FIFA have announced their best XI of 2008, and there were few surprises in the line-up as Spanish players dominated the team.
World football governing body, FIFA, yesterday revealed their 2008 Team of the Year based on a worldwide survey conducted on their website.
Over 46 per cent of the voters selected Iker Casillas as their number one goalkeeper, with only 15 per cent for Gianluigi Buffon, while Edwin van der Sar came third with only 9 per cent.
The defence also had a distinctly Spanish feel to it. Sergio Ramos beat Dani Alves to the right-back slot by just 366 votes, while the twin centre-back slots were equally close fought. John Terry (28 per cent) and Carles Puyol (25 per cent) were the two preferred stoppers, ahead of Rio Ferdinand (22 per cent) and Fabio Cannavaro (15 per cent). Philipp Lahm just edged out Patrice Evra at left-back, winning by a mere 2 per cent.
In midfield, the internet voters went for a highly attacking line-up consisting of Xavi, Steven Gerrard, Franck Ribéry and Kaká, who made up for the lack of Italian players in the team by being the only Serie A representative.
Up front, the two best players in the world were predictably chosen to lead the offence. Newly crowned FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo garnered 52 per cent of the votes to partner runner-up Lionel Messi in what is a dream attacking duo for any fantasy football fan.
FIFA.com Team Of 2008
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real
Midfielders: Xavi (
Forwards: Lionel Messi (
KS Leong, Goal.com