The FIFA Team of the year was a very disappointing one. It was just full of Barcelona and Real Madrid, in a year when it was clearly shown there were better players than the players selected, especially in defence. I wanted to prove there can be a team made of players who could match the players selected by numerous players and managers, to show how the constant selection of players from the same 2 clubs needs to end. At the end of each pick, I’ll quickly add if they should replace the FIFA Team of the year players or the original selection is fine. The team will be made in a 3-5-2 formation.
Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak
I’ve decided to go with the Athletico Madrid stopper. Athletico Madrid easily had the best defence in Europe in 2016 only conceeding 16 goals in the previous season and making their way to the Champions League final by only conceeding 11. Even though their defence is unbelievable, their goalkeeper does have to take a lot of credit. In one season he showed himself to be one of or the best goal keepers in Europe. Neuer being picked just isn’t interesting anymore, even 38 year old Buffon should of been given a shout. But goalkeepers are judged on how many goals they conceed, and Oblak conceeded the least and showed himself to be the best. There isn’t anyone else who should be goal.
Decision: Should replace Manuel Neuer
Left Centre Back: Pepe
Pepe is that player we all love to hate. He has had this reputation of being an extremely dirty player, which is true. But in 2016 he reminded everyone we should pay more attention to his defending, because he was outstanding. Pepe stood out during Madrid’s run to the final, playing his part in keeping likes of Aguero and Draxler from scoring past Los Blancos, and especially Torres and Griezmann in the final. Sergio Ramos got the headlines for his goal, but Pepe was just as good as he was in that game. Even though he was good in the Champions league, it was Portugal’s run to the final where he really stood out. Portugal never should of got to where they did in the Euros, because finishing third in a group should not be rewarded. But saying that, Pepe stayed very consistent through out the tournament. And putting in a man of the match performance for again, keeping Griezmann quiet. Pepe did deserve some recognition for his performances and being picked over Marcelo is the best way to show how good he has been
Decision: Should replace Marcelo
Centre Back: Diego Godin
I was speaking about how good Athletico Madrid’s defence was last season, and Godin is a huge reason for that. He was a consistent starter for Athletico Madrid last season, with his defensive partner usually being switched between Savic and Giménez. Godin was a major reason why Athletico were in the title race for as long as they were. Being aggressive and staying consistently solid in the big games, like the game against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Each year he seems to be improving, and even though he was unlucky not to get a Champions League medal or to kiss that La Liga trophy, he still deserves a lot of credit for keeping Athletico Madrid a constant threat for any team going against them. I still have no idea how Pique got into that team over Godin and the my next pick, but Godin easily replaces him
Decision: Should replace Gerard Pique
Right Centre Back: Leonardo Bonucci
2016 was the year of Bonucci. For a while now Chiellini and Barzagli always got the credit for Juventus having an amazing defence, but Bonucci has proven that he is the best out of the three. He reads the game so much better than the other two, and even though he isn’t exactly the most calm centre back, he has shown he isn’t afraid to put the team first, with his constant tactical fouls and and aggressive play. Sergio Ramos has finally deserved a team of the year place, but it’s a shame, because the three centre backs here have shown they have been a better defender than him. And even though he has scored in the big games to save Madrid points, he won’t be keeping his place
Decision: Should replace Sergio Ramos
Right Midfielder: Gareth Bale
What a 2016 Gareth Bale had! Not only did he play really well in the final of the Champions League, he helped lead Wales to a Euro Semi Final and now earns over €750.000 a month at Real Madrid. Bale is a perfect winger, having the pace, the shooting ability and the ability to run at defenders. Dani Alves didn’t have a stand out 2016 so it does confuse me why he got a place in the team again, so Bale will slot nicely ahead of him.
Decision: Should replace Daniel Alves
Right Centre Midfielder: Miralem Pjanic
Bet you didn’t see this coming. I never understand why this guy doesn’t get more credit for what he gets each season, because he is the best midfielder in Serie A by a long shot. Last season he scored 10 and assisted 12 last season. Those are amazing numbers for a creative midfielder. He then made a controversial move to Juventus and continued his fine form, scoring 5 and assisting 5 this season already. He is one brilliant player who deserves more recognition for how good he is. But should he replace Toni Kroos? No he shouldn’t. Pjanic is an amazing player but Kroos is that next level. Even though he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, he still isn’t better than Toni Kroos.
Decision: Shouldn’t replace Toni Kroos
Left Centre Midfielder: N’golo Kante
To understand why he automatically gets into this team, In the entire 2016, he earned more points than any other team in the premier league. He only lost 4 games in the entire 2016. Kante had a better 2016 than most other teams, just to show how successful he is. I’ve never been able to understand why players like Kante aren’t considered to be the best midfielder in the world. He was a big part in why Leicester shocked the world by winning the Premier League, he played great for a very mixed French side and then joined Cheslea and is now the reason why their system works. I can never stop talking about this guy, and I think he is one of the best midfielders in the world. But does he get ahead of Modric? Of course
Decision: Should replace Luka Modric
Left Midfielder: Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann was robbed. He was third in the Ballon d’or and still didn’t get a place in the team. Yes Suarez did score a lot of goals. But he plays for Barcelona. It isn’t hard with players like Iniesta, Messi and Neymar around. Griezmann is in a team that scored less than 40 goals in the entire La Liga season and has an involvement in most of them. He scored more than half their goals and got into the Euro’s team of the tournament too. He is an amazing player in a very good team. He just doesn’t get the credit he deserves for a team who do not score many goals. I love the guy as a footballer and would love his brother to stop with the Man United rumours. It’ll be the end of me! But does he take Ronaldo’s place? No, based on the fact Ronaldo deserved the Ballon d’or so no one can go ahead of the guy who came first. But if he was against Suarez, then he would definitely take his place.
Decision: Shouldn’t replace Cristiano Ronaldo
Attacking Midfielder: Marek Hamsik
Another player who doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. Napoli have one of the most exciting attacking line ups right now. And Hamsik is a huge part in why they are so good. He, like Bale, can run at players so quick and so direct. He has a quality very similar to Mhkitaryian, being able to run at players and make other teammates play the way he wants to play. He was a stand out player in the Euros. Being the vocal point from a very unknown Slovakia side. I think he should replace Iniesta. I love the guy but he shouldn’t be anywhere near a Team of the year in 2016.
Decision: Should replace Andres Iniesta
Left Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan had a memorable 2016. Not only carrying PSG to another title, he also signed for Man United for free and is carrying them to top four. He is like fine wine, improving with age. People said he should of came to the premier league years ago, but I disagree. He’s better than he has ever been right now, and the experience he has gained from the different leagues he has played in has turned him into the player he is now. He will go down as one of the games legends after he eventually retires. If he ever does. My pure hatred for Suarez and love for Zlatan is the reason why he gets into this team.
Decision: Should eplace Luis Suarez
Right Striker: Pierre Emerick Aubamayeng
Aubamayeng has become one of the best strikers around in 2016, using his blistering pace to ruin defenders. He is an amazing player in a good Dortmund side, and even though he is denying the rumours, I do believe he will eventually leave. So Dortmund might as well embrace his talent as long as they can. So does he replace Messi? Of course not. Messi is the best player to ever play the game. No one goes near Messi’s place in this team.
Decision: Shouldn’t replace Messi
I can imagine many would disagree with some of these picks, but it’s all subjective. If you disagree with some of my replacements, then tell me who I should of chosen in their place