Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi not included: The best XI of the season named

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the two greatest footballers to have ever played the game.

We’re not going to get into an argument over who is better right now but it’s clear the two superstars aren’t at the peak of their powers these days.

Ronaldo, 37, was unable to win a trophy during a wretched season for Manchester United despite scoring 24 goals in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Messi only managed 11 goals in his debut season for Paris Saint-Germain – his worst return since the 2005/06 campaign.

That’s why neither were in contention for the No.1 spot when Marca named the 100 best players of the 21/22 season earlier this week.

Ronaldo was ranked at No.21, while Messi had to settle for No.26.

Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two - UEFA Champions League

On the back of the rankings, Marca have created an XI of the best players in the 2021/2 campaign based on the votes of the 71 members of the jury.

Ronaldo and Messi don’t feature.

Instead, the XI is dominated by Champions League finalists Real Madrid and Liverpool as well as a few from Premier League champions, Manchester City.

Check out the XI below:

The best XI of the 21/22 season

Goalkeeper – Thibaut Courtois

There can be very little complaints that Courtois gets the goalkeeper’s position considering his performance in the Champions League final.

Liverpool FC v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final 2021/22

Right back – Trent Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold had a really strong season for Liverpool with 12 Premier League assists and some world class performances as the Reds did the domestic cup double.

Left back – Joao Cancelo

Cancelo edged out Any Robertson to take the left back spot. The Portuguese proved to be an attacking threat in 21/22 with 10 assists in all competitions.

Centre back – Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk was back to his very best last season, returning from his serious knee injury. The best defender in the world.

Centre back – David Alaba

Alaba is perhaps a bit of a surprise inclusion but his performance to help Real Madrid win La Liga and the Champions League can’t be ignored.

Liverpool FC v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final 2021/22

Centre midfield – Rodri

Rodri’s incredible season has gone a little under the radar for us. He was instrumental in Man City winning the Premier League title.

Centre midfield – Luka Modric

Modric has aged like a fine wine. Still going strong at 36 years old and helped Real win yet another Champions League.

Centre midfield – Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne’s form in the second half of the season was scarily good. It earned him the 2021/22 Premier League Player of the Season.

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League

Left wing – Vinicius Junior

Vinicius enjoyed a real breakthrough season with 22 goals in all competitions. The Champions League final match-winner is still only 21.

Right wing – Mohamed Salah

Salah was undoubtedly the best player in world football during the first half of the campaign. However, his goalscoring rate slowed after returning from the African Cup of Nations and he ended the season with 31 goals in all competitions.

Striker – Karim Benzema

What a season for the 34-year-old. Benzema scored 44 goals in all competitions – 12 more goals than his previous best goalscoring season in 2011/12. The Frenchman looks set to land the Ballon d’Or.

Liverpool FC v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final 2021/22
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