The Serie A team of the decade

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Serie Aaaaargh! casts a rose-tinted look back over a decade for the ultimate team that would do Serie A proud: The Noughties XI.

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon has maintained his high standards throughout the decade, overcoming troublesome injuries along the way and staying loyal to Juventus to boot.

Right-back: Marcos Cafu kept the pendolino on track after winning the title with AS Roma by extending his career through to 2008 with AC Milan, lifting another title and the Champions League. 

Central defender: Alessandro Nesta's cool exterior always belied a steely resolve in the best traditions of the Italian defender. In his prime the Roman’s speed and astute reading of the game left many of the best attacking talents impotent.

Central defender: Fabio Cannavaro was a one-man defensive colossus both for club and country who hardly ever lost an aerial challenge or was out-witted in a one-on-one situation. May have left Italy in the wake of Calciopoli but had already given his best years to his homeland.

Left-back: Paolo Maldini may have ended his career in the centre of defence but it is the marauding runs and cool flick along the flank which will forever live in the memory of a man who is simply The Legend. Team captain, of course.

Right midfield: Javier Zanetti could cover the whole right side without ever getting a hair out of place. Still keeping the Inter engine room stoked without missing a game in the last three years.

Holding midfielder: Andrea Pirlo is one of the most complete players of his generation, combining pinpoint passing and deadly accuracy at set-pieces with limpet-like control.

Left midfield: Pavel Nedved was the heartbeat of Juventus throughout the decade – and how the Old Lady could do with his invention and non-stop running now.

Attacking midfielder: Ricky Kaka arrived at AC Milan with the air of an engineering student and left as the epitome of the attacking midfielder – speed, grace and an unerring eye for goal.

Forward: Francesco Totti led AS Roma to the title at the start of the decade and then remained in the capital to carry his aching limbs through the next 10 years and still has that X factor – the ability to score his fair share of goals.

Forward: Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have only been around for half a decade and went missing in Europe, but on the domestic front the big Swede stood head and shoulders over the rest.

Substitutes: Sebastien Frey, Lilian Thuram, Emerson, Alex Del Piero, Andriy Shevchenko

Coach: Anyone who could turn AS Roma into champions deserves to lead the team, so the honour goes to Fabio Capello.

Of course there are many others for whom an argument can be made to be included so feel free to post your own starting XI...

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