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FIFPro puts the eleven best players of 2010 in the spotlight. They have all been selected for the 2010 FIFA FIFPro World XI by their fellow professionals throughout the world. This article looks at the midfielder.

 

Wesley Sneijder (26)
Internazionale
The Netherlands
2010 record: Serie A, Champions League, Italian Cup, Italian Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
First time in the World XI

 

Wesley Sneijder was forced to leave Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. The club no longer needed him. However, revenge was sweet for the Dutch international who celebrated his greatest triumph – winning the Champions League with his new club Inter Milan – in Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeú of all places. The game also saw Sneijder set up the opening goal for Diego Milito.

 

Sneijder’s performance in that final is illustrative of his year in 2010. The small midfielder recorded numerous wonderful assists and goals in the shirt of both Inter and the Dutch national team. He secured a handful of titles with Inter and reached the final of the World Cup with the Netherlands. Sneijder was the World Cup’s top scorer with 5 goals and would have made the decisive assist in the final if Iker Casillas had not saved from Arjen Robben...

 

 

 

Xavi (30)
Barcelona
Spain
2010 record: Primera División, Spanish Super Cup, World Cup
Third time in the World XI

 

Xavi’s list of awards grows more impressive by the year. This year the Barcelona and Spanish national team midfielder added the World Cup to his roll of honours.

 

The importance of Xavi to Spain’s World Cup success is shown by the statistics. Of all the players in the final rounds, he made the most passes, almost 20% more than the number 2 Bastian Schweinsteiger. It once again confirmed his reputation as the leading playmaker for both Spain and Barcelona.

 

Xavi’s greatest quality is his passing. The little maestro is able to release his team mates with the greatest of ease, often with passes which are brilliant in their insight and precision. Xavi sees openings which for most players do not exist. It is therefore obvious why his team mates at Barcelona and for Spain are so happy to give him the ball.

 

 

 

Andrés Iniesta (26)
Barcelona
Spain
2010 record: Primera División, Spanish Super Cup, World Cup
Second time in the World XI

 

Andrés Iniesta is beginning to acquire a reputation as the scorer of important goals. Whereas in 2009 he was responsible for Barcelona’s decisive goal against Chelsea in the semi-final of the Champions League.

 

In 2010 he was the scorer of the most important goal that a footballer can score: the winning goal in the World Cup final. He celebrated this unique moment in his career by remembering his good friend Dani Jarque, the Espanyol player who passed away in the summer of 2009.

 

Iniesta is a highly versatile player, a dream for any coach. He can play as a defensive midfielder, but also as an outside left for example. With his combination of speed, technique, creativity and energy, Iniesta is capable of shining in any position assigned to him by the coach. The small, shy boy who cried when he reported to the Barcelona youth academy as a young teenager is now one of the greatest names in the footballing world.