Five Barcelona players and five Real Madrid stars have been selected in FIFA’s Team of the Year, with the Premier League totally snubbed. The world governing body revealed their stand-out ‘FIFPro World XI’ at a glittering awards ceremony in Zurich on Monday, and Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were unsurprisingly chosen to lead the line.
But not a single player currently plying his trade in England was deemed worthy of a place in the star-studded line-up. In fact, only one man not employed by Barca or Real in 2016 was picked – Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. FIFA FIFPro World11 for 2016 The rest of the positions were perfectly split between players who have represented either Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2016, the La Liga giants having five players each in the line-up. It was no surprise that both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were chosen as two of the three strikers, Ronaldo having won both the Champions League with Real and the European Championship with Portugal, while Messi continued to dazzle for Barca.
The other forward position in FIFA’s chosen 4-3-3 was given to Luis Suarez, who was honoured ahead of team-mate Neymar, Real Madrid and Wales’s Gareth Bale, and most surprisingly Antoine Griezmann, who had been shortlisted for the men’s player award but strangely did not make the cut here.