Ontheminute’s World Team of the Year 2012
Published: 28.01.13 / Written by: David Gold
FIFA unveiled its own team of the year on Monday. Here, Ontheminute.com selects its best eleven of 2012.
In goal, is Gianluigi Buffon. FIFA chose Iker Casillas, who had another memorable year after captaining Spain to victory at the European Championships. Yet the Real Madrid man has floundered of late, whilst Buffon continues to excel for Juventus. What is more, this Juventus team surely boast the world’s best defence at present, which helped guide the Bianconeri through the 2011-12 season unbeaten. He also performed superbly at the Euros in the summer.
In front of him for Juventus is Andrea Barzagli, who was a part of Italy’s superb defence at Euro 2012 too, but who starred arguably even more than Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci for the Bianconeri. He is partnered by Sergio Ramos, who enjoyed a superb Euros for Spain, scoring a sumptuous chipped penalty in the semi final win over Portugal. He was also integral to Real Madrid as they beat Barcelona to the La Liga title, and he also wins plaudits for taking on Jose Mourinho. Alongside them in defence are Lukasz Piczek, who enjoyed a brilliant campaign again with Borussia Dortmund, arguably the best right back of the year with his overlapping runs a key feature of their energetic, enterprising and forward thinking play.
Jordi Alba was integral to Spain’s Euro 2012 success and wins his place on the back of that tournament, as well as his efforts with Barcelona during their superb start to the season. Andrea Pirlo is the deep pivot in midfield after being the most important player in Serie A last season for Juventus. His displays during Euro 2012 lit up the tournament and he is deserving of a place alongside Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, who were superb as usual throughout the year, particularly for Spain in the summer. Iniesta in particular was out of this world during the final against Pirlo’s Italy.
Up front, the last three places pick themselves. Who else but Cristiano Ronaldo, who fired and dragged Real Madrid to victory over Barcelona in La Liga, then inspired Portugal to the last four at Euro 2012, and Leo Messi? Words do not suffice for the Argentine whose year was capped by the record breaking 91 goals he scored in all competitions and Ballon D’Or award. Atlético Madrid’s Falcao too, deserves a place ahead of Robin van Persie or Robert Lewandowski for helping his team to win the Europa League and end the year ahead of Real Madrid in La Liga.
Ontheminute world XI of 2012: Gianluigi Buffon, Lukasz Pizczek, Mats Hummels, Andrea Barzagli, Jordi Alba, Andrea Pirlo, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Leo Messi, Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo