Top 10 Tips For Making FIFA's Team Of The Year


Who should have been selected for FIFA's Team of the Year? How can you make the team yourself? Today on the blog Ryan O'Donovan delivers 10 tips to help footballers and hopefuls everywhere in their quest.


FIFA have recently announced their “Team of the Year” in Zurich, along with the Ballon D’Or award that was of course won by the boy who has more magical powers, it would seem, than Harry Potter.

This has of course left footballers around the world scratching their heads with that same confused look they get when they try to do simple Maths and has left them asking “how on Earth could I make this team?” Fear not Robin van Persie, Phillip Lahm and Manuel Neuer, I have ten ways you can make this team next year. If it really bothers you that much.

10. Be A Big Name

This may sound obvious. Just like it is obvious that Will.I.Am has no singing ability or that Alex Jones has no knowledge of the word “debate”. However, it does seem like one of the sure fire ways to get onto the Team of the Year. Let me name a few for you: Xabi Alonso, Dani Alves and Gerard Pique. The shortlist included even more big names, including Fernando Torres, who, as we all know, couldn’t score in a back street alley.

It seems as though FIFA have not picked this team on form alone, but more on the basis of the big names they could get to make FIFA still look like an organisation that isn’t as corrupt as the cop in the movie Faster.

Picking the biggest names is the easiest way to pick a Team of the Year without any real thought too. Perhaps the people that voted did actually just think of the team off the top of their heads. If this is the case, then footballers of the world make sure you get your name out in the public domain more than Tulisa did last year.

9. Wear Some Strange Suits To The Awards Ceremony

Even the most experienced attendee sometimes overlooks this tip. Have a look at the majority of the Team of the Year’s suits – they aren’t your average Marks and Spencer’s now are they?

Let’s take Messi’s for example. Now I know I probably sound a bit like Gok Wan here but this is important if you want to make the team next year. The dotted suit obviously made an impression on everyone else – look at the photo, he stands out like an American tourist. Andres Iniesta is another one, look carefully; can you even see that tie?

The fact of the matter is that the majority of the Team of the Year are wearing suits that make them stand out from the crowd. Yes they are amazing footballers and have done some wonderful things with their feet during the tournament, but for me the suit gets their place in that team. Take note.

8. Befriend Every Captain Of Every National Team In The World

Let me say some names for you, and you tell me if you’ve ever heard of them (in your head of course, unless you’d like to send me the answer on Twitter). Panupong Wongsa, Sunil Chhetri and Andy Selva.

No? Well you better get out the Yellow Pages and your phone because you have a lot of work to do my friends. Every international captain gets a say on who gets into Team of the Year so it is my suggestion that you get to know these players.

Obviously I wouldn’t want you to spend the rest of your playing days on the phone to these people just so you can get into the team. That would be counter-productive. What I suggest, seeing as you probably have an agent who you pay lots and lots to, is to get him to do it. What else do they do, other than take your money and get on your manager’s nerves?

7. Do Not Play In A Competitive League

This is a rather important tip if you want to make this team. Everyone knows that La Liga is not exactly the most competitive league in the world – just look at Barcelona’s dominance over it this year. Being a footballer I know you want to play against the best players in the world, week in week out, but the fact of the matter is that FIFA quite honestly don’t give a damn about it.

They care more about fining people who have betting companies logos on their underwear I’m afraid.

Judging by this year’s Team of the Year, I’m afraid this is one of the only roads you can go down to secure your place in the team. In case you didn’t know, there are only La Liga players in the team.

No Premier League, no Serie A and no Bundesliga.

If you play in any of these leagues, well you’ve got no chance. I have more chance of starting for England. Actually, with the state of the English team at the moment I’d say the Queen does too.

6. Speak Spanish

This seems to be a key ingredient for the Team of the Year’s chemistry this year. As I have already mentioned the entire team plays in La Liga, so naturally they all have some knowledge of the Spanish language.

The reason why there probably aren’t any other nationalities in that team is the simple matter of communication. Trying to make a dog and a cat communicate is difficult work (and very messy – do not try it at home) so imagine if you had one English player in there, or a German or an Italian.

The team chemistry would be a nightmare! The Spaniards may say pass, but you’d mistake that for a clearance, or vise versa. It’d be a shambles and would probably look worse than Aston Villa’s season.

