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Decade in Review: Football Team of the decade

As the decade ends in just a few days time, here, we have picked the top XI from the world that ruled the 2010s!

Last updated: 29.12.2019
Football Team of the decade | Sports Social Blog

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The 2010s were some years of brilliant footballing action and did contain plenty of moments worth remembering for a true romantic of the game. We're already two decades into the new millennium. Football has changed and evolved over the years, with new technologies like VAR and goal-line technology in place now. But the basic thrill hasn't changed much from before.


Taking achievement for both club and country into consideration, here is our say on the Best XI of the decade:


We have gone with the more conventional 4-3-3 formation:

GK: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich; Germany)

With 7 Bundesliga, 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 FIFA World Cup, and 4 UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year awards, is there any competition at all? He joined the bavarians from Schalke for €22 million back in 2011. Often seen near the centre line, it is his ability of picking up opposition clearances that has associated the term "sweeper-keeper" as the new keeping standard in this era. It is also his uncanny calmness on the ball that sets him apart from other keepers of this decade.


RB: Dani Alves (Barcelona, Juventus, PSG; Brazil):

He might be 36 and at the end of his career, but his heroics at both Barcelona and beyond that puts him well above the others as far as this decade is concerned. He has won it all that is there to be won in Spain, Italy and France and was an integral part of perhaps the best side in the history of club football. He has 17 major honours with Barcelona in this decade itself, not to mention the 6 that he has won in Italy and France.


CB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid; Spain):

Ramos joined Real Madrid from Sevilla, becoming the most expensive teenager of all time back then. In his 14 seasons at the club, he has been an imminent part of the team. He has a towering presence at the heart of Real's defence. Over the decade, he has won two La Liga, 4 UCLs, 1 FIFA World Cup and several other major team and individual honours.


CB: Gerard Pique (Real Madrid; Spain):

The Spainard joined Manchester United even before becoming a teenager, all thanks to the incredible competition in La Masia. But it was the Scottish tactician rare error in judgement as Pique went back to Barcelona in 2008 for €5 million. He went on to form incredible partnerships with both Puyol and Mascherano. It is his consistency over the years that put others like Kompany, Hummels and Terry at bay.


LB: Marcelo (Real Madrid; Brazil):

He was included in the FIFPro World XI for four times in this decade itself. Apart from his sweet left foot, his shooting and dribbling are his main strengths. Needless to say, he has carried the legacy of Roberto Carlos pretty well. Although Jordi Alba and David Alaba come close, it is Marcelo's ability to perform on the big occasions that has given the edge.


LCM: Andreas Iniesta (Barcelona; Spain):

It shouldn't come as a surprise that the majority of these players hail from Madrid and Barcelona as Spain has been the centre of power for much of this decade. Iniesta is one of the most obvious choices in this list. He has helped Barcelona dominate La Liga even with some turbulences like Puyol retired, Pep left and ultimately Xavi also left. The calmness in his play puts him in a different league altogether.


CDM: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona; Spain):

He is a typical world-class midfield enforcer who controls the game from the centre of the park. Matched with an extraordinary tactical and technical skill, he is the kind of player that gets the team going. Ever present but rarely noticed, he is probably the most underrated players in the history of the game. He always has an eye for a pass.


RCM: Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich, Real Madrid; Spain):

The German broke into Bayern Munich first team after impressing with Bayern Leverkusen while on loan. In the four subsequent seasons, he managed to keep his place in a team that had the likes of Lahm and Schweinsteiger. He won multiple Bundesliga titles and a UCL at Bayern before he was remarkably allowed to move to Madrid in 2014. There he went on to claim the La Liga once and UCL thrice. He also has a FIFA World Cup under his belt. He is the best deep lying midfielder in the world currently. At only 29, he is set to remain at this peak for many years to come.


LW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Juventus; Portugal):

In this decade itself, Ronaldo has went on to break several records, including the fact that he was shortlisted for a record 15th straight time in the FIFPro World XI. Signed in 2009 from Manchester United, Ronaldo went on to become the highest goalscorer in the history of Real Madrid before moving to Juventus in 2018. He has also bragged four Ballon D'or trophies in this decade itself and in the way, becoming one of the best in the history of the game.


Striker: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City; Argentina):

Signed in 2011 by City, the little Argentine was quick to get on the scenes as he scored 30 goals overall in his very first campaign including that remarkable strike to win the Premier League in 2012. Thus, marking an end to the dominance of United both in England as well as in Manchester. He was pivotal in the three subsequent PL titles too for the citizens. He is the highest goalscorer in the club's history. It is this remarkable consistency throughout the ten years which comes to his advantage over Lewandowski and Aubameyang.


RW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona; Argentina):

This decade will forever be remembered by fans all across the globe by the remarkable tussle between two of the greatest players to have graced the game. The debate of supremacy between Messi and Ronaldo kept shifting from time to time over this decade. Messi produced several magical moments over the past ten years. And holds the record for being in the FIFPro World XI for thirteen consecutive years and being nominated two more times. He has set a benchmark that may never be broken in the foreseeable future as he scored a total of 91 goals in 2012. 

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