Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughFifa's World XI of the Year is Only Half Right - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Fifa's World XI of the Year is Only Half Right - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Fifa’s World XI of the Year is Only Half Right


The Ballon d’Or awards ceremony was conducted yesterday and threw up a few points of contention with its world XI.

Very few people thought Iniesta or Ronaldo would keep Lionel Messi from picking up his 4th award as the world’s best. There can also be little argument that Vicente Del Bosque deserves the manager of the year award for steering a Spain team to their 3rd major. One area that always provides contention though is the World XI of the year. 

This years reads as follows:  

GK: Iker Casillas

DEF: Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo

MID: Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Iniesta

ATT: Messi, Falcao, Ronaldo

I’m sure you have your own bones of contention with that but few can argue about Casillas in goal; a captain who won La Liga and the Euros.

As for the back four, I think the beauty of Spanish football may have blinded the judges as I feel three of those are up for debate. Ramos should be due to a strong year domestically and internationally like Casillas, but his Real team-mate Marcelo is more debatable.

What about Ashley Cole, who’s versatile and committed defensive performance helped Chelsea lift the Champions League? Or Jordi Alba for a fantastic breakthrough season with Barcelona and some scintillating games for Spain.

Alves is always impressive to watch but hasn’t had his most successful season, so for me Ramos would take his place at right-back. This just leaves Pique, who spent most of the season injured, and only picked up the Copa del Rey on top of the Euros (pathetic!).

Two better candidates would be Vincent Kompany – probably the best defender in the Prem and winner of the title, and Mats Hummels ditto Kompany with the bonus of Dortmund’s great performance in the CL so far.

Midfield is less contentious, although there are so many outstanding candidates that one would never get it right for everyone. Iniesta certainly deserves a Ballon d’Or in his career but I didn’t feel he warranted the nomination this year. Again, he won the Euros but no domestic majors, whereas Pirlo or Yaya Toure won their titles but nothing outside their country.

I think Xavi generally deserves to always be in the World XI until he retires but Alonso is up for debate. He achieved the same as compatriots, Ramos and Casillas but the competition is thicker in his area. David Silva would have been there had his season not waned towards the end. Mata accomplished much in his year too, but his lack of involvement in Chelsea’s defensive CL title probably rules him out. Any combination of Alonso, Toure, Xavi, and Pirlo would be just.

The forwards are not up for debate. You don’t need me dribbling superlatives about Messi and Ronaldo to know they have to be there. That leaves Falcao the only ‘weak spot’ to slot in your preferred striker. Van Persie for a high scoring year across two teams? Sergio Aguero for ‘that goal’ against QPR? Luis Suarez for outstanding performances in a fairly average Liverpool team? Didier Drogba for an outstanding Champions League campaign?

No. It should be Falcao who seems completely unplayable on a frequent basis. Man U‘s van Persie runs him closest, but the Colombian has been incredible this season; pace, power, accuracy, aerial dominance, and physicality make him the best out-and-out striker in the world.