• Pablo Lario

It's Finally Here: The World XI Of The Decade!!!

The moment you were all waiting for... (or maybe not)

THE WATCH "TEAM OF THE DECADE" IS HERE!!! Who did we choose? Have a look (That's why you came for, right?):

GK: Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich)

Undoubtedly, there's been many good goalkeepers this decade, however, Manuel Neuer is the original keeper sweeper, and by far, the best goalkeeper this decade (Sorry, Oblak. Sorry, Ter Stegen).

The high point in Neuer’s career arrived in 2014 when he played a significant role in helping Germany win the World Cup and came 3rd place in the Ballon d’Or, voting behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Nevertheless, he has collected a glut of titles since turning professional with Schalke, where he made his debut in 2006.

After five years, he moved to Bayern Munich, where he has won 6 Bundesliga crowns and has also won the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup among a string of other honors. More recently, Neuer missed out on a Ballon d’Or nomination this year in the wake of his injury-hit campaign, with Alisson, Thibaut Courtois, Jan Oblak, and Lloris the four goalkeepers to make the 30-man shortlist. But even if 2019 hasn't been the German's year, he wasn't going to be omitted of this team.

RB: Dani Alves (Brazil/FC Barcelona)

Any doubts? Nah!

Dani Alves has clearly been the best.

The reason, he has provided a whole new dimension to the role of a full-back. Probably one of the players who has made the position his own, Dani Alves was one of the first full-backs who effectively made those overlapping runs. Not just a right-back, but a right-flank in a true sense, Dani was the key to the success of Guardiola's Barcelona and his tactics, as his runs up and down the field enabled Messi to cut in and also provided crosses along with the defensive cover and his Brazilian flair.

Alves has not just been another player. He was first of his kind and first of his class. And, obviously, all his trophies speak for him too (42 TROPHIES!!??). So, whether you choose to prize technical quality, medals won, longevity or influence above all else, there's really no argument against Dani Alves being considered the greatest right-back of all time, and from this decade, of course.

CB: Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid)

Hated by many (especially after what he did to Mo Salah), but loved by many as well, Real Madrid's captain Sergio Ramos is our first choice center-back of the team.

Even if Spain's captain incurred the wrath of the majority of the football fraternity in many occasions of this decade, defensively, Ramos has been very astute throughout the game. While the former Sevilla star can, at times, be a liability due to his hot head and the subsequent proneness to earning yellow/or various red cards, he can never truly be counted off from a game.

Under his headstrong leadership, Los Blancos have won 3 Champions League titles and 1 La Liga title, along with countless more Super Cups and Club World Cups this decade. Moreover, one of the reasons why he's so different from the other defenders is that he can score some crucial goals for his team. He has genuinely been a scoring threat.

For example, against Juventus and then Bayern Munich, Sergio Ramos did exceedingly well many times, and in the 2017/18 final of the Champions League against Liverpool, leaving aside all the controversy, the Spanish captain put in a great shift that closed all the doors for the Reds.

There's simply no better defender than Sergio Ramos on a night when Real Madrid have a big game and need to deliver. The Spaniard is always up there putting out his best performance to ensure that his team doesn’t lose.

CB: Virgil Van Dijk (The Netherlands/Liverpool)

This, on the contrary, was a too easy choice.

Van Dijk now looks like an absolute steal for £75 million, collected the PFA Player of the Year award after his first full season, and is now challenging Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the big awards. F***** incredible!

The 28-year-old scored against Merseyside rivals Everton on his debut, galvanized the Reds to Champions League glory and went an entire season without being dribbled past. We could go on for days. Of course, the Dutchman is one of the best defenders of this decade and, obviously, he needed to be in this team.

He might not be the fastest, but he knows how to get wins (if not, ask Liverpool). And he's very complete. Jack of all trades, but a master of none. That's Virgil for you.

LB: Marcelo (Brazil/ Real Madrid)

Clearly, the Brazilian left-back is not at his best form now, however, this decade... WOW!!!

His brilliant skill, pacey attacking and all-round excellence has seen him lift 19 trophies for 11 years with Los Blancos, on his way to being regarded as the best left-back in the world. Furthermore, during his early Real Madrid days, he was often deployed as a winger, which many, including AC Milan legend Paulo Maldini, attribute to his incredible abilities both attacking and defending. He was a complete show to watch.

