Our friends from the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) continue to publish their curious rankings and in this case they offer us the best starting eleven of the decade. It is worth mentioning that this ranking is one of the most accurate that we have seen recently from this institution.
Here is the eleven selected by the IFFHS:
- Manuel Neuer: possibly his heyday occurred during most of this decade, where it is also important to mention he has been very popular as a result of his successes with FC Bayern Munich and the Germany national team. The fact he was coached by Pep Guardiola and that he has become the reference of the “modern goalkeeper” helps him in this type of recognition without trying to belittle this great goalkeeper. His biggest competitors could be Keylor Navas or Thibaut Courtois.
- Philipp Lahm: one of the most complete full-backs in the recent history of football, huge winner in Germany and world champion with his national team. Others who could opt for this recognition in their position would be Daniel Carvajal or, even, Dani Alves.
- Sergio Ramos: I consider that he has been the reference in this position in the past decade due to his physical and technical conditions that have also been supported by important goals in finals and in difficult moments.
- Virgil Van Dijk: without the intention of minimizing one of the best center backs in the world, the reality is that his arrival at the forefront of the football world took place after his signing for Liverpool FC in 2018, so center backs with greater relevance throughout the decade as Mats Hummels, for example, could be taken into account.
- Marcelo: due to his quality and the achievements obtained in Real Madrid CF, there is no discussion that the Brazilian was the best in his position during the last decade, although David Alaba and Jordi Alba could be included in the discussion.
- Toni Kroos: possibly due to his consistency throughout the decade at the highest level with both his clubs and Die Mannschaft, Toni Kross is the chosen one in this position. However, his teammate at Real Madrid CF, Casemiro, Xavi Hernández or Andrea Pirlo could be competitors for this position.
- Luka Modric: the most complete midfielder at the highest level during the past decade. Not without reason Luka Modric won a Ballon d’Or in the age of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. It was impossible not to include him.
- Andrés Iniesta: another reference in his position whose quality does not allow discussion and the trophies he has won speak for himself. The Belgian Kevin De Bruyne or or Argentine Ángel Di María could have slipped into this position.
- Robert Lewandowski: The Polish striker had a spectacular 2019-20 season, and in general he was one of the best striker year after year during the past decade, however, others such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Luis Suárez must be highlighted as well.
- Cristiano Ronaldo, and
- Lionel Messi.
I think it is not necessary to talk about the two greatest footballers of this decade. On the contrary, we prefer to embed from our Youtube channel their highlights videos under this article. However, just for sake of reference, they are in the winger positions (Cristiano Ronaldo on the left and Lionel Messi on the right side) that, although there were other candidates like Neymar, they really do not admit any discussion.