Lionel Messi has had a tremendous 2021.
The Argentine amassed 61 goal contributions in as many games this year (43 goals, 18 assists).
He also helped Barcelona to Copa del Rey glory and was influential as Argentina won Copa America in the summer.
His brilliance saw him given his seventh Ballon d’Or trophy earlier this month.
It’s no surprise at all that Messi has been named in IFFHS’ best South American XI of the year.
But who else joins him? View their XI below…
GK: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)
DEF: Mauricio Isla (Chile)
DEF: Christian Romero (Argentina)
DEF: Marquinhos (Brazil)
DEF: Filipe Luis (Brazil)
MDF: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
MDF: Rodrigo de Paul (Argentina)
MDF: Luis Diaz (Colombia)
FWD: Neymar (Brazil)
FWD: Lautero Martinez (Argentina)
FWD: Gabriel Barbosa (Brazil)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)
The most represented country in the XI is Argentina. Five of their players make the side, with Martinez, Romero, De Paul, and Martinez joining Messi.
Four Brazilian players make the team: Luis, Marquinhos, Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa.
While Chile’s Isla and Colombia’s Diaz also make the team.
Diaz especially has had a terrific year, having scored six times for his nation and also having notched 14 goals in 24 games this season for Porto.
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It seems only a matter of time until the 24-year-old makes a move to one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
It’s an extremely strong XI. It’s so strong that Hulk, who has been quite unbelievable for Atletico Mineiro this term, and Casemiro, one of the world’s best holding midfielders, don’t make the side.
There’s not even any room among the substitutes for PSG star, Di Maria.
The winger scored the important goal for Argentina against Brazil in the Copa America final but IFFHS think he hasn’t warranted a place in the squad.
Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Federico Valverde and Paulo Dybala are also among the players that miss out.