FIFA Ultimate Team: Team Of The Year Predictions - Goalkeepers and Defenders
In just a few weeks’ time, football's governing body, FIFA, will reveal the 2016 Team of The Year. As determined by FIFPro, professional footballers and managers will vote for which players they believe have performed the best in 2016.
It's expected that the first TOTY cards will be available after the Best FIFA Football Awards on January 9th. As always with the team of the year, EA Sports will release the goalkeeper and defender cards first. In this article, I'll be taking a look at the goalkeepers and defenders who have been nominated for the FIFA FIFPro World 11.
- Claudio Bravo (Chile/FC Barcelona/Manchester City)
- Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus)
- David de Gea (Spain/Manchester United)
- Keylor Navas (Costa Rica/Real Madrid)
- Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)
In my opinion, the award for Goalkeeper of the year is between De Gea, Neuer and Buffon. All three players have had stellar seasons for both club and country and deserve to be in the World XI. However, Neuer has had yet another phenomenal season for German powerhouse Bayern Munich, and as a result, I can't see the award going to anyone else.
Could we possibly see Buffon overcome Manuel Neuer as the best keeper in the world? I think that it's highly possible. But as much as I'd like to see Buffon take it, I think Neuer will pip him at the post.
Prediction: Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)
Following on from the keepers, the majority of nominations have been for players from the La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga, with only one Premier League player making it into the nominations. Let's have a look at who could make the cut for defenders of the year.
- Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid)
- Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain)
- Diego Godin (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid)
- Jerome Boateng (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)
- David Alaba (Austria/FC Bayern Munich)
- Pepe (Portugal/Real Madrid)
- Jordi Alba (Spain/FC Barcelona)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus)
- Dani Alves (Brazil/Juventus)
- Philipp Lahm (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)
- Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid)
- Mats Hummels (Germany/Borussia Dortmund/FC Bayern Munich)
- Gerard Pique (Spain/FC Barcelona)
- David Luiz (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain/Chelsea)
- Raphael Varane (France/Real Madrid)
- Daniel Carvajal (Spain/Real Madrid)
- Leonardo Bonucci (Italy/Juventus)
- Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire/Paris Saint-Germain)
- Javier Mascherano (Argentina/FC Barcelona)
- Hector Bellerìn (Spain/Arsenal)
As you can see from the above list, only one Premier League player, Hector Bellerìn, has been included in the nominations for defenders of the year, which is a big surprise to me. Players such as Nicolás Otamendi and Laurent Koscielny, who both had solid seasons last year, have not received any official recognition for FIFA. – Which is even more surprising when one remembers that a few years ago David Luiz was included in the World XI, much to the confusion of the FIFA community.
With this is mind, could we see another strange inclusion once again? We could potentially see David Luiz or Dani Alves scrape their way into the team, however, realistically, we should see the likes of Thiago Silva, Sergio Ramos, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba in the team of the year. They are undoubtedly the best defenders on the planet and will most likely make their way into the World XI.
Predictions: Thiago Silva, Sergio Ramos, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba