It wouldn’t be FIFA without a little bit of controversy and the latest oddity to come out of Sepp Blatter’s questionable organisation was the inclusion of David Luiz in the 2014 FIFPro World XI.
The PSG defender was the chief culprit as Germany annihilated the Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals of last summer’s World Cup. Luiz’s defensive partner Thiago Silva, who missed that semi-final, made the side too.
Over 23,000 worldwide members of national players’ unions voted on the final selection which also included Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and runners up Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer.
The Usual Suspects
The front three was completed by Bayern Munich and Dutch winger Arjen Robben who was one of seven players to retain their places from the 2013 edition.
The three Ballon d’Or nominees were also among that number as well as Thiago Silva, Sergio Ramos, Philipp Lahm and Andres Iniesta.
Other significant inclusions
Iniesta’s inclusion was another surprise considering he won no silverware with Barcelona and endured one of the most humiliating defences of a World Cup title in the tournament’s history after Spain were the first team to be eliminated in Brazil.
Angel di Maria was flying the flag for the Premier League as he became only the third England based player in the last five years to make the cut after Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic both made the team in 2011.
But the Argentinean will have earned his place in the side predominantly for his selfless work in achieving a tenth European Cup for Real Madrid and leading his country all the way to the World Cup final in Brazil.