It’s basically a paper All-Star team (they don’t play any games or anything) that gives you an idea of who the best player at each position was in 2012.
The 11 players on this years team come from just three professional teams, all of which are, surprisingly, part of Spain’s La Liga.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, and Iker Casillas play for Real Madrid. Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Gerard Pique, and Dani Alves play for Barcelona. And Radamel Falcao plays for Atletico Madrid.
Here’s the lineup:
Photo: Fox Soccer
The La Liga isn’t considered the best top-to-bottom league in the world, and the current Champions League title-holders are Chelsea, an English team that beat Barca in the semifinals last year. You could argue that elite players who aren’t from Spain like Robin van Persie, Neymar, or Sergio Aguero should have been included for sheer variety.
Still, this FIFA XI reflects the fact that Spain is the dominant cultural force in the soccer world right now.
The style played by Barcelona and the Spanish national team — a possession-based, passing game — is now considered the superior tactical philosophy in the sport. Playing “like Spain” has become synonymous with “playing well.”
The best national team in the world (Spain, which won the last World Cup and European Championship), the best club team in the world (widely considered to be Barcelona), and the best player in the world (Messi) are all found in Spain.
All 11 of these guys play professionally in Spain, and seven of them play for the Spanish national team.
Here are the players, Ronaldo lagging a bit on the upper left:
Photo: Fox Soccer
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