Last year was a great year for football. We saw Bradford charge their way to the final of the Capital One Cup along with Bayern Munich lifting the Champions League trophy after years of struggling.
There many great talents on show last year, but GMS Academy Member Ankur Gupta gives us his team of the season.
Goalkeeper- Manuel Neuer: Bayern Munich 8/10
Neuer was a rock at the back for Bayern Munich throughout their campaign last season. His athleticism and authority helped them claim the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
Last year Neuer made a total of 136 saves; one of the highest in Europe. Manuel Neuer is a young keeper and will only improve in the next few years. He was the stand-out shot-stopperr last year and will only get better.
Right Back- Dani Alves: Barcelona 7/10
Now some of you may be thinking that this was the typical choice, however the Brazilian worked hard last year and helped Barcelona lift the BBVA. He was a consistent help at the back, he is quick, and aggressive which makes him a good full back who can run up and down the flanks. He was an assist provider on many occasions for the Catalonian side and he often had to make decisive tackles for his side.
Centre back- Thiago Silva: PSG 9/10
He has to be the best defender in world football at the moment. He is strong, agile and has the stature of a great player. He led PSG to a near shock against Barcelona and his leadership meant that they were able to contest with the top sides in Europe. Many believe that his move was money orientated but after his performances last year in Ligue 1 and the champions league it seems as if money was well spent by PSG.
Centre back - Sergio Ramos: Real Madrid 7/10
He does tend to make the occasional rash challenge, however he is a great header and tackler of the ball. He has been at the back for Real Madrid for some time and has become one of the most well known players across the planet. His resiliency and his determined nature makes him a great player to be at the back for my team.
Left back- Phillip Lahm: Bayern Munich 8/10
The captain of Bayern Munich has led the team out onto the pitch on countless occasions and has been, in my opinion, the best left back over the last few years. He is a tireless worker who always seems to be nagging away at the feet of attackers. Furthermore he seems to lead the team well even though he is at the back. He often comes up with a goal or two to help his side out. This little tactician has the game in his hands at times.
Right midfielder- Mesut Ozil: Real Madrid 8/10
When Real Madrid signed Ozil from Werder Bremen, clubs around Europe had been chasing his signature. He seems to be a hot prospect and in competitions such as the Euros and in the World Cup he has shone out for Germany. His performances last year were instrumental for Real Madrid's position in the table and their challenge for the Champions League. Last year he scored 14 goals and 19 assists, which made him an important player for Real Madrid. In my opinion his creativity caused him to be one of the most sought out players of 2013.
Centre midfield- Xavi Hernandez: Barcelona 8/10
What more can be said?
He can pass, he can dribble, he can shoot, the experienced veteran in the centre of the park makes it look easy. Xavi surely has to be one of the greatest passers the game has ever seen. Over the last five years he has created over 90 goals which makes him a player with one of the highest stats. Last year he created 14 goals for his side which made him an influential character and also as a captain he orchestrates the game from left to right. The wonderful game will mss him when he eventually retires.
Centre midfield- Andres Iniesta: Barcelona 9/10
Though many look at Xavi as the main contributor of assists for Barcelona, without the dribbling ability of Iniesta not many chances actually come about. He seems to glide past players with ease and can judge what the opponent will do to stop him. He has scored important goals such as the one which won the World Cup for Spain, and last season scored seven goals and made 13 assists. He secured the title for Barcelona and his role was vital to heir success.
Left midfield - Eden Hazard: Chelsea 8/10
Although Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League, Eden Hazard's first season at the blues couldn't have been any better. He attacked from the left hand side scoring and creating over 30 goals. He scored 17 and created 16 making him Chelsea's most constructive player. He had better stats then the likes of Juan Mata which made him a threat to most sides. Also he is very direct and his dribbling makes him a danger to any side. He deserves to be in Europe's best XI.
Striker- Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid 10/10
This wasn't a tough choice, he scored 60 goals and created nine. He was once again a phenomenal player and a joy to watch. He continuously challenged the defence and his header against Manchester United showed his true athleticism and determination. He is a great player and is arguably the best in the world.
Striker- Lionel Messi: Barcelona 10/10
Again not a tough choice, possibly one of the greatest players ever, he scored 84 goals and set up 17 making him one of the most dangerous players in the world. Some believe that he is not as good as the past few years however this isn't true. His record talks for itself and he is probably the best player alive and still playing. His dribbling is unique and players could only dream to possess a similar ability. Messi deserves to lead the attack against opposition because of his natural ability.
Gianluigi Buffon- 7/10
Ashley Cole- 8/10
Mats Hummels- 7/10
Marco Reus- 7/10
Andrea Pirlo- 8/10
Zlatan Ibrahimovic- 9/10
Robin van Persie- 8/10
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