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With the league calendar in Italy now complete, Goal.com presents the best Serie A XI of the campaign

The 2010-11 Serie A season saw changes taking place from top to bottom as Italy's top flight underwent a bit of a shake-up. At the head of the table are AC Milan after they brought city rivals Inter's recent stranglehold on football in the peninsula to an end, while Napoli and Udinese shocked many by joining the two cugini in finishing in the Champions League spots. Down at the bottom Sampdoria's very public implosion resulted in them being relegated to Serie B.

There were a lot of changes in fortune on a personal level, too. The formerly all-conquering Nerazzurri saw few of their star men able to repeat their efforts of last term, while for the likes of Milan and Udinese it was the ability to get the best from players in every department that led them to achieve their season's target.

Our best XI of the season boasts 106 goals, 54 assists and 18 clean sheets between them. That's a statistic any team would be proud of.

Formation: 4-3-3


Goalkeeper – Christian Abbiati (AC Milan)
Appearances: 35
Clean Sheets: 18

Milan were patient with him during his long injury absence in 2009 and this year they got their reward. With great command of his back four and his excellent judgement on crosses, the former Juventus man has earned himself the first choice slot for another term.


Right back – Ignazio Abate (AC Milan)
Appearances: 29
Goals/Assists: 0/1

Unconvincing under Leonardo but practically unstoppable this term, the former Torino man has grown into one of Italy's best full-backs. He has largely dealt superbly with the left-wing threat of opponents while himself providing a great outlet going forward.

Centre-back – Cristian Zapata (Udinese)
Appearances: 35
Goals/Assists: 2/1

After a poor 2009-10, the Colombian bounced straight back with a season to remember. With organisational abilities belying his 24 years, his anticipation and positioning helped an unsung Friulani defence more than play a part in the side's success.

Centre-back – Thiago Silva (AC Milan)
Appearances: 33
Goals/Assists: 1/1

Quite simply one of the best defenders in the world today - if not THE best. Awareness, anticipation, intelligence, power, pace, heart, aerial ability, two good feet, the Brazilian has it all and then some, and was much of the reason Milan marched to the title.

Left back – Federico Balzaretti (Palermo)
Appearances: 33
Goals/Assists: 2/7

Despite Palermo's defensive troubles, 'Balzac' had a fantastic personal campaign, with some wonderful contributions based on desire, awareness and bravery being posted in both defence and attack. His seven assists were a highlight as he made the Italy squad.

Right midfield – Alexis Sanchez (Udinese)
Appearances: 32
Goals/Assists: 12/12

One of Europe's hottest properties, the Chilean has had a real breakthrough year in helping Udinese into the top four. With pace to burn, excellent ball skills and deceptive upper-body strength, the young winger is set to take the Champions League by storm, whichever team it may be for.

Centre midfield – Kevin Prince Boateng (AC Milan)
Appearances: 26
Goals/Assists: 3/3

From an underwhelming signing to the star of the show, it's been quite a turnaround for the Ghanaian since his arrival at Milanello last summer. Made himself a key figure with performances laced with heart and belief in midfield and has even been used as a trequartista such has been his influence on the side's attacking play.

Left midfield – Anderson Hernanes (Lazio)
Appearances: 36
Goals/Assists: 11/5

Lazio may have just missed out on a prized Champions League spot but if one player of theirs deserved a place it was Hernanes. His trickery, movement, passing ability and wonderful left foot have made il Profeta one of the big draws around the peninsula this season and helped to keep his side in the race until the end.

Right forward – Edinson Cavani (Napoli)
Appearances: 35
Goals/Assists: 26/6

Cavani had a devastating impact at the San Paolo upon his arrival from Palermo last summer. After scoring in his opening three games things only got better as he added hat-tricks against Juventus, Sampdoria and Lazio on his way to 26 league goals, which formed the platform for Napoli's return to the Champions League.

Centre forward – Antonio Di Natale (Udinese)
Appearances: 33
Goals/Assists: 28/5

When you don't pass him the ball, he moans; when you do, he still moans. The standards Di Natale sets for himself and his side have led him to a second straight capocannoniere crown and a place in the Champions League. Despite bagging three trebles it's the brace v Lazio in week 37 which made all the difference.

Left forward – Samuel Eto'o (Inter)
Appearances: 35
Goals/Assists: 21/11

Rounding off our 75-goal front line is the exception that proved the rule at Inter this season. If anything, Eto'o was even better this term than he was last time around, bagging 35 goals in all competitions from the left sided role that Jose Mourinho assigned him during the triumphant 2009-10 campaign.

There you have it. Disagree with our selection? Let us know who you would have included in your esteemed line-up. As ever, we’re open to your suggestions and musings.

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