Derby d'Italia Debate: Juventus-Inter Best XI

Ahead of this weekend's big game,'s Subhankar Mondal picks a team comprised of the best eleven players from Juventus and Inter...
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

At 31, Gianluigi Buffon remains one of the two best goalkeepers in the world and certainly the Italy number one. The Juventus custodian has been in great shape so far this season and although there is a suspicion that since his World Cup triumph with Italy in 2006 his form has taken a dip towards the south, it cannot be denied that Buffon is the base of the Juventus backline. The former Parma star has been with the Old Lady since 2001 and is as huge a giant between the posts as ever. The best Italian goalkeeper since Dino Zoff.

Maicon (Inter)

The Brazilian right-back remains the best in his position in Serie A and is arguably the most balanced right fullback in the world. While Daniel Alves is the best attacking right back in Europe and Sergio Ramos the most refined, Maicon balances defending and attacking perfectly. Inter's recent successes in the attacking department owed much to his combination with the now departed Zlatan Ibrahimovic and coach Jose Mourinho continues to build his team from the back. Suspended this weekend.

Lucio (Inter)

Lucio was a surprise signing for Inter in the summer and some questioned why Jose Mourinho went for a defender, albeit a world class World Cup winning one, when it was clear that the Nerazzurri needed a ball-playing attacking midfielder. But Lucio has added an extra edge in the attacking department from the back as he has played somewhat higher in the backline, helping build attacks from the deep along with Maicon.

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

The 25-year-old is often paraded as the best Italian central defender and there is precious little to suggest otherwise. Chiellini has been excellent for the Bianconeri since he was signed from Fiorentina in 2005 and will be vital against Inter on Saturday evening. His partnership with Fabio Cannavaro in central defence was lauded at the start of the season and although Juve have looked unsure at the back in recent times, one can expect Chiellini to strengthen the fort once again.

Cristian Chivu (Inter)

At long last Cristian Chivu looks fit and is nearing his best. The 29-year-old looked a world class defender when he was at Dutch giants Ajax and subsequent good performances with Roma earned him a move to Inter in 2007. The Romanian international has looked strong and capable at left-back this season and although he is not always in the news and rarely hits the headlines, Chivu is one of the main players for the Nerazzurri.

Felipe Melo (Juventus)

The Brazilian started the 2009-2010 campaign with Juventus in tremendous fashion but like several of the Bianconeri players he has struggled of late. Felipe Melo's combination with Mohamed Sissoko was supposed to be almost telepathic but the 26-year-old is yet to demonstrate the form he exhibited with Fiorentina last season and with Brazil in the Confederations Cup. Melo, though, is a brilliant defensive midfielder and given time he will be a hit.

Javier Zanetti (Inter)

Since 1995, Zanetti has been the most consistent and loyal servant to the Nerazzurri. The 36-year-old hardly ever has a bad game and his fitness level and versatility to play either as a fullback or as a midfielder has been legendary. The Argentine international is now deployed as a right sided midfielder and is given full freedom to march on along the flanks and complement Maicon on his marauding runs on the right.

Diego (Juventus)

The Brazilian is one of the few natural trequartistas present in the modern game and he will be one of Juventus's main players on Saturday. Diego functions best when allowed to play through the middle just behind the frontmen (or frontman) and although he has looked ordinary in the last few matches, the 24-year-old is a world class talent who can raise his game anytime. Blessed with an exquisite vision and sharp passing skills, Diego is perhaps the most creative player from either Inter or Juventus.

Wesley Sneijder (Inter)

Wesley Sneijder didn't want to leave Real Madrid in the summer but was virtually forced out of the Bernabeu and Inter convinced him to join them. The Dutch creative midfielder has had a mixed season so far - great performances against Milan, Napoli and Genoa have been almost nullified by anonymous displays against Parma, Barcelona and Cagliari - and there are some doubts whether he is the solution to the Beneamata's dearth of creativity. Nevertheless, the 25-year-old is a fine player and his ability to play in a number of positions in the midfield, ferocious shooting skills, short passes and long balls combined with an above average free-kick abilities make him one of the players to watch should he be fit for Juventus.

Diego Milito (Inter)

Based upon his performances and goals so far, Diego Milito is fast developing into the buy of the summer for Inter: he has scored nine goals and has three assists in 11 starts in Serie A so far this season. Described by the Sampdoria trequartista Antonio Cassano as "one of the best five strikers in the world" Milito has been sensational in the matches he has been fit to play. He has not performed too well in Europe but in Serie A he is one of the reasons why Inter are seven points clear at the top of the table. The former Genoa striker's clinical finishing and movements in front of goal will be tough to counter by the Juventus central defenders.

Samuel Eto'o (Inter)

The Cameroonian international has been below par so far in his maiden season with Inter but then again, he has been asked to play further away from goal than usual with Diego Milito. Eto'o was signed by Inter from Barcelona in the summer under some rather strange circumstances and he was expected to score lots of goals, but just six in 13 league appearances have somewhat decimated his impact in Serie A. Yet the former Real Mallorca striker remains one of the deadliest strikers in Europe and can damage Juve at the weekend.


Maicon - Lucio - Chiellini - Chivu

Zanetti - Felipe Melo - Sneijder


Milito - Eto'o

Subhankar Mondal,