Serie A Team of the Season: Ronaldo is Juventus' only representative

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The Bianconeri may have romped to an eighth consecutive Scudetto but, the Portuguese superstar aside, they were outshone by the likes of Atalanta

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    #1 Alessio Cragno | Cagliari

    Inter's Samir Handanovic may have kept the most clean sheets in Serie A this season (17) but no goalkeeper has made more saves in any of Europe's 'Big Five' leagues than Alessio Cragno (152), whose shot-stopping played a pivotal role in keeping Cagliari up.

    Having progressed through the under-age ranks with Italy, it is now only a matter of time before the 24-year-old, who received his first senior call-up last September, is handed his international debut by Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini.

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    #2 Pol Lirola | Sassuolo

    Sassuolo's decision to sign Pol Lirola on a permanent transfer from Juventus last year has now been fully vindicated. Indeed, at this point, the €7 million fee is looking like an absolute steal.

    As well as netting two goals, the Catalan has created a further six, more than any other defender. To put that in context, that's as many assists as Federico Chiesa and Ivan Perisic combined!

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    #3 Armando Izzo | Torino

    Torino don't score many goals (49) - no side in the top 10 has netted fewer - so the only reason they are even in with a shout of qualifying for Europe is their backline, which has been led magnificently by Armando Izzo.

    The Neapolitan has won more duels (253) and aerials (117), and made more interceptions (85), than any other defender in the league. Thus, the 27-year-old centre-half's first Italy cap, in March, was as unsurprising as it was merited.

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    #4 Kalidou Koulibaly | Napoli

    Giorgio Chiellini may have been once again integral to Juve's title triumph but there is no better defender in Serie A right now than Napoli's much-coveted centre-half, Kalidou Koulibaly.

    Wonderfully composed and gifted in possession (no player in Serie A has made more successful passes - 2229), the Senegalese is quick, brave, colossal in the air and reads the game wonderfully well - as so fantastically illustrated by his spectacular off-the-line clearance against Inter last weekend.

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    #5 Cristiano Biraghi | Fiorentina

    It's been a dreadful season for a Fiorentina side that initially promised so much and yet are now in danger of relegation.

    Cristiano Biraghi has hardly been blameless at the back but he has been superb going forward, creating more chances (63) and whipping over more successful crosses (36) than any other defender.

    His fine form has also seen him break into the Italy team, racking up five appearances in total since making his debut last September, with the highlight being a last-minute winner against Poland that he dedicated to former Fiorentina captain Davide Astori.

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    #6 Manuel Lazzari | SPAL

    SPAL coach Leonardo Semplici has already resigned himself to losing Manuel Lazzari this summer, conceding that the 25-year-old is now ready to make another "leap in quality".

    After receiving his first Italy cap last September, the versatile right wing-back, who can also play at full-back, has gone from strength to strength, racking up eight assists in Serie A with his pin-point crossing - only Papu Gomez has delivered more successful crosses.

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    #7 Nicolo Barella | Cagliari

    Whether Nicolo Barella will still be at Cagliari next season is uncertain. What's beyond doubt, though, is that the 22-year-old is one of the most talented young midfielders in the world.

    With an aggressive, all-action style that even he admits would be best suited to the Premier League, Barella ranks in Serie A's top five for winning tackles, duels and possession, as well as recoveries.

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    #8 Papu Gomez | Atalanta

    At 31 years of age, Atalanta's inspirational captain Papu Gomez is playing the best football of his career.

    Whether deployed as a No.10 or on the left-hand side, there is no more creative player in Serie A, as underlined by the fact that he is the only man to have created more than 100 chances for his team this season (109), resulting in 10 assists - as well as six goals.

    Champions League qualification would be a fittingly historic reward for one of the most likeable players - and personalities - in Italian football.

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    #9 Josip Ilicic | Atalanta

    One of Gian Piero Gasperini's biggest achievements at Atalanta has been extracting the most out of the ridiculously talented but maddeningly temperamental Josip Ilicic, who has hit 12 goals this term, and created a further seven.

    There are few better sights in Italian football than the technically gifted Slovenian playing at the peak of his considerable powers and it is wholly unsurprising that Napoli and Roma are now scrambling to sign him in spite of the fact that he turned 31 in January.

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    #10 Fabio Quagliarella | Sampdoria

    The undisputed story of the season, Fabio Quagliarella put his stalker nightmare behind him to earn a recall to the Italy squad at the age of 36.

    What's more, after a record-equalling run of netting in 11 consecutive Serie A games, the Neapolitan striker, who has also contributed eight assists, is now on the verge of being crowned Capocannoniere, with 26 goals.

    This is one fairytale set to have a happy ending.

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    #11 Cristiano Ronaldo | Juventus

    Barring an unlikely turnaround, Cristiano Ronaldo looks unlikely to get his hands on the Capocannoniere award. However, the Portuguese superstar has already been named Serie A Player of the Year, after a sensational debut season in Italy.

    As well as carrying Juventus' goalscoring threat in the Champions League knockout stage all on his own, the 34-year-old also struck 21 times during his side's march towards the Scudetto, throwing in eight assists along the way to hammer home his all-round importance to Massimiliano Allegri's title-winners.