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Best XI of this decade (2010-2018)

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Modified 20 Jan 2018
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It doesn't seem that long ago when a legendary AC Milan side consisting of the likes of Kaka, Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini took a 3-0 lead in the first half of the Champions League final of 2005, seemingly headed for a predictable and comfortable win, before 3 goals by Liverpool in 6 breathtaking second-half minutes threw the game wide open.

Come to think of it, it wasn't even that long ago when Sir Alex Ferguson led a side of underdog players against the German giants from Munich in the 1999 Champions League final, winning the match in typical fashion with two stoppage-time goals from two substitutes.

We're already almost two decades into the new millennium, and football has changed and evolved a lot. We've seen new technology like VAR and goal-line tech come into existence, and yet, the basic thrill that sport gives us hasn't changed one bit.

As we near the end of another decade, we take a look back at some of the best players to have graced a football pitch. So here's the best XI of the past decade:


Manuel Neuer

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final
The German was rock solid at the back as he led his country to a memorable World Cup win in 2014

5 Bundesliga titles, 1 UEFA Champions League title, 1 FIFA World Cup, and 4-time UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year. No real competition on this one.

Neuer joined Bayern at the turn of the decade, signing from Schalke for €22 million in 2011. While he did spend 6 seasons at his boyhood club, it was in Bayern that he truly established himself as the best keeper in the world.


In the six seasons he has spent in Munich, Neuer has given new meaning to the term "sweeper-keeper". Possessing an uncanny calmness on the ball, his natural instincts to push forward when his team was attacking took the spotlight off his incredible reflexes. Over time, it became almost natural to see him near the centre line, picking up opposition clearances.

His recent injuries have severely limited his playing time this season, and has seen the likes of de Gea and ter Stegen challenge him for the title of best goalkeeper in the world. But if you're considering the last 8 years? Absolutely no question.

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Published 20 Jan 2018, 13:55 IST
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