Serie A Fantasy Team Of The Season


Samir Handanovic (95 points): Inter led the League in clean sheets (17) and he took advantage of the fact that Wojciech Szczesny (71 points), the starter of the closest team, Juventus (16), was sometimes rested. The Nerazzurri captain had one of his finest seasons, coronated by terrific performances and superhuman saves. In order to fully understand his worth, you do not need to look much further than what happened in the final match against Empoli.

Armando Izzo (75 points): he made the final leap in the season that just ended, showing an unseen level of charisma on top of his usual grit and physicality. Torino had a tremendous year defensively, but he also showed up on set pieces with four goals, which significantly increased his haul.

Giorgio Chiellini (69 points): he has been on a very high level for few years now, but in the first few months it felt like he was even able to take it up a notch and was omnipresent in the back, plugging holes and tackling enemies with the help of his supreme muscularity. He scored once, against Fiorentina, and was on the pitch for 13 of the 16 times the Bianconeri shut out their opponents.

Lorenzo De Silvestri (69 points): his role allowed him to pick up points at both ends. Ola Aina pushed him at the beginning of the season, but all three wingbacks, including Cristian Ansaldi, ended up featuring somewhat regularly. De Silvestri established a spectacular connection with Andrea Belotti, whom he assisted four times with crosses, and bagged two goals of his own.

Franck Kessie (73 points): it probably was not his best season in Serie A, but it was certainly prolific fantasy-wise, thanks three penalties and a total of seven goals. He had some pauses, but when he is on, his dynamism is palpable and surely affects the course of the game for a team that does not have a lot of hustle in the roster.

Dries Mertens (111 points): he got off to a strong start, notching seven goals in the first ten games, and finished on an absolute tear, finding the target eight times in the last ten appearances. The final tally is 16 goals and ten assists, which goes to show how key he is to Napoli’s success, even though he often has to split time with Arkadiusz Milik and Lorenzo Insigne. They might have to find a way to feature all three of them consistently to go to the next level.

Gregoire Defrel (74 points): his arch was similar to Mertens, as he did most of the damage early and late. He can be uncatchable when he puts his blistering speed to good use, but he can also go through long stretches where his touch in the box is lacking. Either way, he served as a very good Robin to Fabio Quagliarella and he always puts a lot of pressure on the adversaries’ back-line when tiptoeing the offside trap. He posted 11 goals and four helpers.

Josip Ilicic (72 points): a very strange mouth infection derailed him, and partly Atalanta, in the first two months of the season, but he was a beast when he rediscovered his form. His class has never been in question, but he needs to be prodded to be consistent and Gian Piero Gasperini is a master motivator. His move to second-striker allowed his to exploit his technique and shooting skills closer to the box, which resulted in 12 goals and seven assists.

Fabio Quagliarella (117 points): it is pretty ludicrous that he had his best campaign at age 36, but the signs were there last year too and he simply added some clutchness, winning the scorers’ chart with 26 goals. Late in his career, he stopped chasing after the most stunning goals and became much more clinical. The gems are still there though, like the back-heel flick against Napoli or a pair of dazzling volleys.

Duvan Zapata (103 points): after three underwhelming months to open the season, he went like gangbusters in December and January, hitting the net 14 times in eight matches in a row and then proceeding with regularity until the final whistle, amassing 23 goals. He was one of the best in Europe in away games and his combination of girth and agility is always a problem, especially if he employs it to get where he wants in the box and he has a set of generous assist men feeding him.

Cristiano Ronaldo (95 points): a hamstring injury and Juventus’ Champions League bid, which required him to rest in the Spring, decreased his numbers, since he had already scored 19 times in mid-February, and in the end, they are still great (21 goals and 11 assists), but not otherworldly. He went scoreless for more than two games only twice during the season, displaying his full and superb repertoire and fantastic leadership in the seminal moments. Juventus lost just once in the domestic competition, late against Roma when things were already wrapped up, with him in the lineup.

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