The football equivalent of the Oscars swept into London on Tuesday as the first ever FIFpro awards were announced in front of renowned stars from the worlds of sport, music, screen and even our very own Marc Duffy (but the legality of how the ticket was gain is still under suspicion!)
Over 38,000 players from 40 countries representing FIFpro were involved in voting, with 55 players short listed in the end. After a night of great entertainment, including awards for Ronaldinho (world player of year), Wayne Rooney (young player of the year) and Cristiano Ronaldo (young player of the year as voted by fans) the World XI was announced as:
GK: NELSON DIDA (Brazil/AC Milan
DF: CAFU (Brazil/AC Milan
DF: ALESSANDRO NESTA (Italy/AC Milan
DF: JOHN TERRY (England/Chelsea)
DF: PAOLO MALDINI (Italy/AC Milan
MF: RONALDINHO (Brazil/Barcelona
MF: FRANK LAMPARD (England/Chelsea)
MF: CLAUDE MAKELELE (France/Chelsea)
MF: ZINEDINE ZIDANE (France/Chelsea
FC: SAMUEL ETO’O (Cameroon/Barcelona)
FC: ANDREI SHEVCHENKO (Ukraine/AC Milan
But really do we care about the ‘official’ team? A team that has that has 5 players over 30, with a combined age of 168? A team with a certain Zinedine Zidane, who in truth, had an ordinary season for Real Madrid? Of course we don’t because there’s only one ‘official’ team that matters and that’s the Bootroom XI, voted by you, the SI public. So without further ado in association with Sports Interactive The Bootroom proudly presents YOUR World XI.
Note: The players in each position have been listed in ascending order i. e. Terry was the most voted for defender
GK- PETR CECH (Czech Republic/Chelsea): The best goalie in the Premiership, if not the world. In his first season in England not only did he pick up his first championship medal, Cech also set a run of 1024 minutes without conceding a goal, a new English top flight record. Fewest goals conceded and most clean sheets last season not only won him the Barclays Golden Gloves for ‘04/'05 but also the number one shirt in you World XI.
DF- JOHN TERRY (England/Chelsea): José Mourinho has dubbed him ‘the best centre-back in the world’ and who could argue? After lifting both the League Cup and Premiership title, world class display at the back saw Terry also Voted Player of the Year by his fellow professionals. England’s defeat to Northern Ireland just proved how much the England defense missed Terry’s leadership and organization, adding more claim that he is the best centre-back in the world.
DF- CARLES PUYOL SAFORCADA (Spain/Barcelona): On the 2nd October 1999 Puyol made his first team debut, and ever since then has made the right side of defense his own. A player that always gives his all, this season has seen Puyol linked to a move to the Premiership with both Manchester United and Arsenal the leading candidates. Only 27, Puyol is entering his prime which could see him, one day lead both club and country.
DF- ALESSANDRO NESTA (Italy/AC Milan): One of the five players that appears in both the FIFpro and The Bootroom World XI. Capped over 60 times for his country Nesta is a typical Italian defender, hard to get pass and comfortable on the ball. In his first season with AC Milan he won the Coppa Italia, Champions League and European Super Cup and was very unlucky to collect a runners up medal in the defeat to Liverpool
DF- GABRIEL HEINZE (Argentina/Manchester United): A £6.9 million signing from PSG, Heinze won over both fans and pundits with his tough tackling and 100% commitment to the task. Picking up the Fans player of the year for United a nasty injury against Villarreal, sees the left-back out for the rest of the season, a massive blow for Alex Ferguson’s team.
MF- RONALDINHO (Brazil/Barcelona): The third player to be voted in both the FIFpro and Bootroom World XI. What can you say about Ronaldo de Assis Moreira that hasn’t been said? A 27 million Euro signing from PSG, the little Brazilian has tricked his way through the best defenses in La Liga and on the International stage. Ronaldinho can sit his FIFpro world player of the year award next to his FIFA world player of the year award and his La Liga Championship medal, both won last year.
MF- STEVEN GERRARD (England/Liverpool): Gerrard help lift Liverpool’s fifth European Cup with an inspirational performance in Istanbul last season and that’s why he’s been picked in your World XI. With nearly 300 games under his belt for Liverpool Gerrard has lifted the League cup (twice), FA Cup and UEFA Cup in his seven years in the first team. A driving force for Liverpool, when Gerrard is on top of his game he is quite unstoppable.
MF- FRANK LAMPARD (England/Chelsea): The fourth player that appears in both the FIFpro and Bootroom World XI. Winning Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association, Barclay’s player of the year and Player of the Year by fans on the PFA website just shows what kind of season Frank Lampard Jnr had. A £11 million signing from West Ham, a lot of fans and pundits were bemused as why Chelsea were fork out so much for an over-weight and over-rated player. But four years on Lampard has become an established part of the team scoring important goals from midfield.
MF- KAKA (Brazil/Ac Milan): The 23 year old really shined this season with a brilliant first half performance against Liverpool in the Champion’s League Final. Signing from São Paulo FC in 2003, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite scored 10 goals in 30 appearances winning the Italian Serie A Championship and the European Super Cup in his first season. Kaka’s best position is just behind the striker where his killer passing and arriving late in the box has quickly become his trademark.
FC- ADRIANO (Brazil/Inter Milan): A must signing for all players of Football Manager, Adriano Leite Ribeiro showed what a class striker he is with an impressive 15 goals in 16 appearances last season. A powerful and very skillful striker who seems to have been around for ages, Adriano is still only 23 and has an incredible future in front of him
FC- ANDREI SHEVCHENKO: (Ukraine/AC Milan): The last player to be picked in both the FIFpro and Bootroom World XI. Signing for $26 million from Dynamo Kyiv, Shevchenko will go down as one of the best strikers to grace Serie A. In December 2004, Shevchenko was named European Footballer of the Year after scoring the winning penalty against Juventus in the Champions League final in 2003. Shevchenko can score goals with both feet, is graced with great close control and pace that often leaves defenders for dead.
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