FIFA Team of The Year 2021: Messi left out of the squad for the first time.
Messi managed to pile up just 31 goals in 44 appearances across all competitions last season. Moreover, Barcelona failed to bag a single title, apart from the humiliating Champions League exit following the horrific 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarter-final. His unimpressive performance has seemingly affected his grace, albeit temporarily as he misses out on the FIFA TOTY 2021. The list of 11 players was released recently, with Messi’s absence catching eyeballs. Interestingly, Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos is the only representative from the LaLiga.
Following the recent defeat in the Spanish Supercup final to Athletic Club, with Midfielder Inaki Williams scoring a 93rd-minute winner to the top right bin swerving past Marc Ter Stegen ripped off Barcelona of the early lead and the title itself. Messi rendered goalless. In roughly 5 months Messi’s 17-year long contract will expire, leaving him available for transfer as a free agent.
Coming back to TOTY, EA Sports has run the team, which used to be based on FIFPro’s World XI of the Year since its Ultimate Team mode began in FIFA 09. Since then Lionel Messi has always been included in the roster. This year Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, Frenchman, Kylian Mbappe and the Portugal legend Cristiano Ronaldo secured the forward line-up.
Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Liverpool Trent Alexander Arnold both wonderkids of their respective clubs covering the left and right flanks with the massive defense support combination of center backs Sergio Ramos and Virgil Van Dijk guarding Bayern Munich’s all-time goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer in goal. Making the defense absolutely impenetrable.
Starting in the midfield, Premier league players Kevin De Bruyne and 4-time Premier League Player of the Month in 2020, Bruno Fernandes just after joining Manchester United last January. He turned things around for the club and resulted in United regaining the top position in Premier League after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. Lastly yet another Bayern Munich player, the defensive mid-fielder Joshua Kimmich completing the roster for the FIFA Team Of The Year 2021. The Champions League winners of 2020, Bayern Munich surely have a majority in the line-up this year.