injuries, he has scored 3 times in Serie A thus far during the 2010-11 season.