We know Manuel Neuer is in. Now we’re starting the see the rest of the 2016 FIFPro World XI (aka the Team of the Year) begin to come together.
As projected in an apparent leak from a contest winner who correctly predicted the entire squad, the champions of Europe and the club World Cup alike feature prominently in this year’s Ultimate Team TOTY. First reported by AS, the quintet of winger/striker Cristiano Ronaldo, cornerback Sergio Ramos, fullback Marcelo and center midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are all set to be in attendance in Zurich at tomorrow evening’s World XI banquet. MARCA later confirmed the report. In previous years, attendees that aren’t nominated for individual awards are auto-inclusions in the side.
The reported group makes a lot of sense when you consider that the World XI is essentially a popularity contest. Ronaldo is a more than worthy inclusion and few would have much qualms with Modric, who made last year’s in a vote by his peers, making it once again. Ramos, Marcelo and Kroos don’t have as strong of a case, but the two former both made last year’s team and Kroos finished fourth in midfielder voting, just outside the three midfielders who make the cut.
Where things get interesting is a wrinkle found in both reports: each outlet seems convinced Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann will be in the squad because he’s also traveling to attend the ceremony. However in previous years, nominees for the player of the year award (then the Ballon d’Or, now the Men’s Player of the Year) all traveled whether they made the Team of the Year or not. Assuming that’s the case, it’s possible Neymar and not Griezmann could still make the squad.
Here are the players we know so far that have reportedly made the 2017 FUT Team of the Year (all ratings guesses):