And what about that hair, ah?

CDM: Sergio Busquets (Spain/FC Barcelona)

Sergio Busquets...

Why is the Spaniard so underrated by many people?

Busquets is one of the best one-touch midfielders in the world. Xavi and Iniesta may have been FC Barcelona’s midfield heartbeat, but the backbone of the midfield was (and still is) Sergio Busquets. Busey’s height of 6’2” gives him the edge when he needs to defend the attack both when it comes to headers and stretching out to reach the ball.

If Busquets was just a good defensive midfielder and not an overall good defender, Pep probably would have bought another defender to help the backline by now. Sergio may not be the typical defensive midfielder we are used to seeing; athletic, very strong, and an “enforcer” type of player. But that’s what makes him so special; because he’s not a typical defender. And, perhaps, the greatest attribute about Sergio Busquets is his grace and elegance of his passes. Simply magnificent!

By far... He's the best midfielder, man!

CM: Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid)

So many Barcelona and Real Madrid players here, am I right? Don't be surprised... They've been simply... THE BEST!!!

This decade, there's been many good midfielders, but the Croatian has been key for Real Madrid's success in late years: Modric won his 4th Champions League title with Real Madrid in the 2017/18 season and has been a key part of the side that has dominated European club football for nearly 5 years.

Moreover, 2018 was his year, achieving the UEFA Men's Player of the Year and the Ballon D'Or, as well as getting to the final of the World Cup in Rusia against France (Spoiler: They lost). Real Madrid is simply not as good when Modric doesn't play and the 33-year-old seems to have been getting better with age of the last few campaigns, finding a new level in his twilight years that few probably believed existed.

CM: Andrés Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona)

A product of La Masia who came to define the Barca academy's vision of footballing excellence, Iniesta has collected 9 La Liga titles, having completed his career-long Camp Nou association with a domestic double in 2017-18.

He was also the inspiration behind Spain's golden run of three consecutive major tournament triumphs at Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, his exploits in Johannesburg on July 11, 2010, forever etched into the nation's consciousness...


Who doesn't remember that last-minute goal against The Netherlands in an epic 2010 World Cup final in South Africa?

While he was at his best playing as an attacking midfielder, he was also world-class in the other four center-mid positions. It's hard to find another player in the world who was so good at so many different positions. Iniesta's game was simply as complete as it gets. He might not be as good a dribbler as Lionel Messi, but he was pretty damn close; his vision might not be as good as Xavi Hernandez's, but again he was close. He didn't score as often as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but he was not a terrible finisher either, and he had a pretty good shot from distance.

He might not be the best at any particular skill, but Iniesta was among the best at several important ones and was pretty much at least competent in every single aspect of the game. A complete midfielder with a big lionheart!

LW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid)

Surprise, surprise! (Do I really need to explain this one?)

This decade, Ronaldo became Real Madrid's top goal-scorer with 450 strikes, 4 Champions Leagues, 4 Ballon D'Ors, reached 99 goals with Portugal, won a f***** European Championship (as a coach), and became a 100 million pound player at 33 years old...

INSANE!!! JUST INSANE!!! (Is there anything else to say? Really?)

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich)

Sergio Agüero, Suárez, Benzema... All good nominees for this team, however, the Polish striker has been simply better.

From going to sign for Blackburn Rovers to go and score 100 goals with Borussia Dortmund, and then over 200 goals for rivals Bayern Munich... Wow! That's a big step!

He has won 7 Bundesliga titles, he's in his 30s and still has 30 goals for this 2019/20 season... BY CHRISTMAS!!! An absolute goal machine, who, unfortunately, has never won a Champions League. Oh, well...

RW: LIONEL MESSI!!! (Do I really need to say where he's from? OUTER SPACE, OK!?)

Finally, the best of the best; the GOAT himself.

Five Ballon D'Ors this decade, a record of 86 goals in one calendar year, reached over 600 goals with FC Barcelona, added 2 more Champions Leagues, averages 40 goals per season...

MONSTROUS!!! ABSOLUTELY MONSTROUS!!! HE WAS DEFINITELY GOING TO BE IN THIS TEAM!!! (He also reached the World Cup final... People often forget about that one... I wonder why?)

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