If a Premier League all-star team was made up without a single European player, what would it look like?
I have assembled a team, and I am quite satisfied with my final squad. I challenge readers to create their own teams and post them in the comment section below - I would love to hear your opinion.
Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar | QPR/Brazil
Although Cesar will be joining QPR in the Championship, nobody can blame him for the horrendous season the team faced. On countless occasions Julio has demonstrated his ability to make spectacular saves, and without him QPR would have, if you can believe it, done worse that they did.
So, despite the lack of silverware that he sought when joining QPR, Cesar showed himself as one of the best 'keepers in the league.
Right-back: Rafael | Manchester United/Brazil
Rafael has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of seasons, and is on his way to becoming one of the best right-backs in Europe. Team-mate Rio Ferdinand recently tweeted: “Just seen Rafael Da Silva is not in the Brazil squad....best right back in the premier league + CL this season...hungry and improving”.
The young Brazilian continued to show his class while attacking up the field, and his defensive techniques are improving with every game.
Centre-back: Fabrico Coloccini | Newcastle United/ Argentina
The choice of the Magpies skipper was tough between him and David Luiz. The deciding factor was his leadership and consistency for the Magpies. He has the physical presence to get an attacker off the ball, and is dominant in the air.
Centre-back: Pablo Zabaleta | Manchester City/Argentina
Zabaleta has been fantastic this season. The reason I have picked him is simply because he does we he needs to do. He is a perfect defender: strong, great in the air, and fearless. He has also shown threats to opposition at the other end of the field, and is deadly from set-pieces. I have moved him from right-back to centre-back in order to fit him into the XI.
Left-back: Maicon | Manchester City/Brazil
Now before people start commenting on the fact that Maicon never plays, I would like to clarify that this was a very hard choice. As far as successful left-backs come, in the Premier League at least, the selection is limited to mostly European players.
The decision on picking Maicon was based on his ability as a player, not the affect he had on the league this year. The Brazilian has proved himself on prior occasions that he is a world-class player and can play at a top level - although don't tell Gareth Bale that.
Although a right-back by trade, I believe he could still do a decent job at left-back for a Rest of the World XI.
Right-wing: Antonio Valencia | Manchester United/Ecuador
It has been a disappointing season for Valencia; however, he is a valuable member of the United team. Last year the Ecuadorian won the Players' Player of the Year at United after some outstanding performances. Although his form hasn't quite up to expectations this season, he is still a fantastic player: providing service from crosses, and putting pressure on defenders by cutting in, and taking shots.
Centre-midfielder: Yaya Toure | Manchester City/Ivory Coast
Toure is one of the best in his position. He is the complete athlete: strong, fast, and agile. Any player, in any team, in any league would fear this man running at them with pace. He runs at defenders, freeing up space down the wings, and also gets past defenders allowing him a strike at goal. His passing ability is top class as well, giving him the option to find a team-mate if the shot is not on.
Centre-midfielder: Cheick Tiote | Newcastle/Ivory Coast
Tiote may not be the player everyone raves about in the Premier League, but it’s a sad day for a Magpies fan when this boy doesn’t make the starting XI. Much like his Ivory Coast team-mate, he is a great athlete. He is a great passer of the ball, and has the physical presence to dominate the middle of the park.
Left-wing: Clint Dempsey | Tottenham/United States
It was hard to find wingers from outside of Europe, but I have decided to put Dempsey on the left flank. People have mixed views about the Spurs player, and he is not world class by any means, but he brings a sense of maturity and composure to the team.
Dempsey showed how he can pop up in unpredictable places at the right time, much like when his goal instigated the three-goal comeback against Manchester City, a few weeks ago.
Striker: Sergio Aguero | Manchester City/Argentina
The Citizens striker has been unlucky with injuries this season, but is still arguably one of the most gifted strikers in the league still. Minutes after coming back from injury, he scored an incredible one-man goal against bitter rivals United. Aguero proved has ability to perform under pressure, like last season, winning the title with literally seconds to spare.
Striker: Luis Suarez | Liverpool/Uruguay
A controversial person on and off the field, however his skills as a player are undoubtedly world class. Scoring 23 goals this season for the Reds, Luis has consistently provided crucial goals for his team. Suarez adds a touch of class, and unpredictability into this line up, due to his hunger for goals.
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