FIFA World Cup 2018: Strongest combined South American XI
There is at least one South American player in all but two teams (Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund) that qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League from Europe’s Top 5 leagues. In almost all these teams. these South American players are key members of their respective squads.
Take for example the record-breaking Manchester City squad which has seven players from South America or the Real Madrid side that completed a hat-trick of Champions League which has two Brazilians that started all three finals.
In the 2017/18 season, the top goal scorer and assist provider in Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga are all South Americans.
The continent has also produced some of the game’s all-time greats like Pele and Maradona. There is never a shortage of world-class South American players, especially forwards.
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay are the five South American teams that qualified for this year’s FIFA World Cup. Picking the strongest South American XI from these countries means a lot of superstars have to be left out.
Goalkeeper - Alisson (Brazil)
This wasn’t a very tough decision to make. Alisson’s only real competition for this spot is his compatriot Ederson but the fact that Alisson is Brazil’s No.1 made the decision very easy.
The Roma man spent last season as an understudy to Wojciech Szczęsny but this season, he has outdone the Pole who joined rivals Juventus.
According to WhoScored.com, Alisson had a save success rate of 80.1% which is the second highest in Europe’s Top five leagues behind only Jan Oblak. He made 92 saves in 34 league games with an impressive average of 3.41 saves per goal conceded and a distribution accuracy of 83%.
The 25-year-old was named in the UEFA Champions League squad of the season after playing a crucial role in Roma’s incredible run to the semifinal.