The FIFA team of the year is supposed to represent the best players in their relative positions throughout that year. This year’s team completely baffles me. Last year I felt it was curious that no Chelsea player was selected after winning the Champions League. This year I find it ludicrous the amount of Barcelona players that are in the team, and it’s hard to comprehend why there aren’t certain Bayern and Dortmund players in the side. I shall go position-by-position stating who got the award, and who I feel deserved it more.
Goalkeeper – Manuel Neuer
Without a doubt this was the correct decision. The Bayern Munich defence was incredible last season and a big part of that defence was their superstar goalkeeper. Neuer produced some quite incredible saves in the final of the Champions League and throughout the competition. Fully deserving of his spot in the team.
Right Back – Dani Alves
I have a rather controversial opinion on Alves. Most people believe him to be a superb modern day full back, with pace and great attacking ability. I don’t really rate him that highly. I think he is a good full back, but in my opinion anyone would look good playing in the full back role for Barcelona. You have barely any defensive responsibility because Barca play so far up the pitch with about 80 % of possession (I’m exaggerating, I know). I regularly slam Kyle Walker for not fulfilling his defensive duties, but he could do the job Dani Alves does at Barcelona quite easily, and that’s saying something. When I watch Barcelona I am often left feeling disappointed at Alves’ lack of crossing ability. I think he should score and set up more than he does. I know that sounds weird talking about a full back, but it showed last season in the Semi-Final of the Champions League – when Barcelona came up against a great team in Bayern, he was torn to shreds by Robben over the two legs, with Robben scoring in both legs. I would have put Phillip Lahm at right back in this team, putting an alternative at left back.
I think he is a good full back, but in my opinion anyone would look good playing in the full back role for Barcelona.
Centre back – Thiago Silva
I am in agreement with this decision completely. Thiago Silva is probably the best centre back in the world at the moment. He reads the game so well and is incredibly composed on the ball. He had a great season with PSG last season, leading them to the league title. I have no qualms with Silva at centre half.
Centre back – Sergio Ramos
Unfortunately, I take issue with Ramos being in this team too. Ramos is a great centre back and is definitely one of the best in the world. But, as Madrid fans will tell you, he is far too reckless, gets sent off too often, and he fancies himself as quite the maestro at the back, often spreading dangerous cross field balls. Last year Madrid didn’t win the league and got battered by Dortmund in the Champions league. I can understand him being in the team last year due to his performances for Spain in the Euro’s. But this year’s team didn’t have a Bayern centre half in it. How can that be when Bayern had the best defence in Europe?! Dante or Boateng should have this spot in the team. They were excellent all season and were a big part of the Bayern team that won everything last year.
Left back – Phillip Lahm
As I have said, I feel Lahm should have been the right back in the team instead of Dani Alves. I think David Alaba should be in this team at left back. Bayern’s defence was so good last season, and the majority of this team’s defence should be Bayern players. Last year the whole team was made up of Real Madrid and Barcelona players despite neither of them winning any European competitions. Alaba was so solid last season, and great going forward. He should be in the team.
Midfield – Xavi
I am a big fan of Xavi’s – he is a wonderful talent, and consistently performs at the highest level. But I’m afraid he shouldn’t be in this team. Yes, he won the league with Barcelona last season, but I’m puzzled as to how Schweinsteiger is not in this team. Last season he was one of the best players in the world. He won everything with Bayern, and if you ask Bayern fans they would say that apart from the captain Lahm, he is their most influential player on and off the field. His absence from this team is laughable in my opinion.
Midfield – Iniesta
So far, I seem to be very anti-Barcelona, but I agree that Iniesta merits a place in the team. However, I could easily opt for Gundogan in this position. Gundogan was excellent for Dortmund last season; he was instrumental in their success. However, since they didn’t actually win anything, Iniesta could merit the place ahead of him. Iniesta is incredible to watch and performs well whenever you watch him.
Iniesta is incredible to watch and performs well whenever you watch him.
Midfield – Ribery
He had to be in the team in one position or another, and so he is in the midfield three. Oh well. Obviously no one in their right mind would put Ribery in the centre of a midfield three, but the attacking wide positions are taken by a couple of fellas called Cristiano and Lionel. Ribery was such a star last year, with a multitude of goals and assists from that wide left position. He gets in just ahead of Robben for me based on his consistency. Robben was in and out of the team a little bit during the season, but Ribery consistently performed domestically and in Europe.
Forward – Cristiano Ronaldo
He was the best player in the world last year without a doubt. He fully deserving of his Ballon d’Or, and obviously merits a place in the side. He has pace, power, skill, and a great technique. He’s class in the air, he’s got a remarkable shot, he takes free kicks – the list goes on. So yeah, he’s got a few things going for him, making him the first name on the team sheet.
Forward – Lionel Messi
The second best player in the world last year was Lionel Messi. He is an incredible footballer and if it wasn’t for injury, maybe he would have picked up the ballon d’or instead of Ronaldo. Obviously Messi has to be in the team.
Forward – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
This position was hard for me to choose, because although Zlatan is incredible and has had an incredible goal scoring year, it is hard to look past Robert Lewandowski for that position. Lewandowski was prolific last season in both his domestic league and Champions League. He ripped apart Real Madrid at Dortmund, and in my opinion is very unlucky not to be in this team. He scored 36 goals in all competitions, including 10 goals in 13 games in the Champions League, whereas Zlatan only scored 3 goals in the same competition. I would have gone with Lewandowski, because he set Europe alight last year.
Therefore, my team of the year would have been this:
Lahm, Thiago Silva, Dante, Alaba
Iniesta, Schweinsteiger, Ribery
Ronaldo, Lewandowski, Messi
Lets hope FIFA get it right next year…
Images courtesy of bbc.co.uk