IFFHS team of the year
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The official Men IFFHS Team of the Year 2023

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) has announced its official men’s Team of the Year for 2023, honoring the standout performers over the past calendar year. The XI features some of the biggest names in world football, representing leagues across Europe and North America.

Premier League Stars

The Premier League claims the most selections in the IFFHS team of the year with five players, highlighting the continued dominance of English clubs on both the domestic and European stage. Reigning champions Manchester City provide three players – goalkeeper Ederson, defender Ruben Dias, and midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian playmaker has been instrumental in City’s success over the past few seasons and earned his place after another stellar year.

Joining them from the Premier League are England internationals Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane. Bellingham made headlines in 2023 by sealing a blockbuster transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid, where the teenage midfielder has quickly established himself as one of the standouts in La Liga. Kane continued his goalscoring exploits in 2023, netting over 40 goals for Bayern Munich after his move from Tottenham Hotspur.

Bundesliga Representation

The Bundesliga claims three spots in total in the IFFHS Team of the Year, with Bayern Munich’s Kim Min-jae and Alphonso Davies partnering Kane in the Team of the Year. Canadian left-back Davies has been a revelation since joining Bayern, cementing his place as one of the best fullbacks in world football over the past couple of seasons. Meanwhile, Korean center-back Min-Jae earned his move to the German champions after stellar performances for Napoli in Serie A.

Rodri slots in as the holding midfielder, providing balance and defensive solidity behind his creative Manchester City teammates. The Spaniard’s intelligent reading of the game and positional excellence have seen him emerge as one of Europe’s pre-eminent defensive midfielders.

Future Superstars Up Front

Up front, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe demonstrate why they are considered the future of football. In his first year at Manchester City, the Norwegian striker has blitzed the Premier League record books, plundering goals for fun. Mbappe continues to lead the line for Paris Saint-Germain, catching the eye with his electrifying pace and finishing. Both make the IFFHS team of the year for the first time in their young careers.

Messi The Lone MLS Star

The only representative outside of Europe’s big five leagues is Lionel Messi. The Argentine maestro led Inter Miami to their first major trophy, winning the Leagues Cup in 2023. Despite entering the twilight of his career, Messi showed he still has the magic, scoring over 25 goals and registering double-digit assists across competitions. After winning the World Cup with Argentina, Messi’s exploits were enough to earn him a record eighth Ballon d’Or in 2023. His inclusion in the IFFHS team of the year shows he can still produce magic against the world’s best.

In total, eight different leagues are represented in the XI, highlighting the diversity of talent at the highest level of the sport. Surprisingly, Serie A has no representation despite the success of Napoli and Juventus domestically. Cristiano Ronaldo is another notable omission despite his goal-scoring form for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

Best Choosen Eleven Players of the Year

However, according to the IFFHS, the eleven players chosen represent the best of the best over the past year. With a mix of youth and experience, as well as attacking talent and defensive solidity, it makes for a well-balanced IFFHS team of the year on paper. Ederson behind the back four of Davies, Dias, Min-Jae, and Rodri looks impenetrable, while the front six combines skill, creativity, and productivity to form a fearsome attacking unit.

The IFFHS Team of the Year is always eagerly anticipated by fans worldwide, and the 2023 edition features some of the most exciting talent in the game today. With many of the players still in the early stages of their careers, it points to an exciting future for fans of the beautiful game. The blend of Premier League stars and Bundesliga standouts demonstrates the competitive balance across Europe’s major leagues.

Final Thought

After standout seasons at both the club and international level, these eleven players can count themselves unfortunate to miss out on football’s most prestigious individual accolade, the Ballon d’Or. But a place in the prestigious IFFHS team of the year is a fitting recognition of their world-class ability. Expect to see many of these names continue to dominate the game over the coming years.

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