Italy has produced some of the greatest football players of all time, and the country’s Serie A league is home to world-renowned clubs like AC Milan, Inter Milan, AS Roma, and Juventus. There is no shortage of incredible and iconic players who have played in the Serie A, and the topic of who was the best is not an easy one to answer.
Here we will look at some of the contenders for the status of best player ever in the Serie A. Although players like Cristiano Ronaldo (who made his debut for Juventus in 2018) have joined the league in recent years, we will be focusing on players who played in the league for many years rather than newcomers.
In the 1960s, Inter Milan dominated the league, in no small part due to the skills of attacker Sandro Mazzola. Mazzola helped the club win the Serie A three times, as well as the European Championship once and the European Cup twice. Mazzola’s goals for Inter Milan total an impressive 158. If esports live streams and betting had been around in the 1960s, Mazzola would have been a very popular tip to place money on.
It is rare for a world-class player to spend their entire career at one club, but striker Francesco Totti showed this loyalty to AS Roma, for whom he scored 250 goals. Totti’s incredible skill and dedication to his club earned him the nickname “the King of Rome”.
Alessandro Del Piero
Playing for Juventus for nearly two decades, attacker Alessandro Del Piero became the club’s highest scoring player ever with 290 goals (188 of them in the Serie A tournament). Del Piero also helped the club win the Serie A six times, as well as the Champions’ League once.
Goalkeepers are often underrepresented on lists of the best football players of all time. Players like Gianluigi Buffon show that keepers can be just as iconic and inspirational as any other position. Gianluigi Buffon played for Parma and Juventus over his career and managed to keep 296 clean sheets. Buffon still plays today for French club Paris-Saint-Germain.
Like Totti, defender Paolo Maldini played for the same club for his entire career. Maldini played for AC Milan for an impressive 25 years. Over this quarter of a century, Paolo Maldini led Milan to victory in the Serie A whopping seven times. Many commentators have named him as the best left-back in the entire history of the sport.
Over the course of attacking midfielder Roberto Baggio’s extensive club career in the 1990s, he scored a jaw-dropping 291 goals for clubs such as Brescia and Fiorentina. Baggio’s versatility—he was equally adept as a striker and as a midfielder—made him a legend, and he earned the nickname “the Divine Ponytail”.
Of course, the question of who is the greatest Serie A player of all time doesn’t have a definite answer. All of these players are extremely iconic in Italian football, and it’s hard to choose just one as the best.