The World Footie staff got together and put together a list of who we thought were the most outstanding players in the 2013-2014 campaign.
GK: Manuel Neuer.
Another strong campaign with the exception of the Real Madrid Clash in the Champions League, saw Neuer have another great season making key saves all year including in the European Super Cup against Chelsea, against Dortmund in the DFB Pokal Cup Final and ensuring Bayern win their 23rd Fußball-Bundesliga Title.
DEF: Felipe Luis
Luis along with Miranda were the backbone of the team all year. Luis was a key part of the counter attack that helped Atletico reach historic heights with his precision and tireless work ethic.
DEF: João Miranda
Standing out among the plethora of Brasilian talent is something hard to do, but that’s exactly what João Miranda accomplished this year. Miranda led the best defense in Europe and had save after crucial save in the Champions League and La Liga. It is puzzling that he was not one of Luis Felipe Scolari’s first names on his 23 man Squad for the World Cup.
DEF: Thiago Silva
With 36 appearances in all competitions this season, Silva managed to make a huge impact in cementing the Parisians back line and helped them reach the League and Cup Double this year. He is a wanted man and not a summer goes by without a lot of speculation of big clubs trying to sign his talents. He has been the backbone of the team and with the arrival of David Luiz in the summer, PSG’s Brasilian duo will look to take PSG to all new heights in the champions league next season.
DEF: Pablo Zabaleta
Zabaleta has been one of City’s most important players since his arrival in 2008. Aside from Yaya Toure, he has been City’s most consistent player and this campaign was no different. With key defensive plays in premiership matches like the one in the final day, and time and again against Arsenal and Chelsea to help secure the title, it is no surprise to see them lift another premiership trophy with the Argentinian Soldier anchoring the defense.
MID: Yaya Toure
The Ivorian Highlight reel, Yaya Toure proved to be Manchester City’s most valuable player of the season. His contributions in goals, assists, holding the midfield, defending on set pieces and his first touch have the man in big demand this summer with rumors that he is unsettled at City. With 24 goals in all competitions over the season(Including a memorable hat trick against Fullham), Yaya Toure is on everyone’s first team sheet and will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
MID: Ivan Rakitić
The Sevilla man has had a phenomenal breakout season and has come storming onto the European radar. Rakitic helped Sevilla reach European glory this year by winning the Europa League. His remarkable assists and long balls to forwards like Carlos Bacca have put him on high demand with teams like Atletico Madrid and Arsenal inquiring about the player. His 13 goals in 52 appearances do him no justice as his real magic come in his first touch and vision that would rival the best midfielders in the world. I expect him to have a big World Cup campaign and won’t be surprised if he is snatched up for a hefty fee from another club in the summer.
MID: Luka Modric
Not many players stand out when playing for Real Madrid. It is after all one of the greatest clubs in the history of the game and is always a team full of superstars with some of the best to ever play the game gracing los blancos. Luka originally came under immense scrutiny when he arrived from Spurs in 2012. In a team that already featured a star heavy squad with the likes of Ozil, Alonso, Di Maria and Ronaldo, Modric had a hard time maintaining himself on the first eleven. This season though he was Madrid’s most consistant player, controlling the tempo and directing the squad that helped them win their coveted “Decima”. With key performances in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, it is no wonder Real Madrid found that extra gear they were missing in previous seasons to win the pinnacle of club football in Lisbon.
FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese super athlete has had the most impressive season of his career this season in my opinion and delivered time and time again. His performance against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena was phenomenal and just helped to show that he was the best player in the world this campaign. Perhaps his greatest performance of the whole season was the do or die match 2nd leg against Sweden in which he scored a hat trick and took his Country to the World Cup. With 55 goals in 45 appearances, everyone will be hoping he is fit in time for the World Cup while he battles problems of tendinitis.
FWD: Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez was probably the most deadliest and dangerous striker of the year. Although his goal tally is not as high as some of the strikers on this list(31 in 37 appearances), their was no one more feared in front of goal all year. With 3 hat tricks(4 goals against Norwich), Suarez and Liverpool will be one of the most dangerous teams in the Champions League next year. Both him and Sturridge highly benefited from their partnership and Suarez facing a race to be fit for the World Cup will look to have another fantastic cup.
FWD: Zlatan Ibrahimovic/Lionel Messi
This one was a tough one and ultimately we couldn’t decide between the two. Zlatan had probably one of his best seasons of his career scoring 40 goals in all official competitions with PSG and was named Ligue 1 Player of the year. So many highlights throughout the year but perhaps this one named best goal of the year is one we’ll never forget.
Lionel Messi had a “slow season” by his standards netting in 41 goals but sadly for the Blaugrana club not lifting any trophies except for the Spanish super cup. He looks to cement his legacy this Summer in the World Cup with 8 days left for the party to begin.
MANAGER: Diego “El Cholo” Simeone
What can you say about the man? When he took over for Atletico Madrid in 2011, the team was a mid table squad and had been suffering. The departures of club greats like Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan(later on Radamel Falcao) were tough to swallow. El Cholo though instilled a die hard, suffocating, physical mentality into the team and this year it culminated into what he had envisioned. Atletico went to their first European final in 40 years and won their first La Liga title since he was a player himself back in 1995-1996. A man in high demand, the club will look to move forward with key players like Courtouis and Diego Costa leaving and Simeone is just the man to do that.
Sergio Ramos, David Luiz(MID as well), Vincent Kompany, Juanfran, Phillip Lahm
James Rodriguez, Andres Iniesta, Mesut Ozil, Eden Hazard, Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller, Angel Di Maria.
Diego Costa, Daniel Sturridge, Sergio Aguero, Benzema, Alexis Sanchez, Robert Lewandowski, Edison Cavani
(Credit to topwallpaperphoto.com for the images and youtube for the videos)
-Disgruntled Sports Fan