Kaka, Zidane, Gerrard, Casillas: Thread shows they 'don't make FIFPro XIs like they used to'

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Robert Lewandowski was crowned FIFA’s The Best Men’s player at a ceremony held in Zurich on Monday evening.

Due to various global travel restrictions, the usually celebrity-clad occasion was held virtually from a studio at FIFA HQ with only a few guests present in the flesh.

As you can expect with any Zoom ceremony, there were a few minor hitches but, for the most part, the event ran smoothly throughout as we made our way to the big prizes of the evening.

The FIFPro World XI certainly raised a few eyebrows with four men up front in a bizarre 3-4-4 formation.

So how did it compare to some of the legendary XI’s of yore?

Well, thanks to a superb thread from William Hill on Twitter, we can answer that exact question.

Thread claims ‘They don’t make FIFPro World XI’s like they used to

FIFPro World XI 2005

Starting in 2005, the thread kicks off with quite possibly one of the greatest line-ups we have ever seen.

It’s seems rude to start a thread off in this manner. What hope do the teams have that follow of ever matching such a line-up?

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FIFPro World XI 2006

The big hitters just kept on coming in as FIFA threw in a World Cup winning ca[tain to partner John Terry.

Meanwhile, the ridiculous midfield of Zinedine Zidane, Kaka and Andrea Pirlo has to be closest to footballing paradise we could ever come.

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FIFPro World XI 2007

The centre-back pairing of Cannavaro and Terry remained in 2007 but there were big changes in the midfield.

Steven Gerrard and Cristiano Ronaldo hauled themselves into the team to play in a frightening front three of Ronaldinho, Didier Drogba and Messi.

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FIFPro World XI 2008

Spanish legend Iker Casillas makes his first of many appearances in goal for the 2008 side.

Terry is joined by Rio Ferdinand at the heart of the defence while a certain Fernando Torres is joined by Messi and Ronaldo up front.

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FIFPro World XI 2009

The beginning of the Iniesta and Xavi dynasty.

The Barcelona duo would go onto to dominate the midfield from 2009 onward while Dani Alves also made his first appearance.

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FIFPro World XI 2010

2010 really was the year of Wesley Sneijder.

The dutch phenom was crucial in Inter Milan’s march to Champions League glory that year and he was more than worthy if his place alongside Xavi and Iniesta.

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FIFPro World XI 2011

Gerard Pique and Nemanja Vidic made up a solid-as-rock enter-back pairing while Casillas continued his goalkeeping monopoly.

Up front Messi and Ronaldo continued their dominance while Wayne Rooney forced his way into an incredible side.

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FIFPro World XI 2012

Spanish dominance continued apace in 2012 with Sergio Ramos moving into the centre-back role and Iniesta, Xavi and Xabi Alonso snaffling up the midfield positions.

Radamel Falcao spearheaded a frontline that, at this point in time, only really had one place available.

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FIFPro World XI 2013

Manuel Neuer finally brought the Casillas empire crumbling down in 2013 as Bayern Munich dominated the European landscape.

Phillip Lahm and Franck Ribery force their way into the side while a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a lesser-spotted appearance up front.

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FIFPro World XI 2014

It was a thoroughly Brazilian affair in 2014 as Thiago Silva and David Luiz made up the centre-back pairing with Alves in the right-back berth.

Iniesta took up his regular role in the midfield but his partner in crime, Xavi, was forced out by Ribery and Toni Kroos.

In-onto-the-left merchant Arjen Robben also made an appearance after what had been a quite sensational year for the Dutchman. 

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Just an astonishing 11 years of football team.

Surely Xavi and Iniesta’s duopoly in the midfield will never be matched while Casillas’ record in goal looks like one that could possibly stand for an age.

This is by no means a slight against the 2021 team – a team packed with talent and guile – but they really don’t make FIFPro World XI’s like the used to.

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