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Which players would make it to the strongest 23-man squad in world football?

Pranav Prasad
Top 5 / Top 10
6.09K   //    24 Nov 2017, 13:58 IST

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FIFPro World XI 2017

Football fans are always debating about the best players in world football. The FIFPro World XI was announced in October, but many argue that it's more of a popularity contest especially due to the inclusion of Andres Iniesta. If we have to make a 23-man squad, which all players would make the team? Let's analyse based on solid facts and stats.

The squad to be selected consists of 3 goalkeepers, 7 defenders, 7 midfielders, 6 attackers. The squad has been selected based on performances beginning from the 2016/17 season.


David de Gea

Manchester United v Sheffield United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
David de Gea has developed into a world-class goalkeeper

The first choice keeper in this squad is David de Gea who is hailed by many as the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment. Consistently the best player for Manchester United over the last few seasons, he is the only player to receive the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year three consecutive times and rightly so.

The Spanish stopper has been rock solid in goal for Manchester United and Spain, being the saviour on many occassions since his move from Atletico Madrid in 2011. He has an astonishing 0.73 clean sheets per 90 mins on an average, the highest of any keeper in the top 5 leagues this season. His reflexes, and ability to stop close range shots are incredible.

Jan Oblak

Club Atletico de Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Oblak in action against Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League 2016/17

Jan Oblak has turned into a world-class goalkeeper over the last two seasons. A flexible stopper, he has the highest number of saves this season and last season in comparison to other top keepers according to Squawka, with 2.91 saves every 90 mins. The first name on the team sheet for Atletico Madrid, he is a rock at the back for Los Rojiblancos and makes the World 23 due to his consistency over the past two seasons.

Marc Andre Ter Stegen

Juventus v FC Barcelona  - UEFA Champions League Final
Ter Stegen is set to be Barca's first choice keeper for years to come

Ter Stegen pips Neuer in this squad due to his incredible rise in form, as well as reputation over the last two seasons. Neuer has been very inconsistent due to injuries since 2016/17 whereas Ter Stegen has got Barcelona out of a hole on many occasions.

Squawka's highest rated goalkeeper last season, Ter Stegen is known for his cool head when in possession of the ball. His distribution accuracy of 84% is the best in the top 5 leagues, and his impeccable ball control allows Barca to start attacks from the back. He has been often hailed as the best keeper in the world with the ball at his feet.

Honorable mentions:

Manuel Neuer, Gianluigi Buffon and Thibaut Courtois

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