FIFA 2014 FIFPro World XI Observations

FIFA announced the FIFPro World XI for 2014 on Monday, with obvious choices like Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world, Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer the easy selections.

There isn’t usually a ton of controversy with the selections, as it’s pretty clear who the best players in the world are at each position. In addition to the three stars listed before, Philipp Lahm is widely considered the best at his spot, and he had plenty of success last season while winning the Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich and the World Cup with Germany (both of which he captains). Toni Kroos joined him on both of those teams before moving to Real Madrid in the summer in what may turn out to be the most underrated summer transfer.

Here’s the graphic released by the {sarcasm font}world’s most transparent organization{/sarcasm font}, which also released a full voter list for the Ballon d’Or, something the Baseball Writers Association of America should consider. The list obviously includes tremendous individual success with most of the players, while team success, whether for club or country, was also heavily involved in the decision-making process.

FIFA FIFPro World XI 2014

However, the glaring inclusion is obviously Paris Saint-Germain’s David Luiz, who was presumably included thanks to his contributions to Brazil during the World Cup. The only problem is that he captained the side during their 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinal, and their subsequent 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third-place game.

Luiz’s club play has also been suspect, as he was deemed excess at Chelsea and sold to PSG for a remarkable £50 million, a fee that we’ve discussed a number times on the RotoWire Fantasy Soccer podcast as being completely out of touch with the kind of player Luiz is right now. It was the largest transfer fee ever paid for a defender.

And how are the two sides doing now? Chelsea are on top of the Premier League table, having allowed the second-fewest goals, while PSG sit fourth in Ligue 1.

The other questionable inclusion fpr me is Andres Iniesta, who has always been a player far better than his stats. That being said, Barcelona failed to win La Liga, the Copa del Rey or the Champions League last year, while Spain couldn’t make it out of the group stage at the World Cup. Sign me up for Gareth Bale in Iniesta’s place, or move Arjen Robben to midfield and include Thomas Muller up front. I would even listen to arguments for Yaya Toure and James Rodriguez.

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