With the football world bursting at the seams with breathtaking talent, who would make the cut for the ultimate XI?
The German stopper was one of the most sought after talents last summer, with Sir Alex Ferguson openly stating his admiration for the former Schalke man. Eventually Bayern Munich convinced him to stay in his home country, paying 22 million Euros in the process.
And his performances at the 2010 World cup proved to be no flash in the pan, with the second most expensive goalkeeper in history appearing in every match for his country since. His presence in between the sticks as well as his exemplary shot shopping skills ensure he’ll remain an imposing obstacle for many strikers for years to come.
It seems a little wrong to call Alves a right back, with the Brazilian providing more attacking threat than most wingers in every game he features in. He embodies not only the cavalier nature of Barcelona’s play, but also the way the modern footballer be. Athletic, technically sound and lightning fast, Alves is the blueprint for most up and coming starlets.
It’s no surprise Milan have endured an upturn in fortune since the Brazilian’s arrival. In under three years Silva has made nearly a hundred appearances, whilst last season he contributed to Milan’s first title win since 2004. Rumour has it the former Flumienese man could be on his way in the summer, with Barcelona and Manchester United both keen to part with a sizable amount of cash for his services.
An absolute rock for City this season, the Belgian defender has proven himself as a consistent performer at the top level for a good few years now. His worth was no more apparent than during an unwarranted suspension in January, as City’s title bid momentarily stuttered without his intimidating presence at the back. Nobody would begrudge him if he were to be the player to hold aloft the Premiership come May.
At a time when most top sides have struggled to find a dependable left back, Marcelo has been a model of consistency for a ruthless Madrid side. Last season he started in every game, drawing praise from a variety of sources including Diego Maradona and Paulo Maldini.
After achieving a place in the Fifa World XI, Marcelo is now considered to be one of the most consistent fullbacks in the world, boasting frightening speed as well as more than worthy defensive capabilities.
The Godfather of Spanish football has been manipulating midfield’s for years, and at 32 shows no signs of waning with an impressive 12 goals in 35 appearances this term. Can dictate the pace of a game like no other, and typifies the incredible success of the Spanish national side over the past four years. Will surely go down as one of the midfield greats.
At Arsenal Fabregas was always a well liked and admired figure. His guile and sumptuous passing impressed all in a country more used to seeing bruising tackles and bloodied shirts, and it’s fair to say Arsenal fans weren’t the only ones sad to see the back of the Spaniard.
With question marks over his ability to break into a star studded Barca midfield, the 24 year old has slotted in seamlessly, replacing a frustratingly injury prone Iniesta and scoring 15 goals in 35 appearances in the process.
Though a little too cock-sure at times, the Portuguese man continues to take our breath away. Perhaps the most well rounded footballer of his generation, he can dribble, shoot, head the ball and quite simply finds scoring goals easier than anybody on the planet.
Encapsulates all that’s good about the Spanish game, the tricky former Valencia man has been a revelation for City this season. At 26 Silva has yet to peak, and could yet match the achievements of compatriots Iniesta and Xavi in bringing total ticka tacka football to the masses. With a low center of gravity and subhuman vision, the midfielder has provided some much welcomed technical prowess to the battle field of the Premier League.
Nothing more can be said about the man who keeps pushing all the footballing boundaries. Will surely go down as the greatest player to have ever lived.
Robin Van Persie
His stunning performances this season have culminated in somehow dragging an average Arsenal team into fourth place this term, giving his side a real chance of Champions League football. His touch, technique, team play and ruthlessness in front of goal have been a joy to behold for years now, and would have produced many more magical moments if it wasn’t for some cruelly timed injuries.
Subs: Gianluigi Buffon, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Mezut Ozil, Arjen Robben, Luka Modric , Wayne Rooney, Neymar.
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