Serie A Top Scorer Cristiano Ronaldo Left Out Of The League's Best XI
Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the best Serie A XI for the season so far, despite being the Italian league's current top scorer.
Opta has compiled the best XI based on its "data," with established names like Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala and Kalidou Koulibaly missing out on a spot in the team.
Samir Handanović, who took over the Inter Milan captaincy from Icardi this month, starts in net for Opta's team, which is set up in a 4-3-3 formation.
In front of the 34-year-old former Slovenia international is a back four comprised of right-back João Cancelo (Juventus), the centre-back pairing of Francesco Acerbi (Lazio) and Milan Škriniar (Inter Milan) and left-back Alex Sandro (Juve).
The three-man midfield features Napoli duo Allan and Fabián Ruiz, who are partnered either side of Juventus' Miralem Pjanić.
Atalanta's Alejandro Gómez has secured a spot on the left wing, while Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy, who can play out on the left, has been deployed on the right wing.
So, who is leading the team instead of Ronaldo?
It is none other than AC Milan's Krzysztof Piątek, who has been in scintillating form in Serie A this season.
The 23-year-old Polish forward is second in Serie A's top scorers this season (one behind Ronaldo), making 19 appearances for Genoa and scoring 13 times for the club.
However, AC Milan snapped up the self-described 'El Pistolero' ('The Gunslinger') in the January transfer window for a reported fee of €35m.
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Since his arrival at the San Siro, Piątek has made five appearances and scored five times.
Genoa president Enrico Preziosi recently said that he is not surprised that Piątek, who scored on his debut for I Rossoneri, has continued to produce for his new club.
"If I expected these goals with Milan? Yes, otherwise I would not have sold it for these figures," he told Lega Calcio (via CalcioMercato).
"Evidently, he is an important player, many are not happy with Genoa for the numbers and everything else, but it is an operation that we had to do and we did it.
"Piątek is not surprising to me, I think that in a team where there are more chances in attack he is able to express himself at best: [when] compared to Milan we did not have great solutions in attack, we are a different team.
"Milan has many more solutions, it has more chances to score: I think [he] will reach more than 35 goals in one season.
"Regret? No, I'm satisfied because he's doing well: it's like a tailor who did well for you and you're happy, it goes like this.
"We have taken some money, for some they are few and for us they were right: we are happy to have done the operation and I wish Piątek and Milan to have the success they deserve."
11 - Here is the best Serie A XI in this season based on Opta data. Oscar. pic.twitter.com/lRgGMgxplz- OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) 25 February 2019
Will Ronaldo finish as the top scorer in Serie A this season?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: Football News, Lazio, Football, Krzysztof Piątek, Mauro Icardi, Serie A, Atalanta, Roma, AC Milan, Paulo Dybala, Juventus, Joao Cancelo, Alex Sandro, Kalidou Koulibaly, Cristiano Ronaldo, Miralem Pjanic, Inter Milan
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