With the Confederations Cup over and qualification for next season’s Europa League underway, the last vestiges of the 2016/17 campaign have been laid to rest.
It was an eventful year, and with Real Madrid securing a historic double, Chelsea surging back to the top of the Premier League, and Bayern Muninch’s Bundesliga dominance continuing, one full of big stories. Now that the dust has settled and we’ve all caught our breath, what better time to evaluate the sport’s top players and slot them into a world XI?
Doing so is no small task, and while identifying the game’s top three or four players is straightforward enough, sifting through individual positions is a sterner proposition.
Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Ronaldo, and Bale can’t all play at once. Sacrifices need to be made, and unfortunately, this means there’s only room for one of Barcelona’s celebrated front three in our XI, and no place for other standouts like Robert Lewandowski, Eden Hazard, and Diego Godin. Dozens of players deserve commendation for the way they’ve performed lately, but if they’re not the best in the world in their role, they don’t make the cut.
With the 2017/18 season looming, here’s a lineup so good they’d be accused of cheating if they ever made it to the pitch.