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Manuel Neuer confirmed for FIFA 17 Team of the Year

Score one for the ‘leak’: The Bayern keeper is all but official.

Red Carpet Arrivals - 23rd Opera Gala At Deutsche Oper Berlin Photo by Isa Foltin/Getty Images for Madeleine

The best goalkeeper on the planet is set to reprise his role in the FIFPro World XI (aka the FIFA Team of the Year) for the fourth straight year.

As confirmed by his club Bayern Munich, superstar goalie Manuel Neuer is traveling to Zurich, where it’s expected he’ll be named to this year’s World XI. The World XI, voted on by professional footballers around the world, crowns the year’s best 11 players (one GK, four defenders, four midfielders, and three forwards) for the previous calendar year each January.

A year ago, Manuel Neuer had the highest rated goalkeeping card in FIFA Ultimate Team when he received a 96 card during the last Team of the Year. With a higher base rating of 92, it’s conceivable he gets as high as a 97 (or though unlikely, perhaps even 98) this go.

There’s long been a conventional wisdom that goalkeeper cards don’t matter beyond a certain threshold -- this year’s overpowered Jack Butland 82 overall card would seem to lend to that theory -- but having played with Neuer’s TOTY card extensively last year, I can confirm it was worth the coins.

Though the ratings are on the high end, courtesy of FIFA community legend IAmFrench, here’s what Neuer’s Team of the Year card may look like:

Neuer and the four defenders that make the team — believed to be Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Pique, and Thiago Silva — go into packs tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET (6 p.m. GMT) for 48 hours (forwards are first this year; defenders may wind up being released Friday this year) then return Saturday at the same time until Monday afternoon/evening.