Europe / Soccer

KATHPRO XI

Yesterday, before Lionel Messi picked up swept the competition for his fourth Ballon d’Or title, he was also named to the FIFA/FIFPRO XI for 2012. The ‘dream team’ of the years best European-based players not only included the 91-goals-in-a-calendar-year man, Messi, but his Barcelona teammates Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Xavi, and Andres Iniesta; Real Madrid members Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo; and the lone Atletico Madrid man Radamel Falcao rounded out the team.

Now, I love Barca and will support them in La Liga; I respect Real Madrid and their players (they have fantastic talent), and Falcao is a tremendous attacker. However, with that being said, one (me, mainly) has to question how there are no players from anywhere else but Spain? (playing, not originating)

I know for a fact that there are many players that should have been recognized, so I decided to make my own KATHPRO XI 2012. Here’s my team (made of no players from the FIFA squad that was picked {read: any players in Spain}, but rather, it’s made from the shortlist of players) being deployed in a 4-3-3:

Keeper:

Joe Hart (Manchester City), but when Hart gets injured, my reserve keeper is Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)…Hart, though he hasn’t been playing as well this 2013 season, had an amazing run in 2012: 

Defenders:

Ashley Cole (Chelsea)…a great defender and very steady for Chelsea and England: 

Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)…the Bayern captain’s loyalty and aggressiveness show as he leads the German champs: 

Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)…constant in the backfield: 

Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)…with those goal line stops and general ferocity, he deserves to be mentioned: 

Midfielders:

Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)…he’s a boss with a beard. Here’s his free-kick goal vs. Atalanta:

Frank Lampard (Chelsea)…he’s a Chelsea legend, no doubt. Plus, who else has a goal like this on their 500th appearance at a club? Frank Lampard highlight

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)…there had to be a midfield playmaker for Bayern on this top 11: 

Forwards:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG)…have you seen the England/Sweden match from 14/11/12? Ibra picks up all four goals:  (17, 2:22, 2:53, 3:30 on the video)

Robin Van Persie (Manchester United)…you can’t dispute how great 37 goals is for one man in one season (and no, he is no Messi, but the EPL has RVP, so embrace that fact): 

Edinson Cavani (Napoli)…because, why not? Check out this Top 10 goals of 2012 highlights: 

2012 Shortlists for FIFA/FIFPRO XI:

FIFA Goalkeeper Shortlist

FIFA Defender Shortlist

FIFA Midfielder Shortlist

FIFA Forward Shortlist

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