Best XI 2001-2002
Formation 4 - 4 - 2
Vieri Hubner
(Inter) (Piacenza)
Manfredini Corini Doni Contra
(Chievo) (Chievo) (Atalanta) (Milan)
Candela Materazzi Samuel Oddo
(Roma) (Inter) (Roma) (Verona)
Toldo : Toldo is now Italy's undisputed #1 'keeper. World Class.

Candela : Admittedly quality left backs are thin on the ground in Serie A
but Candela has maintained his excellent form from last season

Materazzi : While Vieri, Ronaldo and Kallon have grabbed the headlines
Materazzi has held the defence together and established himself at 
International level. World Class

Samuel : Not only is he the best defender on the planet he is also
deadly from set-pieces. A one man defence. World Class

Oddo : An attacking full back who is outstanding going forward. Still
needs to work on his defending

Manfredini : A classical winger who has been arguably Chievo's best
player of their remarkable season

Corini : Whether it's from dead balls or open play Corini's delivery is

Doni : After what seems an eternity Italy finally have a goalscoring
midfielder. Could be one of the stars of the World Cup. Borderline
World Class

Contra : One of the best dribblers in Serie A and a superb crosser.
Milan should relieve him of defensive duties and let him concentrate
on attacking. World Class

Vieri : Bobo is back! Has set Serie A on fire since returning from
another injury. World Class

Hubner : The Boss is still knocking in goals at 34 years of age and
tops the goalscoring charts ahead of some of the best strikers in the

2001-2002 Season Analysis


Inter were not expected to push for the title until the return of
Ronaldo and Vieri from injury but Kallon proved a worthy deputy
as his goals maintained a title challenge. In recent weeks Ronaldo
and Vieri have returned to shoot the Nerazzurri clear at the top of
the league. Inter have failed to record a single victory against the
title contenders. If they rectify that during the second half of the
season a long awaited Championship will be within their grasp.

Key Players : Materazzi, Vieri, Kallon
Prospects : Champions/Champions League


An outstanding victory in Turin over Juventus kick-started the Giallorossi's
season despite missing the first choice forward line through injury.
Superbly marshalled by the awesome Samuel in defence, Tommasi in
midfield and Totti in attack Roma's brutal football (an average of 20
fouls per match) has proved too much for their opponents. Roma's
record against fellow title contenders is outstanding, picking up 13
points from a possible 15 against Juve, Milan, Chievo, Lazio and Inter.
Where they finish will depend on whether they can maintain their high
octane pressing (and systematic fouling) throughout the season.

Key Players : Samuel, Tommasi, Totti
Prospects : Champions/Champions League


The favourites for relegation topped the table longer than any other
team. Chievo's direct, rapid football is reminiscent of Sacchi's Milan
team of the late 80's complete with an outdated offside trap which has
proved to be their achilles' heel. So far Chievo's expected collapse has
failed to materialise but without the depth of their more illustrious
rivals an injury to a key player could prove fatal.

Key Players : Manfredini, Corini, Eriberto
Prospects : Champions League/UEFA Cup


Buffon and Thuram was supposed to shore up the teams defence. They
haven't and Juve's other big signing, Nedved, has so far failed to provide
a desperately needed spark from midfield. Juve have been impressive
against the likes of Venezia and Brescia but struggled against the title
contenders and their away form is abysmal. The pre season favourite
are paying the price for blowing most of their transfer budget on three
players and neglecting the bench.

Key Players : Trezeguet, Del Piero, Buffon
Prospects : Champions League/UEFA Cup


Once Carlo Ancelotti became available at the end of last season Milan were
looking for an excuse to get rid of the luckless Fatih Terim. Ancelotti has,
as expected, favoured his former team-mates and fellow Italians most
notably the wretched Costacurta, Simeone and Donati (possibly the worst
player to wear a Milan shirt over past decade) while Laursen, Javi Moreno
and Contra sit on the bench. Injuries to Maldini, Serginho and Inzaghi
haven't helped nor has the clubs ridiculous transfer strategy. Barring an
unlikely title triumph Milan risk loosing arguably the best striker in the
World, Andriy Shevchenko, to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Key Players : Shevchenko, Serginho, Laursen
Prospects : Champions League/UEFA Cup


Lazio were starring relegation in the face and initially even the appointment
of Alberto Zaccheroni failed to turn the clubs fortunes around. Zac took
the brave decision to drop the summers most expensive signings,
Mendieta and Fiore, and the club haven't looked back since. Crespo
and Claudio Lopez have been on fire in recent weeks but the club
still lack depth in defence. The title remains a long shot but isn't
beyond the Romans.

Key Players : Crespo, Nesta, Poborsky
Prospects : Champions League/UEFA Cup


Goal shy Bologna have started to find the back of the net in recent
weeks but have also started to leak goals at the other end. The club
desperately miss the presence of Signori in attack and still lack quality
in defence though Bologna have some promising youngsters. This
could be Guidolin's last season in charge before a move to a bigger

Key Players : Pagliuca, Fresi, Zauli
Prospects : UEFA Cup/Intertoto Cup


Verona may have been upstaged by their city rivals but are making
headlines of their own with their excellent football. Oddo and Seric
are two of the best attacking full backs in the league and Mutu is
slowly beginning to realise his potential. Verona have a great future
if they can hold onto their star players.

Key Players : Mutu, Frick, Oddo
Prospects : UEFA Cup/Intertoto Cup