FIFPRO World XI

Pretty straight forward blog, this is my team of 2011:

GK Manuel Neuer

DEF Dani Alves
DEF Gerard Pique
DEF Nemanja Vidic
DEF Gareth Bale

MID Andres Iniesta
MID Xavi
MID David Silva

STR Lionel Messi
STR Mario Gomez
STR Cristiano Ronaldo

Neuer has been the goalkeeper to impress me most in 2011, firstly helping Schalke in the champions league, before earning a move to Bayern and keeping a riduclous number of clean sheets considering the quality of the centre-backs playing in front of him.

I hate Dani Alves, because he dives and he’s got one of those faces you’d like to punch, but he’s got incredible quality on the ball and in the games I’ve seen this year he’s actually starting to defend properly and not just thrown himself on the floor at the first sign of trouble.

Pique is strong, great in the air, quick, reads the game well and has the ability to make goal saving tackles with perfect timing. Why did Man Utd sell him? The only response I can think of is the word mistake said dramatically with an elongated “a” sound.

Vidic is like Pique in many respects but more of a brute and with less class on the ball. He’s the player John Terry always wished he could be. He’s often why Man Utd keep clean sheets.

Yes I know Bale doesn’t play in defence any more, and yes I know that putting him in there is cheating, but I don’t care. I was picking a player in the world to play in that position for my team I pick Bale, because he’s awesome going forward and I don’t plan on having to defend much.

Iniesta and Xavi have powered Barcelona to another La Liga and Champions League title. Their influence is irrepressible and their class in possession unmatched.

David Silva has become Man City’s best player. He’s also now a first choice selection for Spain. This is some achievement and represents what a good year he’s had. Playing in a central area gives him greater influence and this has been seen by an increase in the number of goals and assists he’s had so far this season. I feel like it’s going to be onwards and upwards for his career.

There were worried articles in the Spanish press when Messi didn’t score for three games. That should tell you almost all you need to know about his quality, the rest can be answered by the fact that he then scored two hat-tricks in his next two games.

Ronaldo is having a head to head battle with Messi over who is the best player in the world, at the moment he’s coming second but the fact that there is a battle to be had shows how far he’s come since his silly hair cut and lack of end product in his first few years at Man Utd.

Mario Gomez is probably the most controversial pick but his goal record in 2011 is crazy-good, not only for club but for country. I doubt he’ll get the recognition he deserves because he isn’t the prettiest player in world football, both in terms of his appearance or his technique, but when it comes to simply putting the ball in the net he’s had a fantastic year.

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