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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi Should be Replaced in FIFA World XI, Claims Liverpool Star

Georginio Wijnaldum, who was key to Liverpool’s incredible UEFA Champions League winning campaign last season, said that at least four of his teammates should have been a part of the World XI.

News18 Sports

Updated:September 30, 2019, 1:11 PM IST
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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi Should be Replaced in FIFA World XI, Claims Liverpool Star
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (Photo Credit: Reuters)

This year’s “The Best” FIFA football awards have been mired in controversy over a voting scandal, and now a Liverpool star has hit out at this year’s selections for the FIFPro World XI, claiming that the process is flawed.

Georginio Wijnaldum, who was key to Liverpool’s incredible UEFA Champions League winning campaign last season, said that at least four of his teammates should have been a part of the World XI. He also suggested that superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo perhaps should not have been selected, saying that Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane should have been in the team.

ar’s World XI had raised a few eyebrows as there were a number of surprise inclusions, and exclusions. Those included were Real Madrid left back Marcelo and captain Sergio Ramos, two figures who are usually regulars.

But many believe they were in the team solely based on past reputation and not recent performances. Real Madrid had limped to a third-place finish in La Liga last season and were knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 by Ajax.

Luka Modric had also found a place for a total of three Real Madrid players in the eleven, while only one Liverpool player, Virgil van Dijk, was included. Not a single Manchester City player was included, despite a record points haul in the EPL.

Wijnaldum was particularly aggrieved that fullbacks Andy Robertson and Alexander-Arnold were not in the world team. “In my opinion both Robbo (Andy Robertson) and Trent (Alexander-Arnold) should have been in there,” Wijnaldum told The Athletic.

“Different players have their own opinions. I think for some they probably just wrote down what they regard as their best XI rather than who the best XI was over the course of the year which is different,” he said.

The midfielder then went on to suggest that stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi should be judged solely on their performance in the season, rather than their superstar status. “Maybe the set-up needs to change because they give you a piece of paper and you put down your best XI. It doesn’t really say ‘put down your best XI from this season’,” he added.

“For example, Ronaldo and Messi will always be there even if they haven’t had a great season. Maybe it needs to change. There are players who should be there. For me, Robbo and Trent should definitely have been in there. I think Sadio (Mane) and Mohamed Salah should have been in there too,” he added.

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