Wednesday, May 25, 2011
European 2010/2011 XI - PTA admin pick
Goalkeeper - Roman Weidenfellar (Borussia Dortmund) - For someone who doesn't take a massive interest in the Bundesliga it may be hard to understand how, or why Bayern Munich are not dominating the Bundesliga. Then again that’s just me showing my ignorance, to what this year has been a stellar campaign by those men in yellow. Borussia Dortmund secured the league title by a staggering seven points ahead of nearest rivals Bayern Leverkusen. When looking over Dortmund's strengths the reason for their success is at first not apparant. But look at the number of goals that they have conceded throughout their campaign and things will become very clear. With Weidenfellar between the sticks Dortmund conceded only 22 goals in the league. In comparison Leverkusen conceded double this amount to finish second. Combined with a solid defence Dortmund were nearly unbreakable at the back.
Right Back - Dani Alves (Barcelona) - Generally overlooked by Ramos in most teams, but the role that Dani Alves serves at Right Back for Barcelona (although similar to Ramos) is something that most teams in Europe fail to fill, in pushing forward. The attacking nature of the Brazilian is a real asset when Barcelona decide to build up their play, his ability to sense the right overlapping run can open up even the most aware of defences, allowing that extra man in the box or the option to cut the ball back. He also possesses the ability to absolutely hammer a freekick if the opportunity arises. As is the case with all defenders he is extremely solid on the ball as well as pacy. In essence he is the perfect fullback you would want on any team you ever choose.
Central Back - Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) - With United securing yet another title, it is clear to say that the Red Devils are obviously doing something right at the back. With United turning to youngsters as replacements for the injured Ferdinand (Eg Smalling, Evans) and Rafael as the new right back, Vidic has found himself partnering a number of new faces at the back. However his ability to play according to those around him at the back shows his capability as a leader as well as quality as a defender. His figure alone is a presence to be reckoned with. Going forward he has scored 5 goals for United, mostly from headed efforts - but none-the-less. A season campaigner who deserves all accolades that come his way.
Central Back - Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) - After the long season endured by Juventus and the terrible results that came with it; it would be hard to justify the presence of a Juventus player in the team of the year. However amongst all the chaos going on in Turin, Chiellini stands as a shining light. Moved around the backline to suit the team around him, Chiellini is more than capable of playing anywhere along the back. Probably the toughest of defenders in Europe, the Italian even boasted the title of Juventus' top scorer for a short while. All in all he scored 5 goals in Juventus' campaign.
Central Midfield - Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund) - With Borussia Dortmund comprehensively winning the Bundesliga title this year one must look to how they were able to dominate even the best of German teams. I've already touched on their almost unbreakable defence, but going forward Nuri Sahin has been Borussia's attacking backbone. The pass master lays claim to eight assists and six goals in the league this season. It no wonder he was picked up by Madrid, and will look to make his mark in Spain next season with Real. Sahin was voted best player of the Bundesliga for the 2010/2011 season.
Right Wing - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) - With an average of more than one goal per game for Madrid in the La Liga, Cristiano Ronaldo finished top scorer in Spain ahead of rival Messi. 2010/2011 really saw Ronaldo produce some real talent in the Madrid shirt. His second season at the club brought the League Cup to Madrid as well see Madrid take crucial steps towards the league title and Champions League. The Portuguese winger assisted 10 times in the league, and, although nowhere near as prolific in the assists department he outscored Messi marginally in all competitions. Ronaldo has it all, speed, strength, pace, skill, shot, header and fitness. It's just a question of whether he will have enough to see Madrid win the treble next year.
Central Forward - Edinson Cavani (Napoli) - Napoli did the impossible this season and qualified for a historic Champions League, finishing third in the Serie A ahead of the likes of Roma and Juventus. Along with a solid midfield Napoli were lead upfront by loaned out man Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan scored 26 goals in the Serie A this season, including a memorable hat trick against Juventus and a great performance against Lazio leading a 4-3 season. Cavani was unable to realistically challenge for the title of top scorer after being handed a two match ban at the end of the season. Nevertheless the Uruguayan proved himself in Italy this season and this was exemplified by the signing of a five year contract with Napoli. Next year he will face the best in the Champions League, and really be able to show his talent.
Striker - Carlos Tevez (Manchester City) - Never before has a player who has been so unhappy at a club performed so well. Lead by Tevez upfront Manchester City qualified for a historic Champions League. The Captain at Eastlands scored a total of 21 goals to collect the title of top scorer jointly with Dimitar Berbatov. City through his leadership collected their first piece of silverware in over 25 years. The Argentinian showed countless flashes of brilliance scoring in almost every way possible. Rumours recently surfaced about his unhappiness at the club, and his desire to leave or possibly retire early. Whatever the future may hold for Tevez he would certainly be a loss if he was to leave City.