thumbnail Hello,

Goal.com nominates the top three standout performers for the Bianconeri - have your say in the comments section below!

Having bounced back to the very top rung of Italian football in 2011-12 with an unbeaten league triumph and a Coppa Italia final appearance, Juventus have moved up another level over the course of this season. With an 11-point lead going into the final games, the Bianconeri have long since looked set for a second successive Scudetto, while their endeavours on their return to the Champions League saw them knock out European champions Chelsea on the way to a respectable quarter-final finish.

At the heart of their displays were some massively consistent figures, with coach Antonio Conte's decision not to rotate as much as some would have expected meaning that the most influential players in his squad were asked to deliver at regular intervals.

And for the most part they did exactly that. Andrea Pirlo has been excellent once more, Giorgio Chiellini has been solid either side of an injury-enforced absence, Kwadwo Asamoah has fitted straight in side and Gianluigi Buffon has been Gianluigi Buffon. But there have been other, even more influential members of the Juve squad this term.

Below, in alphabetical order, are Goal.com's three nominees for Juventus' player of the season, based on their club performances in all competitions.

LEONARDO BONUCCI | DEFENDER
Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 28 0 0 10 0
Coppa Italia 4 0 0 1 0
Europe 10 1 0 2 0
Others 1 0 0 1 0
Total 43 1 0 14 0

While the Bianconeri finally saw their sheen of invincibility rubbed away this season, falling to four league losses after last term's defeat-free campaign, their back line has largely stood resolute. They have occasionally been exposed to pace down the flank guarded by Andrea Barzagli, but alongside him Leonardo Bonucci has stood tall for the large majority of the Old Lady's season.

He may not be everybody's cup of tea and can arguably be shown up when used in a back four, but he has been a rock at times in Juve's 3-5-2 system during 2012-13. His combative power, attitude, fearlessness and resolute manner have helped to make him into an untouchable member of the Bianconeri's defensive trio.

Bonucci was a key player in the run which saw Juventus go five games without conceding a goal in the Champions League to extend their stay in the competition and also earned them three vital points with his only goal of the campaign against Shakhtar Donetsk in October.

STEPHAN LICHTSTEINER | WING-BACK
Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 24 4 1 5 0
Coppa Italia 1 0 0 0 0
Europe 6 0 0 3 0
Others 1 0 0 1 0
Total 32 4 1 9 0

The old adage says that you don't know what you've got until it is gone, and Stephan Lichtsteiner represents exactly that to Juventus. He has proven himself once more this season to be the finest wing-back in Italy with regular performances of phenomenal desire, ability and work-rate. And when he hasn't been available, Juve have struggled badly to replace him.

Perhaps Mauricio Isla's struggles best exemplify the true effect of the 29-year-old former Lazio defender, with a seemingly perfect fit having not worked out. Lichtsteiner, however, has been a constant presence at both ends of the pitch to demonstrate just how good a job can be done by a player who fits the role of wing-back as well as he does.

Like Bonucci, he took to the Champions League challenge with great aplomb, with his performance up against the likes of Willian and Henrikh Mkhitaryan away to Shakhtar helping to ensure progression. He has racked up the rare feat of notching the opening goal of the league season for the last two years, with both coming at home to Parma.

ARTURO VIDAL | MIDFIELDER
Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 26 7 7 10
0
Coppa Italia 4 1 0 1 0
Europe 9 3 2 3 0
Others 1 1 1 0 0
Total 40 12 10 15 0

Back in his AC Milan days, many suggested that Andrea Pirlo wouldn't have been the same player if he didn't have a platform-setting engine like Gennaro Gattuso alongside him. At Juve, the Italy midfielder has an even greater luxury to his right, with Arturo Vidal continuing to show his magnificence in midfield during 2012-13.

Still only 25, the Chilean is fast becoming one of the world's most complete midfielders with his phenomenal tackling stats allying with an ability to cause all sorts of trouble in the opposition third. His guts, strength, vision and superb execution make for a concoction which has drawn the attention of other giants in the game.

While he has turned in many standout performances this term, nobody will quickly forget the heart and desire he showed in shaking off a nasty ankle injury against Chelsea in September to score a goal and complete an energetic 90-minute showing which went a long way to Juve qualifying from the group. His two goals against Lazio all but clinched the Scudetto - Juventus would be absolutely insane to sell him.

For the latest in its series looking at all of Europe's top clubs, however, Goal.com has narrowed down the candidates for the Old Lady's Player of the Season to just three names. Look them over and leave a comment if you disagree! 

Related

From the web