There is only one league, two cities and three teams represented on the FIFA Team of the Year, but can there honestly be any disagreements with the final XI?
It wouldn’t have taken Einstein to work out that the one league is La Liga, that the two cities are Barcelona and Madrid and considering the form of Atletico Madrid’s Falcao, there will be few who will say that the Colombian doesn’t deserve to be the only player on the team who doesn’t play for Barca or Real.
The team has a distinctly Spanish feel with six representatives in total – Casillas, Pique, Ramos, Iniesta, Alonso and Xavi, while there are two Brazilians – Dani Alves and Marcelo, a Portuguese – Cristiano Ronaldo, an Argentinean – Lionel Messi, and a Columbian – the aforementioned Falcao.
Despite the fact that Iker Casillas has been dropped of late and there are two members of what is a fairly porous Madrid backline included, we don’t feel there could be much argument with the final XI, although as Rio Ferdinand pointed out on Twitter, Robin van Persie may feel a little aggrieved given his exploits with both Arsenal and Manchester United in 2012.
Elsewhere, Spanish national manager Vincente del Bosque beat off competition from Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola to take the Coach of the Year award – unsurprisingly, Giovanni Trapattoni was not amongst the nominees – while the effort below from Miroslav Stoch (skip to 0:42) was deemed to be the best goal scored in 2012, a potentially controversial decision given the amount of belters scored last year.
We'd have gone for this one.
FIFA Team of the Year: Casillas, Alves, Marcelo, Pique, Ramos, Iniesta, Alonso, Xavi, Ronaldo, Messi, Falcao
FIFA Coach of the Year: Vincente del Bosque