The Top XI Serie A Players in 2020: Who Will Join Ronaldo?

Even for the relatively high standards of Italian football, 2020 was such a crazy year for calcio. From the stops to the restarts, to the back-to-back fixtures, the clubs, the players and the fans all went through some unique emotional experiences. But throughout all the tears and pain, some players were still able to enjoy a successful year on the pitch, and thus, it’s time to recognize eleven of the best performers of the past 12 months , in our Serie A Top XI of the year 2020. 

Disclaimer: While making the selections we took into account the performances of the players throughout the entire year, including last season as well as the current one. Also, in order to try to include the best possible XI we had to make some tactical adjustments to the playing roles, thus, the final lineup might not make sense from a tactical point of view but we can consider it a decent fantasy lineup. 

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan) 

Donnarumma has been around for more than four years now that it’s hard to believe that he’s only 21-years-old. But after several ups and downs in the past years, as well as clashes with the Rossoneri fans, Giggio has finally been able to round-up his game, becoming one of the most reliable shot-stoppers in the world. 

While Samir Handanović has been the top Serie A goalkeeper in the past few seasons, and the likes of Wojciech Szczęsny, Marco Silvestri and Alessio Cragno have all enjoyed a good year, Gianluigi Donnarumma’s incredible performances for Milan put him among the Top XI. 

Backup: Samir Handanović (Inter) 

Right Center-Back: Matthijs De Ligt (Juventus) 

Our second entry into the Top XI is another 21-year-old Serie A star. Matthijs De Ligt’s first few months at Juventus were slightly difficult, but since the turn of the year 2020, he’s been a stalwart at the back. 

In the absence of Merih Demiral and Giorgio Chiellini, the young Dutchman had to play with an injured shoulder throughout the last part of 2019-2020, delaying his surgery until the summer break. In November, he made his return to the Bianconeri lineup, looking stronger and healthier than ever. 

Backup: Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli) 

Center-Back: Stefan De Vrij (Inter) 

The Dutchmen are dominating the back-line. It hasn’t been the most successful year for the Inter defense, with players repeatedly in and out of the starting lineup, and Antonio Conte’s side looking shaky at times. 

However, throughout all the difficult times, Stefan De Vrij remained the Nerazzurri’s only consistent performer at the back, and led the Inter defense with confidence and composure. 

Backup: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio) 

Left Center-Back: Theo Hernández (Milan) 

As we mentioned above, the Top XI chosen will be far from a realistic lineup, but leaving out the best full-back in Serie A would have been outrageous, as Theo has simply been stunning throughout 2020. 

The younger Hernández might not be as defensively composed as his brother Lucas who plays for Bayern Munich, but his spectacular overlaps have won several matches for Milan. And let’s not forget about his injury-time winner against Lazio. 

Backup: Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma) 

Central-Midfielder: Sergej Milinković-Savić (Lazio) 

The Serbian midfielder was one of Europe’s most sought-after midfielders in 2018, but a dip in form around 2019 made the big clubs turn their attention elsewhere. 

Luckily for Lazio, the 25-year-old bounced back brilliantly in 2020, as he turned into one of the most complete midfielders in Serie A, playing a central role in the Biancocelesti’s recent resurgence.

Backup: Nicolò Barella (Inter) 

Central-Midfielder: Franck Kessié (Milan) 

It took him a while, but Franck Kessié has finally cemented himself as one of the most influential and irreplaceable players in Milan, striking a golden partnership with Ismael Benaccer at the heart of Stefano Pioli’s project. 

The Ivorian has successfully combined his strong physical attributes alongside his ever-improving tactical awareness, and has rightfully earned a place in the Serie A Top XI of 2020.

Backup: Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo)

Attacking-Midfielder: Alejandro Gómez (Atalanta) 

Unfortunately for La Dea fans, their captain’s storied stint at the club is about to end on a sour note after his clash with coach Gian Piero Gasperini. Nonetheless, it has been another formidable year for Gómez at Atalanta. 

Papu successfully led the club’s charge into another top 4 finish with some stunning displays, creating an enormous number of chances for his teammates, as well as scoring several sublime goals himself. 

Backup: Luis Alberto (Lazio) 

Right Winger: Paulo Dybala (Juventus) 

Another Argentine who didn’t enjoy a great ending to the year, as Paulo Dybala has been struggling with physical problems and a serious dip in form since the beginning of the current campaign. 

Nonetheless, La Joya was voted as the best Serie A player in 2019-2020 after successfully spearheading Juventus into a 9th Scudetto in a row with some magical displays along the way, which makes him an automatic pick for our Top XI. 

Backup: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) 

Left Winger: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) 

The Portuguese megastar was beaten by Dybala for the best Serie A player award, and finished second in the league’s scoring charts with 31 goals, and Robert Lewandowski edged him out in the FIFA best player award. 

But the fact that the 35-year-old is still competing for almost every important player award and finishing among the elite is proof of his enduring qualities, and his fantastic start to the current campaign shows that Ronaldo won’t accept anything less than the top spot this time around. 

Backup: Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)

Striker: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) 

Romelu Lukaku fans might argue that the Belgian is enjoying a stellar start to the current campaign, however, 2020 belongs to Ciro Immobile, who won the European Golden-Shoe award after scoring 36 league goals last season. 

Despite the tough start of the season for Lazio, the former Torino striker was still able to rack 9 goals from 12 Serie A appearances, as well as 5 goals from his 4 Champions League outings, marking him as a compulsory starter in our Top XI. 

Backup: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) 

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Milan) 

Last but definitely not least. The Swedish legend’s comeback to Italy at the beginning of the year was met with a mixture of nostalgia and skepticism, but Zlatan immediately proved that he didn’t return just to relieve some old memories. 

The 39-year-old was an enormous factor is changing Milan’s attitude and performances to the better, as his unique skills, goals and leadership revived the long-suffering Rossoneri, and thus it can be argued that not a single player had a larger positive impact on his team in 2020 than Ibra at Milan. 

Backup: Josip Iličić (Atalanta)