Patriot takes a look at players who have been wrongly snubbed in FIFA’s best XI for 2018-19 season
In the recently concluded FIFA “The Best” award ceremony, it was Lionel Messi who took the crown of the world’s best player for a record sixth time – and that decision was unanimously accepted by one and all.
But what did raise eyebrows was the list of players that were included in FIFA’s Best XI for 2018-19 season. Many players this year were included in the World XI, a coveted event which everyone looks forward to, who did not deserve to be there, while many deserving players were snubbed, to the astonishment of many.
Here we talk about some players who have been wrongly excluded and who truly deserved a place in the World XI after their astonishing performances last season.
The English youngster had a superb season for Liverpool as he emerged as the first choice right back for the Reds in that position. Having assisted a whopping 12 times in the Premier League, Alexander-Arnold, ranks as among the best goal creators despite being a defender.
He makes runs from the back along the wing and even can take charge of the right midfield. In fact, the 20-year old has even four assists to his name in the Champions League, in a season where he was the vital cog in Liverpool’s triumphant
Fifa in their eleven, haven’t even chosen a proper right back, with Sergio Ramos filling in the position. This was in a season, where Real Madrid had one of their worst defensive records in their recent history, and Ramos too had a season to forget.
Real Madrid’s Marcelo had a rather torrid season this year at both his club and international levels. In fact, such was his form that he was benched midway in the team. Real Madrid also moved for Ferland Mendy in the transfer market. In spite of such a horrendous year, the Brazilian left back was selected in the team of the year.
The automatic choice for left back would certainly be Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson — one of only four Premier League defenders in history to have ten or more assists in a single season – with an eye-catching eleven assists.
Like teammate Alexander-Arnold, Robertson too is equally adept in both attack and defence, and with his performances in 97-point Premier League and Champions League winning season for Liverpool, the Scotsman has propelled himself as the best in his position in the world right now.
When Pep Guardiola was asked, who was the season’s best player in his treble winning Manchester City squad last season, he pin pointed that it was no one other than Bernardo Silva. “He was the best (this season), not just in our team,” he said in May. “Bernardo can play incredibly well everywhere, give me a team and he can play well there. He does everything with the ball.”
Silva was undoubtedly the best midfielder in the world last season, especially after his team took a blow in the form of an injury to key man Kevin De Bruyne. Seven goals and seven assists aside, Silva almost ran 14 km per match in the Premier League, and took more possession of the ball than any other player in England.
For Portugal to, in recent international matches he has been the pivot of the whole team, and is slowly becoming their most important player, even more than Cristiano Ronaldo
On the other hand, Luka Modric, another Real Madrid inductee in the team, had a below average season, considering his previous season, which fetched him the best player in the world award. Silva should have cakewalked into the World XI instead of the Croatian.
Pep Guardiola has improved a lot of players and raised their potential in his successful managerial career. But none have been as impressive as the transformation of Raheem Stirling ever since he moved to Manchester City. In the Premier League alone, he scored a whopping 17 goals last season, in spite of not being City’s frontline striker.
His knack of getting up the byline and teeing up with his teammates to score tap-in goals, is one of the most common sights when the blues score a goal.
Internationally too, Stirling has had phenomenal success. In his last eight games for England, he has scored eight goals – after an international goal drought of nearly three years.
Kylian Mbappe, is no doubt a great striker and has a bright future ahead of him, but considering the season that Stirling had, he could have easily stepped in instead of the Frenchman.
Sadio Mane has been an absolute sensation ever since he moved to Liverpool from Southampton. Last season, he scored a whopping 22 goals in the Premier League and won the Golden Boot – a title he shared with Mohammad Salah and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. He was also a part of the PFA team of the season.
In the Champions League, too, he was Liverpool’s most important player in their title winning campaign having scored four goals. Internationally, he was the highest scorer in the African Cup of Nations, and led his national team, Senegal, to their first Cup of Nations final in 17 years.
Such form and performances deserved to be rewarded as a part of the World XI this time. Cristiano Ronaldo, may have had a good season for Juventus, but it was nowhere near as rewarding as that of the sensation from Senegal.
Fifa Team of the year
(GK) Alisson Becker
(RB) Sergio Ramos
(CB) Matthijs De Ligt
(CB) Virgil Van Dijk
(CM) Luka Modric
(CM) Frenkie De Jong
(CAM) Eden Hazard
(LW) Cristiano Ronaldo
(RW) Kylian Mbappe
(CF) Lionel Messi