First of all, congratulations to Lionel Messi for capturing his second consecutive World Player of the Year award. Though Xavi and Andres Iniesta were also worthy finalists, little Leo’s tally of 58 goals in 54 games for Barca last year was simply too outstanding for voters to ignore. Congratulations also must go out to every player named to FIFA’s world XI, all of whom were outstanding at their respective positions last year:
GK: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
RB: Maicon (Inter)
CB: Lucio (Inter)
CB: Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
LB: Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
MF: Xavi (Barcelona)
MF: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
MF: Wesley Sneijder (Inter)
FWD: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
FWD: David Villa (Barcelona)
FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
A look at the players, however, shows a disturbing pattern. All of the XI belong to just three clubs! And the way Real Madrid and Barcelona are tearing up La Liga this season, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that next season’s World XI will be comprised entirely of players from just those two Spanish squads.
We all love to watch soccer for various reasons, but I think everyone can agree that one of the most compelling reasons is the game’s unpredictability. If European soccer continues to be dominated by so few teams, then the game will begin to bore us all. Yawn. Wake me when Real and Barca make the Champions League final, will ya???