European football has long been the place for the best players, and with that said we take a look at the European XI of the 2015/16 season.
With an all-Spanish Champions League final, and three sides in the semi-finals of both major European competitions, it is tough to deny the dominance we have seen from La Liga.
But who have you, the fans, voted as the European XI of 2015-16?
GK: David de Gea – Manchester United
It is only fitting to start the XI with a Spaniard, and David de Gea continues to improve in the Premier League year-on-year it seems.
The 25-year-old was mightily impressive this season for Louis van Gaal’s side, keeping 15 league clean sheets in 34 appearances, his best tally yet despite arguably the worst football United have seen.
RB: Juanfran – Atletico Madrid
Juanfran has a reputation for being one of the most solid and dependable full-backs in world football, and with good reason.
The Spaniard was again instrumental in a very resilient Atletico side that conceded just 18 league goals and, of course, reached the Champions League final.
CB: Diego Godin – Atletico Madrid
Another Atletico player – this time central defender Diego Godin.
Pretty much the exact same can be said about Godin as was said about Juanfran. Just a ridiculously solid defender that has been arguably the main part of the engine that Diego Simeone has got running at full throttle.
CB: Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid
Real Madrid conceded nearly twice as many league goals as Atletico Madrid, but it’s hard to deny that Sergio Ramos is still one of the leading defenders in world football.
Having turned 30, Ramos continues to mature as a player, and has cropped up with some decisive moments over the years. Real kept 14 league clean sheets, while at the other end Sergio popped up with a crucial goal in the Champions League final. Again.
LB: David Alaba – Bayern Munich
It is difficult to find a better left-back in the world than David Alaba at the moment. The scary thing is, this probably hasn’t even been his best season…
Still, the Austrian was a big part of a Bayern side that won the league again, and kept 20 clean sheets in the process. An energetic player who bombs up and down the left side and never stops working, Alaba is just one of those players you hate to play against.
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CM: Luka Modric – Real Madrid
Luka Modric is one of the most undervalued players in world football. He genuinely doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for the way he runs games in the middle of the park.
Always looking for space to receive the ball, world-class distribution and an endless engine from the former Spurs man are what allows Real to play the way they do.
CM: Sergio Busquets – Barcelona
The first Barcelona player to crack the list is Sergio Busquets, and for very similar reasons to his Real counterpart above.
Busquets is another under-appreciated player; somewhat of a hidden cog in the Barca machine. He seems to have been around forever, but he is only 27, and managed to rack up 53 appearance this season for the Catalans in all competitions.
CM: Paul Pogba – Juventus
In a way, you could say that Pogba rounds of what would be the world’s best possible midfielder trio; with Busquets as the anchor, Modric the regista and Pogba the attacking threat.
After Juve struggled for the first few months of the season, the Frenchman was a big reason why they turned it around. He finished the season with a combined 26 goals and assists in all competitions for the club, at just 23-years-old. It’s no wonder clubs are circling with eye-watering amounts of money…
RW: Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Many will agree that this has not been close to Messi’s best season, as he was down on appearances, goals and assists from 2014-15.
But, the Argentine scored in every competition Barca played in, and amassed 67 combined goals and assists in the process, something which is quite remarkable when you consider those numbers are down from last year.
ST: Luis Suarez – Barcelona
Luis Suarez on the other hand had without a doubt the best season of his career.
Forty goals in 35 league appearances are the perfect testament to this, in addition to 19 goals in other competitions, as the Uruguayan has taken the expectation that comes with playing for Barca in his stride.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
And this is the point where you might be shocked the famous Messi-Suarez-Neymar front three is left incomplete. How could the man who scored the winning penalty in the Champions League final be left out?! That’s right, he couldn’t.
Joking aside, 51 goals in all competitions for CR7, including 16 in the Champions League with three hat-tricks thrown in for good measure. He might be 31, but Ronaldo is still at the top of his game, and everything points to him continuing that way for a good while yet.