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Published: 8/Jan/2021 12:51 Updated: 8/Jan/2021 12:52by David Purcell
EA SPORTS have finally revealed the entire list of FIFA 21 Team of the Year nominees for goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards – but whittling that down to just 11 TOTY picks can be tough.
With fans of the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, and many other top divisions around the world voting for their favorite players – we’re going to run through the full lineup we selected after the TOTY polls opened up.
2020 was a tough year for the world, but with elite sport resuming after a significant break in the calendar, there were some clear standouts.
The players we locked down was based on their performances over the calendar year. Everything each player achieved in the latter part of the previous season and the beginning of the current campaign has been taken into account.
Looking back through the calendar, we saw Liverpool lift their very first Premier League title, Bayern Munich scoop the Champions League for the first time since the 2012-13 season, and Real Madrid take their spot back at the top of La Liga – securing their 34th league triumph.
Some will argue greater representation for some of those teams is needed, or perhaps those who didn’t win honors should still feature in Ultimate Team’s fan-voted Team of the Year.
So, with all of that being said, let’s run through who we picked this time around – and why.
As you can see, players from the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga forced their way into our nominee selections. For each player, we’re going to give a reason for selecting them over other candidates in each position.
All player stats in this article are from Transfermarkt.
Liverpool’s Brazilian No.1 is the best goalkeeper around at the moment, with the champions missing him heavily when absent. After a year where he scooped a Premier League medal after winning the Club World Cup in December 2019, it’s fair to say he’s a safe pair of hands between the sticks.
Manuel Neuer and Thibaut Courtois are obvious alternatives, but we’ve gone with Alisson this time based on how consistent he’s been even after returning from multiple injuries.
Van Dijk is going to be a serious loss for the Anfield club this season, after sustaining a knee injury against Everton. When he’s been fit – which was the majority of 2020 in fairness – he is a colossal defender that gets in any team in the world.
In FIFA 21, he’s not bad either.
Sergio Ramos is possibly the more contested pick of the central defenders, with class competition in the form of Eymeric Laporte, Thiago Silva, and Mats Hummels.
However, if there’s been one constant at the back for Real Madrid as they climbed back onto the summit of Spanish football, it’s been their leader – Ramos. Alongside Van Dijk, he forms a watertight defensive partnership in our TOTY.
Competition for the right back spot in this Team of the Year is not as strong as it might have been in years gone by, though nothing can be taken away from Alexander-Arnold’s success.
Following a similar career rise as Dani Alves in terms of reinventing that right back role, the young Englishmen has been the most exciting fullback in the world. With 15 assists when they won the league, and a handful of big goals to boot, he’s a certain pick.
Similarly, Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies has enjoyed similar success in the German Bundesliga – with Bayern winning both the league title and Champions League crown in 2020.
Davies was a huge part of that, as the Canadian zipped up and down that left side as a creative outlet and defensive monster. As times goes by he’s likely going to get even better, which will be a scary prospect for those who come up against him every week.
Belgium’s midfield maestro might not have been crowned an English champion this time, but Pep Guardiola undoubtedly has one of the most creative midfielders in world football at Manchester City.
Having been flexible in his position, coming to the right side for Man City at times and even recently up front in the 2020/21 season, KDB is a top class midfielder. Maybe even the best in the world.
Kimmich’s partnership with Leon Goretzka was one of the most important features of that Bayern machine, which achieved domestic and European honors – as stated earlier.
There’s no doubt that Kimmich is the more flashier of the two, picking up two goals and six assist already in the new season. Never mind what he did last year, the German could even step up another gear during this campaign.
Bruno Fernandes is likely the player that many readers would add to our Team of the Year, if they could make a single change, and rightly so. The Portuguese international has transformed Manchester United, adding a creative link between midfield and their speedy attackers Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
However, Tottenham’s forward has strangely been put into the midfield category this year, despite being a forward. On that basis, with 16 goals in the last 25 matches, Son just couldn’t be left out of this team.
Cristiano Ronaldo has featured in many TOTY selections in the past, previously as the best player in the world. While he’s not quite at that same level anymore, he’s been a goal machine in Italy.
He scored 31 goals in 33 matches in the season Juventus were crowned Serie A champions (again), and has continued that form into the current campaign. As of January 2020, he has 14 goals in 12 matches, which are incredible numbers for a player aged 35. He’s showing no signs of slowing down at the top level.
It’s a real shame that the Balon D’Or trophy ceremony was canceled this year, because Robert Lewandowski’s name was on the trophy.
He scored 15 goals in 10 games to secure another European Cup for Munich, not to mention hitting the net 34 times in the league as well. A goal machine and certainly the best striker in the world for 2020.
The final pick for the Team of the Year list is Mohamed Salah. Last year’s attackers included Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi – meaning if we’re correct, not one of them will retain their place.
Many supporters may still pick Mane as Liverpool’s representation in the Team of the Year, but it’s been Salah that’s maintained a level of consistency over the entire year.
The Egyptian has put Jurgen Klopp’s team on his back countless times during the year and possibly deserves more recognition, having scored 13 in 16 already this season, and 19 the time before. With 21 games to go, this could be Salah’s highest scoring season for the club if he keeps firing at the current rate – edging the likes of Mane and Mbappe this time around for us.
So, that concludes our list of Team of the Year players we think deserve to be voted for in FIFA 21. Should these be selected by the majority of fans, some hefty upgrades are in the pipeline for each of them.
Do you agree or disagree with any of our picks? Let us know @UltimateTeamUK and join the debate.