Team of the Season 2001-2002
Hubner Trezeguet
(Piacenza) (Juventus)
Nedved Emerson Corini Ze Maria
(Lazio) (Roma) (Chievo) (Perugia)
Candela Samuel Fresi Oddo
(Roma) (Roma) (Bologna) (Verona)
Buffon : As usual Toldo was his main competition and there is little to choose
between them. World Class

Candela : The Frenchman had his best ever domestic season

Samuel : An outstanding tackler and superb in the air, one of the best
defenders I have ever seen. He has managed to maintain his sensational
first season form. World Class

Fresi : Once dubbed the new Baresi, Fresi struggled at Inter before finally
coming good at Bologna. Has developed into an excellent attacking centre

Oddo : Decidedly average defensively but great going forward. The former
Milan reject now gets a second crack at the big time with Lazio

Nedved : Nedved's third consecutive appearance on these lists. The Czech
midfielder has won two championships with two different Serie A clubs and
arguably been his teams most outstanding performer. Doesn't get the credit
he deserves, one of the best players to grace Serie A over the past decade.
World Class

Emerson : Followers of Serie A have waited years for Emerson to duplicate his
Bayer Leverkusen form, last season he finally delivered. This all action
midfielder scored some truly amazing goals for the outgoing champions last
season. World Class

Corini : Last season's Serie A assist leader, Corini's superb crossing and dead
ball delivery helped Chievo to the heady heights of 5th place. Should have
been given a spot in Italy's World Cup squad

Ze Maria : First came to prominence following outstanding displays for Brazil
in the Olympic games in 1996 and has taken six years to recapture that form
though his progress has been hindered by the overly tactical nature of Serie A

Hubner : The Boss topped the goalscoring charts alongside Trezeguet. This
remarkable 35 year old has an explosive shot, is phenomenally strong, great
in the air and also deadly from free kicks. Shame he's not 10 years younger

Trezeguet : The best penalty box striker in the World. Absolutely incredible
in the air. Trezeguet's goals helped fire Juventus to the championship.
World Class

2002-2003 Season Preview


Atalanta have managed to hold onto prize asset Doni though his form dipped
badly in the second half of last season. Gautieri is an excellent addition to an
already decent midfield but Atalanta lack a proven goalscorer and have a
terrible defence.

Key Players : Doni, Gautieri, Taibi
Prospects : Mid Table/Intertoto Cup


Goalscoring has been a problem for years and not only have the club failed to
sign a striker they've also lost two of their top goalscorers, Fresi and Zauli,
to Juventus and Palermo respectively. Signori can still do the business, when
fit but the lack of depth and over-reliance on the injury prone 34 year old
doesn't bode well.

Key Players : Pagliuca, Signori, Cruz
Prospects : Intertoto Cup/Mid Table


Baggio returned from injury just in time to save the club from relegation but
can his body cope with one final, gruelling season? Brescia have made some
excellent additions to the midfield - Appiah, Matuzalem and Seric. The
prospects of another relegation battle look remote, Brescia can aim higher.

Key Players : Baggio, Toni, Matuzalem
Prospects : Mid-Table


Last season's favourites for relegation, tiny Chievo stunned Serie A with a
unlikely title challenge before their poor discipline and lack of depth saw them
slip out of the top four. Chievo have managed to hold onto most of their stars
and more importantly their coach. A repeat of last season's heroics is unlikely
but Bierhoff and co should score enough goals from Corini's immaculate
delivery to ensure a trouble free campaign.

Key Players : Andersson, Bierhoff, Corini, 
Prospects : UEFA Cup/Intertoto Cup


So near yet so far. Inter lost the championship on the last day of the season,
Cuper has a habit of blowing it at the final hurdle. Ronaldo is history,
a blessing in disguise, and Cannavaro will shore up a defence which badly
missed the presence of injury prone Materazzi last season. Crespo is a deadly
striker, when he's in the zone. Central midfield in the team's Achilles
heel, Almeyda's arrival will do little to change that.

