Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Julian De Martinis On June - 21 - 2011

Team Of The Season Winners: Central Defenders

All week we will be unveiling the winners of our Team of the Year voting with a mixture of regular and guest writers.


Good things tend to come in two: Bert and Ernie, pairs of socks, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. Following in the footsteps of the later this season have been two outstanding centerbacks for AC Milan, Thiago Silva and Alessandro Nesta. Like Harry Potter and Professor Dumbledore, the former has taken to the Azzurri legend as a student and has benefitted immensely from it. Milan’s Scudetto triumph rests largely on the defensive ability of the two stalwarts.

The two have been voted into Serie A Weekly’s Team of the Season as the starting centerbacks: the elder with 22.55% of the votes and the younger with the overwhelming majority of votes (41.91%).  The main reason is that both players have been ultra-reliable this campaign. Silva appeared in 33 of Milan’s 38 games and Alessandro Nesta has even overcome injury to feature in 26 of the side’s matches in Serie A.

Together the two have formed a partnership to be feared across Europe. With the perfect blend of experience and athleticism, talent and desire, age and enthusiasm, Nesta and Silva have each other’s back covered in nearly every aspect imaginable.

Special plaudits should be given to the Brazilian, who is quickly developing into one of the top centerbacks in the world at the age of 26. Renowned for his anticipation and distribution, Silva is far more than just a defender. A brief stint as a midfielder proved largely successful and demonstrated that he is one player that can truly excel in more than one place.

However, the role that his mentor has played cannot be underestimated. At 35 years of age, Alessandro Nesta may not have much time left to give Milan, but he has already endowed them with a more than worthy successor. Silva claimed that once he moved to the club, Nesta never kept quiet, constantly barking orders and positioning the new Brazilian. As it turns out, Nesta proved to be a fantastic teacher.

His career is certainly nearing its finale but his class is indisputable, he has rarely been exposed due to his fantastic positioning and his contribution to the Rossoneri backline has almost always been superb. Milan have always been known for having superb defenders, and they were lucky enough this season to illustrate a spectrum of defensive capabilities: the old master departing his wisdom and the younger apprentice entering his prime.

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Julian De Martinis

Calcio, Azzurri, and Roma tifosi. Blogger, correspondent, podcast host (@LaMagicast). Lover of books, movies, wordplay, family, and a good cappuccino.

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  • http://www.inforthehattrick.blogspot.com DavidYB

    No doubt about Silva, he’s one of the best center halves in the World.

  • Balogun muheez

    Silva is not just among the best defenders in the world right now but the best according to goal.com.he has enjoyed a wonderful seoson and was indespensable throughout.he can also feature in mieldfield excellently.i can see a bright future ahead of him.

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