Goalkeeper – Manuel Neuer – The German national goalkeeper and Champions League winner was a reassuring presence in the German champions’ European success and so deservedly takes the number 1 jersey of our world XI.
Right back – Philipp Lahm – Who else? He has been a German and Bayern stalwart for nearly a decade but the Magic Dwarf is showing no signs of a diminishing talent. Undoubtedly the best full back in the game, strong defensively – a surprising rarity for current full backs – and equally adept going forward.
Centre back – Thiago Silva – The Brazilian secured a big-money move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain in July 2012 and he has not disappointed his fee of €42 million. He was a key contributor to their Champions League run this season, before they were eventually defeated by Barcelona.
Centre back – Gerard Pique – The Barca academy product has been selected in the FIFPro World XI for 3 consecutive years and he epitomises the modern central defender. Despite struggling to impact at Manchester United, he returned to the Catalans motivated and full of potential and he has fulfilled that there.
Left back – Jordi Alba – The second Barcelona player in defence, Alba returned to Barcelona from Valencia in 2012 for a fee of €14 million. He has established himself as first choice left back for both Spain and Barcelona, despite only being 24, and has a tremendously bright future ahead of him.
Centre midfield – Xavi – The ‘Puppet Master’ has had an incredibly long career at the top level of the game, making his Spanish debut in 2000 and still being a stalwart in their line up. The creative genius has been at Barca for 15 seasons yet he doesn’t look like a declining footballer.
Centre midfield – Andres Iniesta – Partner in crime to the man above, the tricky Spaniard has won it all in his career. La Liga, Champions League, Copa Del Rey, World Cup, the Euros, you name it, Iniesta has won it. Many consider him to be the best footballer in the game to watch; his grace and ease on the ball truly is a joy to behold.
Centre midfield – Juan Mata – The fifth consecutive Spaniard to make the team, Mata has been sensational at Stamford Bridge this season, from creating, cultivating and crafting goals from his magic feet. Andre Villas-Boas was much maligned for his time at Chelsea, but signing Mata was undeniably a touch of genius.
Right forward – Gareth Bale – The Welshman has been in scintillating form for Tottenham this year, scoring the most goals outside the area of any player in Europe’s top 5 leagues. Memorable strikes include away at West Ham in the dying seconds and Sunderland at home, also with just a few minutes to play. Being just 23, it is no surprise that Real Madrid are intent on getting his signature.
Centre forward – Lionel Messi – Need I even explain my decision? The master of the modern game, Messi has scored 313 goals in 379 games for Barcelona. He stated that he takes his inspiration from playmaker Pablo Aimar, and Aimar should be truly honoured by that statement.Left forward – Cristiano Ronaldo – We may all hate him because of that wink, but the £80 million man has had a magnificent career, starting at Sporting Lisbon before making his way to Madrid via a successful stint at Manchester United. He averages 1.1 goals every league game for Real Madrid – a remarkable statistic.
Left forward – Cristiano Ronaldo – We may all hate him because of that wink, but the £80 million man has had a magnificent career, starting at Sporting Lisbon before making his way to Madrid via a successful stint at Manchester United. He averages 1.1 goals every league game for Real Madrid – a remarkable statistic.
Have I made the correct choices? Are these the best 11 players in the world currently in your opinion?