In its long and rich history, Serie A has given us some great teams and players. Some of those players left an everlasting impression on the mind of the fans and in this article , we will have a look at 15 greatest Serie A players of all time.
15. Javier Zanetti
Longevity and steel in defense has been the hallmark of Javier Zanetti since he joined Inter Milan in 1995 and started serving the club as a captain from 2001. Zanetti is the most capped player in the history of Inter , and won 16 trophies with the club: five Scudetti, four Coppa Italia, four Supercoppa Italiana, one UEFA Cup, one Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Known for his versatility he has played in both right and left wings,having played in both flank as full back, as well as winger. He has also played as defensive midfielder. Zanetti earned the nickname El Tractor for his stamina and tireless energetic runs up and down the wings to aid both attack and defence. He was well-respected for by both his fans and oppositions for his leadership quality, he has received only 2 red cards in his entire 22 years career.
He played 1114 games in his entire career and is the fifth player in the football history with the most career appearances.
14. Giacinto Facchetti
Legendary left-back , Giacinto Facchetti spent his entire career with Inter Milan. He is regarded as one of the best players of all time in his position, due to his pace, technique, intelligence, physique, and stamina, and formed a formidable defensive partnership with fellow full-back Tarcisio Burgnich in Inter’s defensive catenaccio system at club level, as well as with the Italian national side.
Facchetti was impeccable in defense but also very potent in attack, scoring almost 50 league goals in his career. He also stood out for his discipline and leadership throughout his career, and served both as Inter’s and Italy’s captain for several years. In 2015, he was posthumously inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame.
13. Roberto Baggio
Roberto Baggio spent 19 years in Serie A from 1985 to 2004 with stints at Juventus, Fiorentina, AC Milan, Bologna, Inter-Milan and Brescia. The legendary attacker was known as the ‘Divine Ponytail’ due to his hairstyle and was just as adept at putting the ball in the net as he was at setting up his teammates.
Frequently criticized throughout his career, Baggio did most of the talking on the pitch. He won trophies with almost every club he played for and his personal honours include winning the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year in 1993.
Baggio is the only Italian to score in three World Cups, and with nine goals, he holds the record for most goals scored in World Cup tournaments for Italy, along with Paolo Rossi and Christian Vieri. He was also included in the FIFA World Cup All-Star team in 1994, Azzuri team of the century in 2000.
12. Silvio Piola
Regarded as one of the greatest striker of his time , Silvio Piola is the greatest scorer in the history of Serie A. He scored a record 274 goals in Serie A and played around 537 games. He was regarded as modern and well-rounded player of his time.
Silvio Piola played in different position, deploying in the wing, in midfield, creative attacking midfielder as well as second striker on occasion. Piola was excellent in air, he scored spectacular goals from volleys and bicycle kicks.
He was the top Serie A scorer in history for Novara, Lazio and Vercelli and won the league’s Golden Boot Award twice. After his death a pair of Italian stadiums were renamed after him: one in Novara in 1997 and another in Vercelli in 1998. In 2011, he was posthumously inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame.
11. Dino Zoff
Zoff is remembered as a true legend of the game. He was a goalkeeper of outstanding ability, and holds a place in the history of the sport among the very best in this role, being named the 3rd greatest goalkeeper of the 20th century by the IFFHS behind Lev Yashin and Gordon Banks.
On club level, he played with Udinese, Mantova, Napoli and Juventus. The legendary Italian Keeper helped Juventus endure one of its most successful periods, winning six league titles. He was an integral part of the 1982 World Cup winning Italian squad.
He didn’t concede a goal for almost two years for Italy and was voted Italy’s Golden Player by the Italian Football Federation. He also placed second in the 1973 Ballon d’Or, as he narrowly missed out on a treble with Juventus.