Friday, June 3, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 92 and 91

92. Paolo Cannavaro- The rock that Napoli's incredible season was built off of, Cannavaro has become more than just Fabio's younger brother. As the captain of a Napoli side which took Serie A by storm, Cannavaro was an ever present, a leader at the back and a valuable asset to Walter Matzarri's side.

Though Cannavaro, and the rest of the Napoli defense, were outshone by the attacking triumvirate of Cavani, Hamsik and Lavezzi, the general consensus in Italy remains that Cannavaro has greatly improved as a player, a fitting bearer of that most famous of names.

Having played for Napoli since his youth, it seems unlikely that Cannavaro would ever consider leaving the side, especially with the enticing prospect of Champions League football for next season. Much like Dortmund and Porto, the head honchos at Napoli are likely to have trouble keeping hold of their start names, however, I doubt that retaining Cannavaro will pose many difficulties to the Azzuri hierarchy.

91. Joao Moutinho- Serially linked to Everton, last summer Moutinho became one of the many Portuguese speaking stars to have been sucked through the entrance way at FC Porto. As captain of Sporting, Moutinho's decison to join rivals Porto was described as "deplorable" by some parties, but their is no doubt that Moutinho must now be eternally grateful that he did decide to join the Portuguese giants.

Coached by Andre Villas-Boas, Porto won an unprecedented treble, including the Portuguese league and cup as well as the Europa League. Key to that success was new signing Moutinho, a young, exciting attacking midfield player. Though his goalscoring statistics leave a lot to be desired, there is no doubt that Moutinho's creativity was a crucial factor in the incredible totals boasted by some of his Porto colleagues.

Having signed a five year deal at the start of the season, a move abroad looks unlikely for Joao Moutinho, the midfielder is with content living in his native Portugal and he'll savor the opportunity of representing his club in next year's Uefa Champions League.

Certainly, I for one will be looking forward to seeing Moutinho on show at next year's European Championships, in the past he has disappointed but I think 2012 could be his year.

Read more from David Yaffe-Bellany (The Chairman) @

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