Serie A Team Of The Decade 2000-2010

As we approach 2010, Goal.com's Adam Scime selects his Serie A best XI from the past decade...
Five different sides have managed to win the Scudetto since the year 2000 - with a number of high-profile players tasting glory and defeat. The first two years saw the trophy stay in Rome, split between Lazio and Roma.

Marcello Lippi's Juventus then took home two titles on the trot in 2002 and 2003, while Milan waltzed to a title the year after in 2004. The Rossoneri were also the only Italian side to experience continental success, winning the Champions League in 2003 and 2007.

The last few years of Serie A have been dominated by Inter, who have won four consecutive Scudetto, one assigned to them as a result of the Calciopoli scandal in 2006, while the 2005 title has been left unallocated.

Through it all, the Italian league has had it's fair share of star players, but who has been the best of the best? Adam Scime selects his top Serie A XI from the past decade…

Formation: 4-4-2

Gianluigi Buffon (Parma & Juventus)

The Italian became the most expensive goalkeeper in the world in 2001 when he transferred from Parma to Juventus for a world-record shot-stopper’s fee of €52 million. He was worth every penny, as he won the Scudetto in his first season at the club, before adding another three titles (two of which were revoked due to Calciopoli). Some reporters in Italy suggest that with Buffon in net, Juventus guarantee another ten to fifteen extra points per season due to his incredible saves.



Lilian Thuram (Parma & Juventus)

Arguably the greatest French stopper of all time, Thuram also joined Juventus from Parma in 2001 for a big hefty transfer fee, after Zinedine Zidane's sale to Real Madrid gave the Bianconeri plenty of capital to work with. His presence at the back was nearly insurmountable, as he helped Juventus to the Champions League final in 2003 and gave the club five years of excellent displays before leaving for Barcelona at the outset of the Calciopoli scandal. Another worthy contender for this position was Roma and Milan wing-back Cafu.



Fabio Cannavaro (Parma, Inter & Juventus)

A constant mover, Cannavaro has played for three teams in this decade. Eventually leaving Parma for Inter in 2002, the centre-back was unable to help the Nerazzurri lift any silverware before astonishingly being straight-swapped for benchwarming goalkeeper Fabian Carini in 2004. After winning two Scudetti under coach Fabio Capello in Turin (later revoked), he won the Ballon d'Or and earned the nickname 'The Berlin Wall' for his victorious performances at the World Cup 2006. Despite his success, he was labelled a 'traitor' when he left Turin for Real Madrid, but he's now back in Serie A with the Bianconeri again.



Alessandro Nesta (Lazio & Milan)

One of the most astute defenders of this era, Nesta started the decade in the best way by winning a Scudetto and Coppa Italia with Lazio in 2000. Moving to Milan during the Aquilotti's financial troubles he continued to take home trophies, including two Champions Leagues, another Scudetto, and the World Club Cup. If not for injuries, one wonders what more he could have achieved. Few, if any, strikers got change out of a healthy Nesta.



Paolo Maldini (Milan)


The Rossoneri captain had already been playing 15 years before the start of this decade. The illustrious defender won many accolades even in his twilight years, being included in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2003 and 2005 and winning the UEFA Champions League defender of the year in 2007 as Milan won the event in Athens. Overall, he led his club to eight trophies beyond the year 2000. It's doubtful anyone else will match his longevity, as he retired at the age of 40 this May, still marshalling the Milan defence. He is also the all-time appearance holder in Serie A.



Javier Zanetti (Inter)


The versatile Argentine has played in a number of positions for the Nerazzurri and captained them to four consecutive Scudetti, also winning two Coppa Italias and three Italian Supercups since 2005. This past campaign, he became the player with the second most appearances in the history of Inter, only behind Giuseppe Bergomi. Another interesting statistic is he has not received a red card in this decade - how's that for professionalism?



Kaka (Milan)

The Brazilian came to Serie A as a virtual unknown in 2003, but left it as one of the world's best players in 2009 - purchased by Real Madrid for €68.5 million. One of the most influential attacking midfielders, the Brazilian's crowning moment was when took home the 2007 Ballon d'Or after he was top scorer in the Champions League tournament with ten goals as Milan won the prestigious competition for the seventh time in their history. Overall he made 270 appearances for the Milanese giants, scoring 95 goals in all competitions.



Andrea Pirlo (Reggina, Inter, Brescia & Milan)

The early part of the decade saw Pirlo bounced around by parent club Inter to Reggina and Brescia, but he did not flourish until he joined Milan. Employed in a deep lying playmaker position by coach Carlo Ancelotti, the player resurrected the regista role and has been the fulcrum of the Rossoneri side ever since. He may best be remembered for his exploits at the 2006 World Cup, but his importance to Milan is just the same, as witnessed by his team-mates praying he doesn't move to Chelsea this summer. Also one of the best set-piece takes Serie A has to offer. Gennaro Gattuso and Esteban Cambiasso just missed out in this position.




Pavel Nedved (Lazio & Juventus)

Another of the brigade to move to Juventus in 2001, Nedved had already experienced Serie A victory with Lazio. Not only known for his thunderous shot, the 'Czech Fury' was one of the hardest working players to grace the pitch in Italy - playing until the age of 36 at the highest levels, when he decided to hang up his boots. The blonde-haired dynamo took the team by the scruff of the neck in 2002-03 to the Champions League final, hitting stunning strikes against Real Madrid and Barcelona, but was suspended for the final, which his side lost on penalties.



Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Juventus & Inter)

The Swedish sensation has been an unrivalled success in Serie A, becoming it's most devastating striker over the past few seasons. Indeed, the player has a 'perfect record' since moving to Italy, winning five straight Scudetti (although his two with Juventus were revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal). Not very many can boast that accomplishment! Meanwhile, he also was top-scorer in the league this past year. His main criticism continues to be his shocking inability to deliver in the Champions League, despite his spectacular form in the peninsula.




Francesco Totti (Roma)

'Er Pupone' is the epitome of a symbol for a club. The Giallorossi captain's lone Scudetto win was in 2001, but he continues to bang in the goals for the capital outfit. The 32-year-old is the club's all-time leader in appearances and goals and the active top scorer in Italy top flight with 178 goals to his name. Along with his goal-scoring exploits, he is a brilliant assist man with uncanny vision. A true hometown hero!





Buffon

  Thuram - Cannavaro – Nesta - Maldini

Zanetti - Kaka – Pirlo - Nedved

 Ibrahimovic – Totti


Do you agree with those who made it into the Serie A Team of the Decade 2000-2010? What would be your XI? Goal.com wants to know what YOU think...

Adam Scime, Goal.com