Yaya Toure and Thiago Silva have revealed their dream XIs – and only two Premier League players, and no Englishmen, make the cut.
Ahead of tonight’s Fifa Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich, which will include the announcement of the team of the year, both players have picked pretty similar teams although there are a couple of surprises dotted along the way.
Speaking to Nissan, both players selected the three finalists for the prestigious award, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (below, image via Lineup Builder).
There are also unanimous decisions for Germany’s World Cup winning captain Philipp Lahm at right-back and another German, Toni Kroos. The only other player Silva and Toure agree on, in fact, is Silva himself, the Brazilian captain impressing for country and his club Paris Saint-Germain this year.
However, the two players can’t agree on the other five players in the team. Silva, unsurprisingly, goes for a Brazil-centric team and has four of the Selecao in total. Along with choosing himself, he also picks Barcelona golden boy Neymar, while Marcelo and David Luiz – both part of the 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation – make up half of the defence.
Silva picks Paul Pogba and Real Madrid star James Rodriguez in his midfield.
Toure selects himself ahead of Pogba and makes the only other Premier League selection – Manchester City team-mate Sergio Aguero gets in ahead of Neymar to make up an attacking three with Ronaldo and Messi.
James Rodriguez is replaced by Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta, while David Alaba and Sergio Ramos are picked instead of the Brazilian pair in defence.
The pair also found it very difficult to decide who was the Ballon d’Or’s deserved winner. Thiago Silva was convinced that the trophy should go to the Real Madrid man for the third time.
"Cristiano Ronaldo," said the centre-back. "He is having an amazing year, [he] deserves it."
Toure added: "This is a hard one, I mean all the contestants had an excellent year. Neuer’s World Cup was fantastic. Cristiano…. Well it’s Cristiano and Messi remains The Messi.
"They all deserve it. They are three fantastic players and I don’t think a trophy will mean one is better as sometimes the best doesn’t win."
Yaya Toure and Thiago Silva were speaking to Nissan, the official automotive sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, as part of their role as the car manufacturer’s global ambassadors.
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