Who Should Make The FIFA FIFPro World11 2018
The Best FIFA Football Awards, FIFA’s answer to the Ballon d’Or, takes place later this month and the three finalists for Men’s Player Award will be contested between Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah.
While those three fully deserve their nomination, it’s the best World11 which often has fans scratching their heads. The likes of Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta seemed like placeholders in every ‘World XI’ going in the past.
The aforementioned duo will almost certainly miss out this time and given the number of teams who’ve won major trophies this year, this could be a difficult team to make.
But here it goes (via the 55 players selected by FIFA):
GK: Keylor Navas
First of all, the fact that Hugo Lloris hasn’t made this list is somewhat of a travesty. Nevertheless, Navas needs to be shown some respect following three consecutive Champions League wins. Los Blancos have long been linked with a move for David De Gea, but the Costa Rican continues to excel.
He’ll have a battle on his hands with the arrival of Thibaut Courtois, though.
RB: Kyle Walker
Part of one of the best teams in Premier League history, Walker has transcended to arguably the best in Europe in his position. 100 points with Manchester City in addition to clinching the League Cup, the former Spurs man is in rare form.
Walker then travelled away with England last summer, shifting his position to guide the Three Lions to the semi-final of the World Cup, matching their best ever showing since winning the famous trophy in 1966.
CB: Raphael Varane
European champion for the third consecutive time with Real Madrid. World Champion with France. Varane is currently the best centre-back in the world. His position in this team is safe.
CB: Diego Godin
In an era where defenders are looking to become as technical as wingers, Godin is the last of a dying breed – a defender who loves to defend.
The Atletico Madrid man has conquered the art of defending and after leading the Spanish giants to yet another Europa League title, he shone for Uruguay by marshalling a sturdy defence. The former European Champions were a Varane-header away from potentially competing in the semi-finals.
This position was a straight shootout between the Brazilian and his Barcelona nemesis Jordi Alba, and I’ve gone with the Real Madrid man following yet another impressive season in Europe.
Marcelo has added another medal of Europe’s premier club competition, though both left-backs endured difficult experiences in Russia last summer.
Arguably the best holding midfielder in Europe, Casemiro will go down as one of Real Madrid’s shrewdest signings at just £6m. The anchorman has become the main man for both club and country, helping the Spanish giants to three back-t0-back European Cups.
Also, on the international stage, he was given the nod ahead of Manchester City’s Fernandinho – which speaks volumes.
CM: Luka Modric
The artist. At his best, he’s Mozart on the field. The Croatian maestro is the heartbeat for Real Madrid, a journey which didn’t start too well. Modric was awarded the worst signing in La Liga in his first season and many felt the jump from Spurs to the biggest club in the world would consume him.
He dusted himself off and came back with a chip on his shoulder. The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti breathed new life into him and he hasn’t looked back ever since.
This year, the 33-year-old has added another Champions League medal and also led his country to a World Cup final. A country with a population of 4.17 million people.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne has entered a new era in his career, especially since the arrival of Pep Guardiola in Manchester. The Spaniard moved the Belgian into a central position and he’s become one of the best in Europea ever since.
His career seems to be mirroring that of Bastian Schweinsteiger, a player too slow for a wide role but clever enough to transform into a top-class central midfielder.
RW: Mohamed Salah
Liverpool’s magic man has given a new lease of life to a team that’s been on the ‘verge’ of doing big things for a while. While he ended the campaign trophyless, Salah scored an insane number of goals from a wide position.
It’s also a case of ‘what could have been’ for Salah following that damaging shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final. It forced him off on that night in Kyiv.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
It wouldn’t be a real World XI without one of the two giants in the team, and it’s Ronaldo who gets the nod. Writing them off would be silly, but it seems the end of the Ronaldo/Messi era may be coming to an end.
Ronaldo did produce a sensational display in the Champions League last season, though it was Gareth Bale who stepped up on the big night. Having said that, 44 goals in 44 appearances last season is a pretty decent showing.
CF: Kylian Mbappe
If Ronaldo and Messi are winding down, Mbappe is the man who will take the mantle on and the world is his oyster. The 19-year-old moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 looking to build on his breakthrough campaign, and boy did he deliver.
Mbappe has added another Ligue 1 title to his build and after going away with France, he announced himself to the world to become world champion.
He has already been handed the Golden Boy award, and it won’t be far before a Ballon d’Or follows.