Goal.com's countdown to the greatest player of 2008 continues with one of the world’s best defensive midfielders; Esteban Cambiasso of Inter Milan.
49 - Javier Zanetti - Internazionale, Serie A - Score: 1104
48 - Daniel Guiza - Fenerbahçe, Super Lig - Score: 1089
47 - Juninho Pernambucano - Olympique Lyonnais, Ligue 1 - Score: 1083
46 - Juan Román Riquelme - Boca Juniors, Argentine Apertura - Score: 1077
45 - Luca Toni - FC Bayern, Bundesliga - Score: 1064
44 - David Silva - Valencia, Primera Division - Score: 1060
42 (T) - Thierry Henry - Barcelona, Primera Division - Score: 1040
42 (T) - Daniel Alves - Sevilla, Primera Division / Barcelona, Primera Division - Score: 1040
41 - Antonio Cassano - Sampdoria, Serie A - Score: 1028
40 - Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - Ajax Amsterdam, Eredivisie / Real Madrid, Primera Division - Score: 1027
39 - Ricardo Carvalho - Chelsea, Premier Division - Score: 1025
38 - Samuel Eto'o - Barcelona, Primera Division - Score: 1017
37 - Philipp Lahm - FC Bayern, Bundesliga - Score: 1009
36 - Javier Mascherano - Liverpool, Premier League - Score: 1008
35 - Julio Cesar - Internazionale, Serie A - Score 1000
34 - Robinho - Real Madrid, Primera Division / Manchester City, Premier League - Score: 970
33 - Diego - Werder Bremen, Bundesliga - Score: 955
32 - Carles Puyol - FC Barcelona, La Primera División - Score: 915
31 - Wesley Sneijder - Real Madrid, Primera Division - Score: 887
30 - Daniele De Rossi - Roma, Serie A - Score: 878
29 - Esteban Cambiasso - Internazionale, Serie A - Score: 877
Esteban Cambiasso has been one of Inter’s most dominant performers this year. The Argentinean has been with the Nerazzurri since 2004, and has made over 130 appearances, whilst scoring 16 times for the club.
Cambiasso was always destined for greatness with the Italian giants, and he continued his fantastic form over the course of the year. His stunning performances in the midfield led Inter to their third consecutive Scudetto in May, whilst he has been crucial to the club’s outstanding start this season.
The Nerazzurri are currently sitting pretty atop of the Serie A table, with an impressive 42 points recorded from 17 rounds of football. Inter’s star midfielder has been at his brilliant best thus far, making 14 appearances, and being one of the most influential players in the competition. His good form has seen him included in Goal.com’s Serie A team of the season so far, in midfield alongside Napoli’s underrated star Walter Gargano, and the Juventus hard man Momo Sissoko.
In addition to this, the Inter number 19 received kind words of praise from his coach Jose Mourinho in recent times, as the former Chelsea manager compared Cambiasso to the ex-Real Madrid star Fernando Redondo, by claiming that, “he also wasn't that fast, but on the field he was much faster than everyone else.”
The 28-year-old is simply perfect for the Italian game, as tactically he is nothing less than proficient. He is without doubt one of the main reasons behind the defensive dominance the Nerazzurri have enjoyed over the past twelve months, as his anchoring role in front of the back four has been second to none.
As a result of his stunning form this season, the big spending Manchester City have been linked with a move for the Argentinean in recent weeks, and they have reportedly held meetings with the Inter hierarchy to discuss the player’s future. The talismanic midfielder is undoubtedly the unsung hero at the San Siro, and as he is a regular starter in Jose Mourinho's starting eleven, selling him to City is an unlikely outcome.
Having said that however, if the English side are to make a mega offer, then the Inter president Massimo Moratti may find it hard to resist. City's incredible buying powers mean that no player is ever far away from joining them, and so if the reports are said to be true, then the Eastlands club could be successful in launching a transfer assault on Cambiasso in January.
All in all, this player is one of the greatest players to have ever pulled an Inter shirt on and to grace the pitch in the Serie A. He is an intelligent midfielder, who has the capacity to change the shape of a game off his own boot. He is one of the most influential midfielders in Italian football, and for that reason and many more, he will certainly be remembered as one of the most talented players of all time.
2007/08 Serie A Title
2008 Italian Super Cup
Adrian Del Monte, Goal.com