Key Players : Cannavaro, Crespo, Vieri
Prospects : Champions League/Champions


Thuram aside there is a lack of pace in defence but fortunately Juve have one
of the best 'keepers in the World. Di Vaio is a long overdue addition to what
was a two man attack i.e. Trezeguet and Del Piero. A lack of depth in midfield
is the teams major weakness. If Nedved and Trezeguet maintain last season's
form Juve have every chance of successfully defending their championship.

Key Players : Di Vaio, Nedved, Trezeguet
Prospects : Champions/Champions League


A disastrous season for the former champions both on and off the pitch.
A financial crisis has seen the heart of the team ripped out with inspirational
captain Nesta and top goalscorer Crespo heading to Milan and Juventus
respectively. Nesta's loss leaves Stam as the only competent defender at the
club. Chiesa arrives on a free transfer but doubts remain over his fitness
having recovering from a terrible injury. Mancini is a talented, attack minded
coach but will need patience from the clubs notoriously impatient fans in what
is sure to be a transitional season.

Key Players : Chiesa, Stam, Stankovic
Prospects : UEFA Cup/Intertoto Cup


Milan have an attack to rival any in the World, unfortunately they have a
coach who only knows how to play defence. It will be a miracle if Ancelotti
can figure out how to field Shevchenko, Rivaldo, Inzaghi, Tomasson,
Rui Costa and Pirlo. Nesta is the most crucial signing of the summer, Milan
have lacked a quality centre back for years. With another coach Milan would
be genuine title contenders but with Ancelotti they will be a tactical mess.
A terrible pre-season means the former Milan legend is under pressure before
a ball has been kicked.

Key Players : Ambrosini, Nesta, Shevchenko
Prospects : Champions League


An unexpected battle against relegation and subsequent failure to qualify for
European competition forced the club to trim a massive wage bill so out go
Cannavaro and Di Vaio and in come a host of talented youngsters the pick of
which are strikers Adriano and Mutu. Parma are lightweight in midfield. A top
six finish is the best the club can hope for but expect plenty of spectacular

Key Players : Adriano, Alex, Mutu
Prospects : UEFA Cup


The transfer market has been kind to Perugia, for once they've managed to
hold onto most of their key players most notably Ze Maria and Vryzas. As
usual there are a host of relatively unknown new arrivals. Giant striker
Caracciolo is a good prospect. Perugia are still weak at the back. Another
mid table finish.

Key Players : Caracciolo, Grosso, Vryzas, 
Prospects : Mid Table


As long as Hubner keeps banging in the goals Piacenza are capable of staving
off the threat of relegation.

Key Players : Hubner, Maresca
Prospects : Survival/Relegation


Roma have strengthened a defence that is superbly marshalled by Walter
Samuel, the best defender in the World. Emerson was tremendous last
season, picking up the slack left by an out of sorts Francesco Totti. Roma's
biggest problem remains the attack. Capello's insistence on favouring the
lethargic, past it Batistuta ahead of the explosive Montella cost the team
the championship last season and will do so again if he repeats his selection

Key Players : Emerson, Montella, Samuel,
Prospects : Champions/Champions League


There were no major arrivals or departures during in the summer aside from
Asta, who I don't think is a great loss. Camolese is a good coach and as long
as his team keep up the foul count, Ferrante and Lucarelli should score
enough goals to ensure another mid-table finish.

Key Players : Ferrante, Lucarelli, Sommese,
Prospects : Mid-Table


A club that not to long ago finished third retained their status in the top flight
by a point. Udinese are desperately poor at the back and have done little
to address that problem over the summer. Jorgensen has struggled with
injuries in recent seasonsand Muzzi always starts the season well before the
goals dry up. The non goal scoring striker, Jancker, is the teams major
signing. Udinese better hope Jorgensen gets back to full fitness or they're
in deep trouble.

Key Players : Jorgensen, Muzzi, Pizzaro
Prospects : Survival/Relegation