EA has announced the FIFA 21 TOTY (Team Of The Year), and it’s an historic one: for the first time since Ultimate Team’s inception in FIFA 09, Lionel Messi misses out on a spot in the elite eleven.
The Barcelona star looked all set to leave the Nou Camp last summer, and the brouhaha surrounding his future made as many headlines as his performances on the pitch. In contrast, Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski smashed numerous Bundesliga goalscoring records, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe continued to deliver match-winning turns for Juventus (er, Piemonte Calcio) and PSG respectively. That’s the front three which edges Messi out of FIFA 21 TOTY honours.
Elsewhere, English champions Liverpool supply half-of the FIFA 21 TOTY backline. Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and centre-back Virgil van Dijk are joined by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in the middle, and Lewa’s club-mate Alphonso Davies at left-back. Following their Champions League triumph, two further Bayern players make the side: Manuel Neuer in goal, and Joshua Kimmich in centre-midfield.
The team is rounded out by two Manchester midfield imports: City talisman Kevin de Bruyne, and United maestro Bruno Fernandes.
The FIFA 21 TOTY was selected by a fan vote incorporating a shortlist of 70 players, for which 10 million votes were cast.
Full ratings for the FIFA 21 TOTY are yet to be confirmed as I write this, with cards being drip-fed into packs from Friday 22 January onwards. The first three released were that fantabulous front trio. Ronaldo and Lewandowski earn OVRs of 98, while Mbappe scores a 97.
To recap, the full FIFA 21 TOTY is as follows:
- GK: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern)
- RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
- CB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
- CB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
- LB: Alphonso Davies (FC Bayern)
- CM: Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern)
- CM: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
- CM: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
- RW: Kylian Mbappe (Paris SG)
- LW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Piemonte Calcio)
- ST: Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern)
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