By Ollie Irish
FIFPro (the global footballers’ union) and FIFA today announced the 55 players shortlisted for the FIFA-FIPro World XI 2010. Rather than choose the best 55 players, on form this year, it appears they have chosen the most famous players, the ones with the biggest names, the ones with the biggest marketing clout, the ones who play for the biggest clubs.
Six weeks ago, I doubt young Gareth Bale would have been anywhere near this list, but right now he’s The Most Hyped Player On The Planet, so of course he has to be in there, to add even more heat and lustre to an already star-studded list. Afterthought, much?
The 55 players, broken down by position:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Petr Cech (Chelsea), Julio Cesar (Inter), Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United)
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Michel Bastos (Olympique Lyonnais), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Lucio (Inter), Maicon (Inter), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Pepe (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Walter Samuel (Inter), John Terry (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Javier Zanetti (Inter)
Midfielders: Esteban Cambiasso (Inter), Michael Essien (Chelsea), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Kaka (Real Madrid), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Inter), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (Barcelona)
Forwards: Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United), Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Samuel Eto’o (Inter), Diego Forlán (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Diego Milito (Inter), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Ronaldinho (AC Milan), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Barcelona)
As you can see, it’s essentially a list of the 55 Most Famous Footballers In The World, many of whom happen to have had poor 2010s (Rio Ferdinand, Ronaldinho and Kaka, for example – I mean, WTF!!?). I guess Sepp Blatter was also pushing for the inclusion of David Beckham, Diego Maradona and Pele, but got overruled. Jaysus, he wept.
Based on form in 2010, here’s my own World XI:
Iker Casillas – Lifted the World Cup. Didn’t drop it either.
Maicon – Monstrous for Inter last season, and one of Brazil’s better players in the 2010 World Cup.
Lucio – See Maicon, above.
Carles Puyol – Gets better as he gets older, integral part of Spain’s World Cup-winning team.
Javier Zanetti – Had to have The Tractor in there somewhere. Inspirational for treble-winning Inter, shamefully ingored by Maradona for the World Cup.
Esteban Cambiasso – Same story as Zanetti; superb for Inter, ignored for Argentina WC squad by childish Maradona.
Wesley Sneijder – Another brilliant Inter performer, he also lived up to the hype in South Africa.
Xavi – Godlike genius.
Andres Iniesta – Almost as much of a genius as Xavi, and scored the winner in the World Cup final.
Lionel Messi – Didn’t have a standout World Cup, but don’t forget he was mesmerisingly wonderful for Barcelona last season. And we have such high expectations of him.
Didier Drogba – Cruelly injured just before the World Cup but bravely played on in a special cast. Banged in 29 goals for Chelsea last season, and gets my vote above Forlan and Milito.
Let’s be having your World XIs for 2010…