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Alessandro Nesta

The 33-year-old has been at the top of his game for well over a decade now and his absence this season has really cost Milan. Nesta has picked up an impressive trophy haul in his time at Milan, winning the Scudetto in 2004 and two Champions League winner medals in 2003 and 2007 along with other honours.

He began his career with Lazio where he made nearly 200 appearances for the side from Rome. In his career at the Stadio Olimpico he quickly established himself as one of the best defenders in the Serie A and broke into the Italian national side. A little known fact about Nesta and his time at Lazio is that he first received the attention of the media when he broke Englishman Paul Gascoigneís leg in a training ground incident. This was a move that hardly endeared him to the Lazio faithful but he soon made up for it with his impressive displays at the heart of the Roman sideís defence.

He moved to the San Siro at the start of the 2003 campaign making a 30million Euro switch from Lazio. The Rossoneri had tried to sign him the season before but baulked at Lazioís asking price of over £50million. His performances in the Milan shirt have quite rightly earned him the recognition he deserves worldwide and he has been named four times in the UEFA team of the year in his career Ė a figure only bettered by Thierry Henry who has been named in it five times.

Nesta has had an unfortunate international career and missed Italy's World Cup final victory in 2006 through injury. It is my belief that Nesta is, and probably always has been, a better defender than Fabio Cannavaro is despite Cannavaroís Ballon díOr win in 2006, though Iím not sure how many people will agree with me on that front. He is the absolute rock at the heart of Milanís defence and his absence this season through a serious back injury has really cost the Rossoneri in their quest to end Inter Milanís domination of the Serie A. Hopefully he will return to the fold next season after an operation in February to try and solve the persistent problem with his back, which will massively improve Milanís chances of regaining the Italian title. His ability to read the game and get tackles in at key moments are bettered by none and if he can rediscover his form following his injury Milan should stand a decent chance of toppling Inter next season.

Profile written by Gareth Freeman on May 18th 2009. Some of the content might be outdated and it might lack events that followed the date it was written on. Contact us if you'd like to update this profile.
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