• Pablo Lario

The Best XI Of The Dec... 2019 (The Decade Isn't Over Yet!)

2019 is about to come to an end, and people like football, so, how about we come up with the best XI this year?

Rules are simple: We lined up a 4-3-3 formation, and, basically, chosen every OP player out there (Messi included). So, let's get into it:

GK: Alisson Becker (Liverpool FC)

It was very hard to leave Atletico Madrid's Oblak, even Ter Stegen, off, but Becker’s ability to play the ball with his feet opened up everything that Liverpool wanted to do. Along with Van Dijk, he was the final piece of the puzzle that resulted in Klopp's Liverpool Champions League victory (even if it wasn't the most interesting match ever) and a very close 2018/19 Premier League title race against Guardiola's Man City.

LB: Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona)

Marcelo was definitely in for a shout here, and we looked at rising Liverpool’s star Robertson, but Jordi Alba has always been consistently fantastic for Barcelona. When a left-back is technical enough to play anywhere on the field, that’s a very bad problem... For opposition; not for us.

CB: Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool FC)

The second-man for the Ballon D’Or, Van Dijk is everything you want in a center back. The Dutchman is so good that he doesn’t even need to tackle that often, the opponents know not to even go near him. During the entire 2018/19 season, his stats were something else (i all competitions): 0.88 goals conceded per 90 min, 19% clean sheets (3/16 matches), and 0.06 bookings per 90 min'. He completely sucks the air out of opponents’ attacks, consistently. And that's simply something really hard to do.

CB: Kalidou Koulibaly (SSC Napoli)

There is a lot of fantastic center-backs alive right now (Lovren?), but none may be more gifted than Koulibaly, the rock at the heart of the Napoli defense. With respect to De Ligt, Ramos, Chiellini, and Pique… The Senegalese is too good for his team (Gatusso is the new manager? I think Koulibaly is thinking about that Manchester United move again).

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool FC)

Undoubtedly, Trent Alexander-Arnold was the best right-back in the world last year. Alexander-Arnold recorded 13 assists last season for Liverpool en route to a historic sixth European Cup for his boyhood side.

The 21-year-old has epitomized what it means to be a modern full-back and is arguably stronger in attack than in defense. That's why we feel confident giving him the nod over Joshua Kimmich as the Englishman was simply the best. And sorry, Barcelona fans... But, didn't you see that beauty of a pass?

CDM: N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea FC)

Kanté has struggled with injuries at times, and last season had to learn a new position, essentially, on the fly, thanks to the coaching of Maurizio Sarri. But he’s still for many a platonic ideal for a midfielder, even for us. The Frenchman covers more ground than anyone, he plays beautifully, and he makes everyone better. Plus, that smile. THAT GOD DAMN SMILE.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

With apologies to his Portuguese teammate Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne is by far the most talented attacking midfielder in the Premier League; someone who has every tool in the toolkit. He can dribble, he can pass, he can shoot, and he can do it all with both feet. Undoubtedly, the Belgium is the perfect round-shape football player.

CM: Frenkie De Jong (FC Barcelona/Ajax)

Frenkie De Jong is an interesting one because now that he’s with Leo Messi at FC Barcelona, it seems Valverde is asking him to do a lot less than he was doing at Ajax last season. But Ajax’s run last season was part of 2019, and he was absolutely sensational. Please, Valverde... STOP THIS NON-SENSE!!! (Anyway, is he still there?)

LW: Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

This was a hard one to include, especially as Mbappe’s been injured a couple of times and Liverpool's Sadio Mané has been absolutely unbelievable alongside Firmino and Salah. That being said when the French youngster is healthy, there’s no more unstoppable player alive (not named Messi) than Mbappé. Plus, he has a nice smile like Kanté. I guess it's the French genetics...

RW: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Yeah, Messi still the best player in the world. Not really sure what else to say.

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Finally, Robert Lewandowski has been absolutely unreal this year for Bayern Munich, somehow improving on past seasons to be the best pure striker alive. Yes, we left off Cristiano Ronaldo. No, it wasn’t an accident. Lewa has been better... If you don't believe us, just check his stats:

27 goals in 21 European competition games (Bundesliga, German Cup, and UCL) this 2019/20 season!? MAMA MIIIIAAAA!!!

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