Last year, for reasons we’re still trying to comprehend, every single member of the FIFPro World XI came out of La Liga. This time around, there thankfully was a little more diversity, though some will undoubtedly still complain over an apparent La Liga bias amongst the players who voted.
The biggest gripe will probably come over the inclusion of Xavi — over the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger or Arturo Vidal — who for his standards experienced a down year, and was completely taken apart by Bayern Munich’s midfield in last season’s Champions League.
Liverpool fans, too, will be frustrated that Luis Suarez was not rewarded for his fantastic form, although you can’t argue against Zlatan Ibrahmovic either. Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos keeps getting a spot in the World XI (it’s his fourth inclusion) despite probably having been sent off for challenges on every player who voted for him.
The 2013 FIFPro World XI:
GK: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
DEF: Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain), Dani Alves (Barcelona)
MID: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Photo: Getty Images
Dirk Nowitzki deserves plenty of praise for his charitable actions. This past weekend, the NBA star held a match to raise funds for charity with Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer and a host of other players. Nowitzki also deserves endless ridicule.
During the match, Nowitzki committed one of the most outrageous dives in recent memory. With the defender slide tackling a good two feet away from him, the 7-footer still quite deliberately took a tumble and hit the ground. Even worse, he was awarded a penalty!
At the end of the day, it’s all in good fun. Manuel Neuer’s squad defeated Dirk Nowitzki and friends 8-7 with all the money raised going to locally deprived children around Wuerzburg.
That dive though. We would love to see the fine he would receive if he pulled this kind of stunt with the Dallas Mavericks next season.
What’s up with all these goalkeepers trying to break into the movie business?
Of course, we all know about Pepe Reina’s life ambitions on the side, having already starred in a popular Spanish comedy short film this season.
Now, add Bayern Munich and Germany keeper Manuel Neuer to the list of Hollywood dreamers. Neuer will play the voice of Frank McCay in the upcoming movie “Monsters University”, albeit the German version of course.
You can’t really hate on Neuer for looking for extra work. He’s barely had anything to do in the Bayern net all season.
Maybe he thought his teammate was taking too long to get up? Playful little shot at Toni Kroos.