Organised by Fifpro, the body that represents players’ associations from 69 countries, the world 11 is picked by fellow professional footballers, with 26,516 votes casted this year.
Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo
Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta
Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo
Looking at this team, there are many talking points:
- The fact there no Premier League player made the team
- The high amount of Real Madrid and Barcelona players
- Antoine Griezmann’s exclusion
- How does it compare to UEFA’s team of the year?
Premier League players don’t make the cut
This is the second consecutive season in which no player in the Premier League was named to the FIFPro World XI. Even Paul Pogba who made it last year, missed out after his switch to the Premier League, ‘coming home’ to Manchester United.
Why was no Premier League player picked?
Paul Pogba missed out on the team by 2 votes and even though he plays in the Premier League now, his stellar performances for Juventus are what got his so close in the first place so he’s not really representing the Premier League which still doesn’t answer the question.
One of the reasons for this could be due to stats. Whatever country you are in you watch your own league and from time to time watch matches from other leagues and most of the time they’re the biggest matches. So how else do people base judgements on other quality players who aren’t in their national league? Stats, and because the competition is much fiercer in the Premier League and the level of quality between teams is not as drastic, star players still have the quality but not the inflated stats of those in La Liga. Never in the history of the Premier League has a single player scored 40, 50+ goals but in the past 6 years of La Liga Messi and Ronaldo have done it 5 times.
Barcelona and Real domination
The team seems to be a Barcelona and Real Madrid best 11 even with Dani Alves spending the start of 2016 with Barcelona even though he now plays for Juventus. Real Madrid and Barcelona not only have the history and playing style that attracts players but they have the finances to buy and keep those players. Real Madrid are proud of their tradition of spending huge amounts to buy at least one marquee signing every year. Both teams are in positions to buy the best players and they happily do that.
Before 2016 the top 5 most expensive players were at either Barcelona or Real Madrid.
- Gareth Bale
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Luis Suarez
- James Rodriguez
Without considering the number of first team homegrown players who in today’s climate would cost a substantial amount. Using Transfermarkt, I have acquired the market value for those players. Lionel Messi has a market value of £105million, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets also come with considerable values, being rated at £30million and £40million respectively.
The total value of the Bernabeu outfit comes to £520million, while Barca’s comes to £500million so with the amount of money invested in getting the best players, there should be no surprise why Barcelona and Real Madrid not only dominate the La Liga but the FIFA World XI.
Despite being named as one of the three finalists for The Best FIFA Men’s Player, Atlético Madrid star Antoine Griezmann was not named to the World XI, with Luis Suarez sneaking into the team ahead of him. If we’re asking who is the better striker then yes, the answer would be Luis Suarez but according to FIFA’s own Best Men’s Player Award, Griezmann is one of the top 3 players in the world so it would only make sense he makes their best 11.
UEFA Team Of The Year
Jérôme Boateng Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Leonardo Bonucci
Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta
Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo
In comparison to the UEFA team of the year, the FIFA team of the year looks more balances due to the fact they have included a left and right back instead of the 4 central defenders that UEFA users picked. This could be due to the voting system UEFA uses compared to FIFA. The UEFA voting system is simply “by UEFA.com users” and the reason for the unbalanced team is because of the voting categories like, ‘Defender’, ‘Midfielder’ and ‘Forward’ without specifying position. With 7,146,715 votes, overall and 62% of voters between 18-24, the UEFA team of the year has been picked by a younger audience, compared to the FIFA XI picked by fellow professionals the seams are practically identical.