PLEASE READ BEFORE VOTING: voting should be based on player performances in Serie A/Coppa Italia from the 90/91 season to 99/00. Performances outside this timeframe or other competitions do not count. TEAM HARMS VS TEAM MOBY/PAT_MUSTARD HARMS TACTICS My defensive core is based on 2 best Italian sides of the 90's — Sacchi/Capello's AC Milan of early 90's and the great mid-to-late 90's Juventus — together they've won 8 out of 10 Serie A titles of the decade. Franco Baresi is arguably the most influential player of the decade, Frank Rijkaard, Ciro Ferrara, Lilian Thuram and Edgar Davids are all among the best players of that era; Amedeo Carboni's body of work in Serie A is also massive — 7 seasons at Roma and 18 caps as a left back for Italy, competing with Maldini. Seeing as there is no left winger on the opponent's team, Thuram will be tucking in most of the time, helping an already monstrous defence to contain the central threat of Batistuta, Chiesa and Mancini. Take a look at a great post about Baresi by Gio btw. Moby's star man against my defence: I don't have records for Coppa Italia, but in Serie A Batistuta's record against Baresi, Ferrara and Thuram is quite miserable: - in 9 Serie A games against Baresi Batigol scored 0 goals - in 12 Serie A games against Ferrara (3 against Napoli, 9 against Juve) Batistuta scored 3 goals - in 6 Serie A games against Thuram (who is going to be tucking in) Batigol scored 0 goals Surprisingly, Chiesa looks like a bigger threat to me than Batistuta. My midfield is also a notch above my opponent's, and Davids-Rijkaard base is as good as it can be in this draft (and won't look out of place in the all-time final, imo), and Djorkaeff was a formidable player that finished 9th and 11th in Ballon D'Or lists in his first 2 years with Inter, as well as scoring 30 goals over his 3 seasons in Italy. Diego Fuser, a Lazio legend that finds his partner in crime Lilian Thuram in behind him (they've played together at Parma with great success), will also contribute in midfield battle and help with Moby's threat on the left. Luis Ronaldo and Alessandro Del Piero is a dream partnership — and I don't have to sell them, you all know how good they were. Ronaldo also had a few great games against Parma and Cannavaro in particular (Buffon bailed Fabio out by saving two penalties, for which he was directly and partly responsible — thankfully I have Del Piero and not Ronaldo as my dedicated penalty-taker ) MOBY/PAT_MUSTARD TACTICS Formation: 3-4-1-2 We've completed our team with Paolo Maldini. In terms of success (5 Serie A titles and 3 Coppa Italias across the decade), longevity (top-tier quality in his position for the entire decade) and peak (one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game), he's right up there as a contender for the best player in the draft. We sacrifice a measure of the control that Fusi gave us in favour of bullet-proofing our defence and transitioning back to a counter-attacking set up. Maldini, Cannavaro, Kohler and Almeyda are an ironclad defensive nucleus, particularly against a narrow-ish attack. Veron, Di Chiara and Cafu are their two-way foils - energetic contributors in the defensive phase, with a lavish range of qualities to lead our transitions and punish the opposition when we're in possession. Mancini arguably boasts the most influential single season of any attacker in the draft, leading Sampdoria to an improbable Serie A triumph in 1991-92, and as they were a predominantly counter-attacking team he'll be in famiiar terrain here. Our explosive, prolific forward pairing are equally adept on the counter, with both Chiesa and Batistuta capable of scoring from pretty much anywhere in the final third. Goalkeeper: Luca Marchegiani. Boasting both an impressive peak and top-notch longevity, Marchegiani was a first-choice GK for the entire decade in Serie A, first at Torino and later at Lazio. Defence: Our quality here speaks for itself. Kohler was the mainstay of a miserly Juve defence , while Cannavaro’s credentials as one of the all-time great Italian defenders speak for themselves. Maldini's combination of quality and longevity across the decade is simply unmatched. At wing back, Alberto Di Chiari will run our left flank. An industrious and creative converted winger, he impressed for an excellent Parma team in the same role. At RWB is the legendary Cafu, entering his athletic peak during this time-frame aged 27-30. Midfield: The voracious ball-winner Matias Almeyda reprises his Serie A winning partnership with Juan Sebastian Veron. Almeyda won a Guerin d'Oro for his performances with Lazio, and his positional nous, tireless running and strong tackling make him an ideal man for the job of shielding our defence against star-studded opposition. Beside him, Veron is one of the finest all-around midfielders in the pool, and probably possesses the best playmaking skills of that elite crop. We're not aiming to dominate possession here, but Veron will allow us to establish the requisite level of fluency and control here. Trequartista: Roberto Mancini takes centre stage here in the role that he revered sufficiently to write a Masters Thesis on it. If the increasingly pervasive Sacchi 4-4-2 orthodoxy led to him playing much of his career in a two-man attacking line, his skill-set and instincts mark him as a classic trequartista. A wonderfully creative talisman who book-ended a decade at the cutting edge of Serie A with a Scudetto win at either side, he was at his zenith during Sampdoria’s 1990-91 triumph. Here, as with Sampdoria, he’ll be at home playing on the counter, and he’ll be in his element supplying two prolific goalscorers. Attack: Batistuta’s credentials bear comparison with any forward in the draft: 151 goals in 243 Serie A games across the decade, all of them playing outside of the traditional powerhouse clubs for Fiorentina, with a high-water mark of 26 goals in 32 games in 1994-95. He’s in a familiar system here, and he’ll thrive off the creativity of Mancini and his dynamic, hard-running partner Enrico Chiesa, a consistently good performer across the decade who hit an astonishing peak in 1995-96 (playing with one Roberto Mancini at Sampdoria) of 22 goals in 27 Serie A appearances. A scorer of great goals as well as a great goalscorer, Chiesa had an incredible knack for the spectacular from long-range – videos to follow in the match thread.