Serie A correspondent Liam Apicella rounds up an entertaining season in Italy’s top flight by selecting the best and worst of the previous nine months.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON:
Edinson Cavani – Napoli
He may have fallen two goals short of claiming the title of Serie A’s leading goalscorer, but Edinson Cavani’s influence on Napoli’s season simply cannot be ignored.
His 26 league goal contribution - 44% of the Partenopei’s total goals over 38 matches - was a large factor behind the club’s pursuit (albeit unsuccessful) of the Scudetto.
The quality of Cavani’s strikes were there for all to admire, but what’s even more impressive was the timing of his interventions. A handful of late winners, accompanied by a selection of hat-trick impacts meant there could only be one winner of this award.
Honourable Mention: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) Marco Di Vaio (Bologna) Alexis Sanchez (Udinese) Antonio Di Natale (Udinese)
GOAL OF THE SEASON
Alexis Sanchez – Udinese
If there was a goal that epitomised all the qualities of Alexis Sanchez this season, then it is the Chilean’s wonder strike against Cagliari.
The reported Manchester City target acquired possession just inside his own half, before proceeding to wrong-foot defenders and goalkeeper alike to slide the ball into an empty net.
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Honourable Mention: Edinson Cavani (Napoli v Lecce), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli v AC Milan)
GAME OF THE SEASON
Napoli 4-3 Lazio
One of those matches that helped Cavani claim our player of the season award. Heading into this encounter, both sides still had an interest in wrestling top spot away from Milan.
Visiting Lazio led 2-0 and 3-1, only for goals from Andrea Dossena and a treble from Uruguayan Cavani saw all three points remain in Naples.
And if that wasn’t enough there was also a red card handed out to Lazio defender Giuseppe Biava.
Honourable Mention: AC Milan 4-4 Udinese; Inter Milan 5-3 AS Roma
MANAGER OF THE SEASON
Massimiliano Allegri – AC Milan
It may appear easy to select the manager of the champions for this award, but Allegri has done a fantastic job in the Milan hotseat. Let’s not forget, this is a club that had not won the league for the previous seven seasons.
The coach also had to use all his skills to deal with a number of egos in the dressing room, with the likes Robinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano all having caused upset at previous clubs.
Honourable Mention: Francesco Guidolin (Udinese)
POOREST MANAGERIAL PERFORMANCE
Luigi Del Neri – Juventus
For a club the size of Juventus not to be playing European football is quite frankly a disaster. But after a season under the stewardship of Del Neri, that is exactly the position that the Old Lady find themselves ahead of the new campaign.
Unsurprisingly, Del Neri paid the full price, being sacked by the board and replaced by former Juve midfielder Antonio Conte.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – AC Milan
After a largely unsuccessful spell with Barcelona, Ibrahimovic returned to Italy to do what he does best – win the Scudetto.
The lanky Swede claimed 14 league goals to make him an instant hero with the red and black half of Milan following a three year trophy-laden stint with rivals Inter.
Adriano – AS Roma
The controversial Brazilian striker’s Roma career lasted just seven months and five matches. During that time the centre forward, who continually struggled with his weight, failed to find the net.
His impact was such that he is now playing for Corinthians back in his homeland.
TEAM OF THE SEASON
What was your memorable moments of the season? Disagree with anything? Either way, have your say below!