5. Play For Real Madrid Or Barcelona

The two biggest teams in Spain and both have five players each in the Team of the Year.

The Madrid contingent includes Marcelo, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and of course Cristiano Ronaldo, while Barcelona’s representatives are, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and the best player in the world, Messi.

Right then. From that I think it’s pretty clear that in order to break into the team you need to play for the two Spanish giants. Perhaps FIFA only acknowledge the existence of these two clubs and for that reason have no idea about any other players in the world.

It would seem that if one of your goals as a professional footballer is to get into FIFA’s Team of the Year then you really need to play for one of these two teams. Easier said than done I guess.

4. Win La Liga, The Copa Del Rey Or The Europa League

This is a must, unless you have special conditions.

Like “Go on an African Safari” may be on any normal person’s bucket list, winning La Liga is definitely number one of FIFA’s.

Real Madrid won La Liga last season, and their reward was five players in Team of the Year. Barcelona (who didn’t win either La Liga or the Champions’ League) won the Copa Del Rey for the 26th time so this qualifies their players. Atletico Madrid won the Europa League and so Falcao gains entry.

To FIFA, these are the biggest club competitions in the world and as a result winning any of these is a minimum requirement, just like being expensive and massively over rated is for Chelsea.

So I’m afraid that the rest of the world’s only chances of getting into the team is to win the Europa League. Yes, the Europa League. The competition where stadiums are a quarter full and team’s Z teams get played.

FIFA’s priorities hey?

3. Do Not Win The Champions’ League

The Champions’ League. The most prestigious club competition in the world. Won this year by Chelsea. So, naturally, you would expect some Chelsea players to feature in Team of the Year, yes?

Well, that’s not how FIFA likes to look at things.

When an English club wins the Champions’ League and a Spanish club wins the Europa League, it would seem that their roles are reversed and the latter becomes the major competition.

A bit like how when you were in high school, all the less intelligent but beautiful people were liked, and now the less beautiful but intelligent people are more liked. Probably because they have more money but you get the idea.

It would again seem that in order to get into the Team of the Year, you are not allowed to win the Champions’ League with an English club. That is a big no-no.

2. Bribe Them

Controversial I know, but then again, what isn’t when it comes to FIFA?

We all know their dodgy history when it comes to bribing them – who can forget the whole Qatar 2022 World Cup business? So it would seem only right that a sure fire way to get into the Team of the Year is to bribe them.

Now, I’m no expert on this, but the best way to bribe Sepp Blatter is by giving him a wad of cash and some truffles.

Being a professional footballer I’m sure that you can afford a wad of money, but you probably have never heard of a truffle. It sort of looks like a testicle that’s been soaked in water for a thousand years and the best way to find these is with a pig in a forest in Italy.

Doing this will almost certainly guarantee your place in next year’s Team of the Year. Or land you in prison. I’m not too sure which.

1. Be Lionel Messi

This one is fairly obvious. What other way is there to make sure you are in the Team of the Year than to be the best player in the world?

91 goals in a calendar year says everything really. A record fourth Ballon D’Or award too. There isn’t any stopping this man.

So although there are other players in the FIFA Team of the Year, the main footballer in all of it is Lionel Messi and there is no other way to secure your place than to be him.

Which is quite difficult to do to be honest, but I don’t make the rules. I just give the tips to anyone who wishes to try and get into the Team of the Year. Just like Jeremy Kyle tries to give tips to anyone who wants to get off illegal substances, only I’m better.

Last Word

Of course FIFA Team of the Year will raise so much discussion in the football community, but, unlike FIFA, we aren’t a dictatorship and I would love to hear what your team would be, so let me know!

Here’s mine:

Manuel Neuer


Phillip Lahm

Ashley Cole

Giorgio Chiellini

Mat Hummels


Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi


Andres Iniesta



Mario Gomez


Manager: Ryan O'Donovan



Follow Ryan on Twitter: @R_O_Donovan

Read more of Ryan's work on his blog LifeOnTheBeeRoads Blogspot

Blogger who likes to take a light-hearted approach to football. Writes about Brentford and all things football on my blog:, as well as contributing to ProstateCancer UK and various other websites.