15 Best Parma F.C. Players of All Time

Who is the greatest Parma player in the history of football?

Parma is a club that has a long history in the Italian soccer league. Although it has never won a scudetto, Parma is regarded as one of the strongest dark horses in Serie A. The club also develops the talents of a lot of quality players who become the mainstays of the Italian national team in international tournaments, such as Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Baggio, and Gianluigi Buffon.

In this topic, I present a list of Parma's fifteen best players of all time. These players in these list are mostly from the 1990s, a period when Parma managed to stay in the top five of Serie A competition and won a lot of prestigious achievements. Without further ado, here is the list.

15. Sébastien Frey

Sebastien Frey was signed from Verona as the replacement for Parma's number-one goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, who moved to Juventus in 2001. His performance was not disappointing, in which Frey helped Parma to become the champion of the Coppa Italia in 2002. His great forms as a goalkeeper continued in the next season, the moment that managed to rescue the club from relegation in the 2004-2005 season. Unfortunately, Parma was forced to sell Frey to Fiorentina because of the club's financial crisis in the mid 2000s.

14. Dino Baggio

Dino Baggio is a talented Italian defensive midfielder who played for Parma in the period 1994-2000. During this period, Baggio led Parma become a respected team in Serie A. At Parma, he won two UEFA Cup trophies and one Coppa Italia trophy. One of the most memorable appearance of Dino Baggio is when he scored two goals in the UEFA Cup final in 1995, which led to the club's victory.

13. Lorenzo Minotti

Lorenzo Minotti is the most successful captain in the history of Parma. The Italian defender became Parma's captain when the club won the Coppa Italia, Cup Winners' Cup, European Super Cup and European Cup in the period 1993-1995. Although his appearance was not too prominent, Minotti always make his teammate feel safe. He was able to guard Parma's defense area very well, making this club recognized as one of the club with the strongest defenses in Europe in the mid-1990s.

12. Faustino Asprilla

Faustino Asprilla was signed from Colombian club, Atletico Nacional, in 1992. The striker became the mainstay of the golden generation of Parma in the mid-1990s who always occupied the top five positions in Serie A. Not only that, Asprilla also won a Winners' Cup trophy, two UEFA Cup trophy, and one European Super Cup trophy. During his days at Parma, Asprilla was known as a striker with great dribbling ability and often scored goals from free-kicks.

11. Alberto Gilardino

Alberto Gilardino is one of the best Italian strikers of all time . Despite only playing for Parma for three seasons from 2002 to 2005, Gilardino left sweet memories for the fans of this club. During his period at Parma, he was very prolific in scoring, even managed to become the top scorer of Serie A in 2005 with a record of 24 goals in a season. After performing brilliantly, the player was signed by AC Milan for a fee of 25 million euros in the 2005-2006 season.

10. Antonio Benarrivo

Antonio Benarrivo is a retired Italian wingback who played for Parma in the period 1991-2004. This player could play as a left back as well as right-back and sometimes could also be played as a central midfielder. Playing for Parma for thirteen seasons, Benarrivo recorded numerous achievements, among them are a Serie A runner-up as well as winning the UEFA Cup, Winners' Cup and European Super Cup.

9. Ivo Cocconi

Ivo Cocconi is a legendary player who played for Parma from 1950 to 1962. The Italian defender holds the record as the player with the highest number of appearances for Parma, with a total record of 308 appearances. Cocconi played in Serie A and all of his career was spent to play for Parma in Serie B competition. Considering his loyalty and contribution, Cocconi was named as one of the best Parma's players of all time in 1995 by the president of this club.

8. Tomas Brolin

Tomas Brolin played for Parma for five years, from 1990 to 1995. He showed a very brilliant performance as a striker, where he managed to win Coppa Italia, Winners' Cup, UEFA Cup and European Super Cup. When joining Parma, Brolin also successfully led the Swedish national team secure the third place in the World Cup 1994 tournament. Unfortunately after the tournament he was often hit by injuries. Due to the injuries, Brolin's performance continued to decline and he was finally forced to retire at a young age.

7. Lilian Thuram

Lilian Thuram was trusted to be the general of Parma's defense from 1996 to 2001. The French defender was signed from AS Monaco and showed great performance since his first season at Parma. Along with Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro, Thuram managed to make Parma's defense be recognized as one of the strongest in Serie A. Not only that, when playing for Parma, he also won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with the French national team.

6. Gianfranco Zola

For three years playing for Parma in the period 1993-1996, Zola showed mind-blowing performances. He won UEFA Cup trophy and the European Super Cup and at Parma, the public began to recognize him as one of the best strikers in the world. His duet with Tomas Brolin and Faustino Asprilla made Parma become one of the most feared teams in Serie A. With a total of 67 goals that he scored, Zola holds a record as Parma's third top scorer of all time.

5. Roberto Sensini

Roberto Sensini is an Argentine former defender who was appointed to be the captain of Parma in 1999. Under his leadership, Parma won a UEFA Cup and a Coppa Italia trophy. His great performances made Sensini was signed by the richest Italian club at the moment, Lazio. At Lazio, he won a scudetto title. After a season playing for Lazio, Sensini moved back to Parma in 2000. In 2002, he managed to win another Coppa Italia trophy as part of this team.

4. Luigi Apolloni

Luigi Apolloni is one of the most loyal players of Parma. This player joined Parma for thirteen years, from the period 1987 to 2000. Apolloni experienced hard times when Parma was still playing in Serie B. He helped the club gain promotion to Serie A in 1990, and led Parma win numerous trophies in national as well as international competitions. In total, Apolloni played in 304 matches and scored eight goals for Parma.

3. Fabio Cannavaro

Cannavaro started his career at Napoli. In a training session, he was scolded severely by the club's management for committing hard tackling against the club star, Diego Maradona. Due to the financial crisis experienced by Napoli, Cannavaro was sold to Parma in 1995. In this club, he managed to show his talent as one of the best defenders in the world. He played for Parma for seven years, winning two Coppa Italia trophies and one UEFA Cup trophy. Cannavaro was also appointed to be the captain of Parma before moving to Juventus in 2004.

2. Hernán Crespo

Hernan Crespo is definitely Parma's best striker of all time. In addition to being Parma's top scorer of all time with a record of 94 goals, Crespo also presented one Coppa Italia and one UEFA Cup trophy for the club. This player also briefly became the most expensive player in the world when he was transferred from Parma to Lazio for a fee of 35 million pounds sterling. After a period of playing for Inter Milan, Chelsea, AC Milan, and Genoa; Crespo returned to Parma in 2010, a club where he retired as a professional footballer.

1. Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon was raised by Parma's Youth Academy and currently he is known as one of the best Italian goalkeepers of all time. He was trusted to be the first-team goalkeeper of Parma at the age of 18 years and he responded that trust with brilliant performances. Together with Lilian Thuram and Fabio Cannavaro, Buffon made Parma's defense to be one of the best in Serie A. Before moving to Juventus in 2001, Buffon presented one UEFA Cup trophy and one Coppa Italia trophy for Parma.

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