Next year’s XI

We did the hard thing. Selected the team of 2012. And told you why

It’s not so difficult to make these “Team of 2011” selections – because the games have been played already. So we did something different: “The Best 11 of 2012”. And we also tell you why!



Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Because after losing Champions League final he is terrific when Germany eliminate Spain on penalties in the semi-finals of European Championship.


Right Back: Dani Alves
Because he dominates in the big games in Champions League.


Centre Back : Phil Jones
Because somehow Manchester United win the Premier League and he is a colluses as England beat arch rival France without Wayne Rooney to ignite a good Euro 2012 run.


Centre Back: Benedikt Howedes
He captains Schalke 04 to the first German title in more than half a century, and then stars for Germany in Euro 2012.


Left Back: Marcelo
Because he has great league season and plays a heroic game when Real Madrid get the draw at the Camp Nou that secures the La Liga title.


Holding Midfielder: Claudio Marchisio
For leading Juventus to an emotional Serie A title in their new stadium.


Left footed attacking midfielder: David Silva
For a great season for Manchester City and being voted Footballer of the Year in England.


Playmaker: Mario Götze
Germany’s star man as they win their first international title in 16 years.


Right Wing Attacking Terror: Cristiano Ronaldo
Because he scores a lot of goals and Real Madrid win the league.


All-out Striker: Antonio di Natale
Top scorer in Serie A and European Championship for Udinese and Italy.

All-around virtuoso  Striker: Lionel Messi
Because Barcelona win the Champions League and cement their place amongst all time greatest teams.

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