GMS Academy member Alex Mitchell picks his world XI...
GK: Thibaut Courtois
The on-loan Chelsea keeper has excelled in his career at Atletico Madrid and has consistently been there to bail the team out when in need. Why Chelsea don't place him in their starting XI is beyond anyone, but you could say the same about the Blues putting Romelu Lukaku on-loan to Everton. The Belgian will be a key factor in the world XI as his shot-stopping is second-to-none and he would command his defence with authority even though he is just 21 years old.
LB: Leighton Baines
Perhaps controversial, but he has proven himself to be one of the most consistent players in the Premier League over the last 10 years. His set-pieces are frighteningly accurate and will set the bench-mark for all other performers in the team to match. Should also be a dead-cert to make that LB position his own in Brazil next year.
RB: Philipp Lahm
Class. That is what you get from Philipp Lahm. Arguably the best defender in the world and if the Ballon D’or didn’t focus on just how many goals someone has scored in a year, he would have made the three man shortlist. His achievements at Bayern Munich last season and in previous years says it all, he is a born winner.
CB: Vincent Kompany
When City play poorly it is, more often than not, because their leader and rock at the back Vincent Kompany isn’t playing . The best defender in the Premier League and also the deep playmaker in the team, who sets up plays that often lead to goal-scoring chances on a regular-basis.
Expect City to have to fend off quite a few offers from major European clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid in the summer after he makes his international arrival at the World Cup.
CB: Thiago Silva
Showed off his great talent against Barcelona last season in the Champion’s League in one of the best individual defensive performances I’ve seen. Bought up by PSG last season in a big money deal, he has perhaps left the public’s eyes with the French league not heavily publicised on British or International TV but don’t let that fool you as he will be key to Brazil’s chances to winning the World Cup in their country next summer.
CDM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
You could put him anyway and he’d still be the best player on the pitch. A commanding Bavarian who has been essential to both Germany and Bayern’s achievements across the last eight or nine years. Burst onto the global scene in 2006 at the World Cup and has stayed at the top ever since. His character to get over his penalty miss against Chelsea in that famous Champions League final further shows testament of his quality.
CDM: Yaya Toure
Now I’m not one for jumping on the Yaya band wagon. Up until this season I thought he was very average and could only show his skill against the lesser teams (the CL last season proving that).
But after the start he has made this season, his commanding performances for City has completely changed my opinion to now think he is one of the world’s best. His individual skill to keep the ball, a terrific shot and his raw power are all qualities that make him the modern-day Patrick Viera.
LAM: Franck Ribery
All you have to do is look at his stats for the season so far (Bundesliga only). From 13 games, he already has six goals and seven assists, an unbelievable return. Voted into the top three players for the Ballon d’Or this year and winning UEFA player of the year for last season, his quality is underlined by his recent achievements.
Possessing great skill and pace, he will push full-backs to their absolute limit when running at them, meaning he will pose a great threat for the whole 90 minutes of the match.
RAM: Cristiano Ronaldo
Flair. Goals. A weapon of mass destruction for the team that haves him. He is the most complete all-round player in the world. And that is reflected with the goals he has scored since breaking into that Manchester United team in 2003. I needn’t say more, just watch any game with him playing.
CAM/CF (in the hole just behind the striker): Luis Suarez
At this current moment, the best player in the world. Suarez has 19 goals in only 12 Premier League games this season. Possesses raw speed, acceleration, power and a lethal shot on both feet, he is the most dangerous striker in the world right now. Let’s just hope England can keep him quiet in Sao Paulo this June.
CF: Lionel Messi
Messi has not been at his best for a while due to injury, but he could never be left out of any team. In my opinion, better than Pele and Maradona with the qualities he produces any team would be lying if they said they wouldn’t want the little Argentine.
The bench here possesses everything you would want: A solid back-up keeper (Diego Lopez); a world-class right back in Pablo Zabaleta. A midfielder you would bring on to keep things tight at the back while also being able to set up plays on the counter (Ilkay Gundogan).
Gareth Bale just missed out on a starting berth but could easily slot in ahead of Ribery because of his capability to score great goals and spark any team into life. Jesus Navas could be brought on late to further punish the full backs with his blistering pace.
Finally, no team would be complete without Zlatan Ibrahimovic who can quite literally do anything; he has the skills of Messi and Ronaldo, but with the height and aerial ability of a big CF such as Alvaro Negredo.
Manager: Roberto Martinez
He may not have the achievements of Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho but he has proved that he is one of the best managers around. He’s transformed Everton this year from a top eight team who defended with their backs against the wall under David Moyes against the big teams to a serious top four contender.
They pass the ball with fluency, counter-attack with pace and venom, and who fear no team in the Premier League.
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