Edinson Cavani’s top team-mates XI

Wednesday 07 October 2020 09:00

New Manchester United signing Edinson Cavani brings a wealth of experience and know-how to the Old Trafford dressing room.

Long established as one of most dangerous frontmen in world football, Cavani has made a habit of scoring throughout his career, whether that’s at Palermo, Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain or with the Uruguayan national team.

In that time, he’s also lined up alongside some extremely talented team-mates and, as the 33-year-old prepares to enter a new squad environment, we’ve put together an XI of players he’s taken to the field with most often.

While this team is based around the highest number of joint appearances, some direction has been used to help us create a functioning formation…
De Sanctis just makes it between the sticks.

Morgan De Sanctis (126 appearances with Cavani)

The Italian was team-mates with Edinson for all of the attacker’s three years at Napoli, where they helped the club win the Coppa Italia in 2012. The duo actually departed the Stadio San Paolo in the same summer, with De Sanctis joining Roma. The now retired stopper just made it into this XI above Salvatore Sirigu, who Edinson played with at Palermo and PSG. De Sanctis made four more joint appearances than his fellow countryman, Sirigu.

Christian Maggio (114), Marquinhos (223), Thiago Silva (216), Maxwell (130)

Cavani’s defence includes three Brazilian team-mates from PSG, with Marquinhos and Thiago Silva playing alongside the Uruguayan more than any other players. Maxwell is the third representative from Brazil and, between them, the trio have earned 146 international caps to date. Maggio completes this rugged back four. The full-back, who spent a decade at Napoli, is still playing today for Serie A side Benevento, and Gli Stregoni are currently managed by former AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi.

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Marco Verratti (205), Blaise Matuidi (176), Javier Pastore (179)

Now that’s some midfield! The trio in the centre of the park all rank in Edinson’s top five most common team-mates, with Pastore the only representatives in the XI who played with the striker at Palermo. Verratti is also one of only three players to have lined up with him more than 200 times, the last of which came in March 2020. Meanwhile, World Cup winner Matuidi left PSG earlier this year to join David Beckham’s exciting MLS outfit Inter Miami. All three midfielders, of course, played with Cavani at PSG and were part of the Parisian’s 2016/17 squad – a term in which our new recruit bagged an incredible 49 goals in just 50 appearances.
Verratti is one of two Italians in Cavani's team.

Lucas Moura (159), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (107), Ezequiel Lavezzi (164)

The only former Red to make Cavani’s outrageous XI is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede, who is currently playing for Italian side AC Milan, lined up alongside Edinson for three seasons at the Parc des Princes and the duo formed perhaps the deadliest strike force in Europe at the time. Between them, in 2015/16, the pair managed a combined 75 goals in all competitions, as PSG won the domestic treble. Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur’s Lucas Moura also makes the team due to his time at PSG, and is the fourth Brazilian included in the XI. On the opposite flank, Lavezzi is one of just two players to have played with Cavani at two clubs, having treaded the same path as the striker in swapping Naples for Paris in 2012.

De Sanctis; Maggio, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Maxwell; Verratti, Matuidi, Pastore; Moura, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi.
Imagine coming up against these two every week!

As previously mentioned, this team takes into account positional set-ups, as well as joint appearances. That means several players missed out despite lining up alongside Cavani more times than team-mates included in the side. For instance, Zlatan’s total of 107 is actually lower than seven other players, but as none can play up front, it’s the 39-year-old who makes the team.

Central midfielders Adrien Rabiot (175), Thiago Motta (166), Marek Hamsik (132) and Walter Gargano (115) all miss out, with the three midfield slots already filled. It’s also worth noting that Gargano is the only Uruguayan in this squad. Former United man Angel Di Maria is also high on Cavani’s list, with 154 appearances alongside El Matador, while Salvatore Sirigu (122) and defender Paolo Cannavaro (109) also miss out.