Serie A 2015/16 season review: Best team, best player and biggest flop

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As ever, it’s been another fascinating year in Serie A with a thrilling highlight-reel of superb goals and magical moments both on and off the pitch.

From Verona, Frosinone and Carpi dropping down to Serie B, to Juventus lifting an historic fifth consecutive Scudetto, there have been mixed emotions across the board.

However, it has resulted in a competitive and highly entertaining campaign for supporters, with emotional goodbyes to legends such as Luca Toni and Antonio Di Natale to the crowning of new young starlets hoping to establish themselves as the stars of the future.

Here are our Serie A end-of-season awards for 2015/16:

Best team: Juventus

Few can deny that the Bianconeri deserved their place at the top of the Serie A table this season, as the reigning champions overcame a disastrous start to the campaign to put together an incredible run of form that saw them win 25 of 26 games between October and May.

Massimiliano Allegri had to deal with the losses of Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal this season, and the way in which the Italian tactician has not only replaced them in terms of personnel, but rebuilt the team to allow others to step up and take their place, should be commended.

With just 20 goals conceded and the third-best scoring record in the league, the Turin giants surpassed their title rivals with a relentless desire to remain the top team in Italy.

Best player: Gonzalo Higuain

The Argentine forward broke a 66-year-old record this year as he surpassed Gunnar Nordahl’s mark for the highest number of goals in a single Serie A season, scoring 36 goals in just 35 appearances.

It came down to the last game of the campaign for the 28-year-old, and he delivered a hat-trick against Frosinone with a stunning third goal to seal the record and his place in Italian football folklore.

His compatriot, Paulo Dybala, deserves plenty of recognition too for a stellar first year at Juve having arrived with a hefty price-tag and big expectations, as he ultimately filled Tevez’s boots with 19 goals and nine assists.

However, it’s Higuain who takes the award despite the fact that Napoli were forced to settle for second place, as he was simply unstoppable this year.

Flop of the season: AC Milan

It was another miserable campaign for the Rossoneri, who sacked Sinisa Mihajlovic last month as a run of just two wins in their last 11 games was a sign of how many problems they still face.

That in turn resulted in a seventh-placed finish, thus piling the pressure on them to defeat Juventus in the Coppa Italia final this weekend in order to earn a place in the Europa League next season.

Despite the signings of Carlos Bacca, Andrea Bertolacci and Alessio Romagnoli, coupled with the emergence of Gianluigi Donnarumma, it wasn’t enough to end their struggles as they will once again face a summer of difficult questions about how best to move forward.

Best XI of the season: Gianluigi Buffon; Sime Vrsaljko, Leonardo Bonucci, Kalidou Koulibaly, Alessio Romagnoli; Jorginho, Miralem Pjanic, Paul Pogba; Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Mohamed Salah.

Honourable mentions: Donnarumma, Samir Handanovic; Gonzalo Rodriguez, Andrea Barzagli; Allan, Radja Nainggolan, Riccardo Saponara; Andrea Belotti, Leonardo Pavoletti, Carlos Bacca, Lorenzo Insigne and Mauro Icardi.

Follow Sumeet Paul on Twitter @SP_Calcio

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