I came home to see that FIFA had announced their 23 man shortlist for this year’s Ballon D’or award. Among the usual culprits were one or two surprise inclusions, which got me thinking: with these players assembled, would they be the best team in the world?
The only viable formation is one involving three centrebacks, because only two defenders were nominated. My newly loved formation, 3-5-2, seems a good option. Let’s begin with keepers.
GK: Manuel Neuer
The German simply can’t be ignored. While all Gigi Buffon and Iker Casillas are both brilliant keeper, Neuer is oh so slightly better in my eyes. If I were writing this article 2 years ago, it would be Buffon, no questions asked, but Manuel takes the prize for today.
RCB: Sergio Ramos
Ramos is great on either ends of the pitch: a terrier in defense and a competent attacker, Ramos in my eyes, is still a right back. He offers too much going forward to stay parked in front of Iker Casillas. Either way, he slots nicely into the back line next to his fellow countryman…
CB: Sergio Busquets
I don’t rate him, but there literally was no one else to fill the void. Yes, the best actor in the world sneaks into the starting XI, but don’t blame me for only have 2 proper defenders on the shortlist. I’d consider Mikel Arteta before Sergio Busquets at CB.
LCB: Gerard Piqué
Another player who doesn’t quite merit a place on the shortlist, Gerard Piqué was my only choice yet again. If he were to play in this line up, at least he’d know how to get on with Biscuit Legs up there.
CM: Andrea Pirlo
I’ve chosen the Italian Maestro over Xavi simply because he seems to have found himself again after a brilliant performance at the European Championships. He’s contributed to Juventus’ ridiculous 48 game unbeaten run, and is showing no signs of slowing down at age 33. Keep up the good work, maestro.
RAM: Mesut Ozil
In my humble opinion, there is no better CAM than Mesut Ozil in world football. His only competition is Andres Iniesta. The reason I place Mesut above him is because Iniesta is equally comfortable on the wing, and I would venture to say that he prefers it, almost the opposite to the likes of Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla.
LAM: Yaya Toure
Some might say that Toure isn’t an attacking midfielder, and that he could easily switch places in the lineup with Pirlo. While this may be true, the reason Yaya Toure is considered one of the world’s best is for his attacking prowess. While he’s also a good defensive midfielder, Manchester CIty benefit the most when Toure ventures forward to help the attack. His physicality, passing range and solid finishing make him a triple threat that’s almost impossible to neutralize. It’s for this reason that Toure gets the more advanced role in this team.
RW: Lionel Messi
He made a name for himself on the wing, he starts on the wing. Messi is a fantastic false 9, but there’s far too much talent up front to warrant him playing as a striker.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
The same sentiment goes for Ronaldo. He’s a great winger, he players striker occasionally, but the flank is his best position: in his own game, and in relation to the team.
RS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Was it ever in doubt? Zlatan is the man with a big ego, a big noise, and a huge array of skills to back them up. He’s my favorite player as a person, simply because he’s truly unique. Whether it’s scoring with a back heel volley, or drop kicking a teammate in the face, Ibrahimovic offers pure entertainment on and off the pitch, all the time.
LS: Radamel Falcao
Some say he’s not human. I’d have to agree. With a record of He’s not a player about fancy tricks and crazy antics, but one who only needs one chance to finish. With 10 goals and 1 assist in 8 appearances for Athletico Madrid this season, Falcao has yet to slow his insane goalscoring form. He’s El Tigre, and as a lethal and clinical as his name suggests.
So there you have it. If you disagree with any player on the roster, feel free to shout at me in the comments below. Also, who would be your two honorable mentions, whether they’re on the list or not?
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