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FIFPro celebrates the eleven players who made the FIFA/FIFPro World XI. Reason for a short summary of their accomplishments in the year 2009. In this article the five defenders earn the spotlights.


Iker Casillas

(Spain, Real Madrid, 28)
For more than ten years Iker Casillas is the number one goalie at Real Madrid. Last season he was the mainstay in Real's defence during its subpar campaign. Most of the time the goalkeeper was their best player. This season he is as reliable as ever with numerous saves. Iker also achieved illustrious milestones: he played his hundredth international game for Spain on 14 November, a win over Argentina, and surpassed Andoni Zubizarreta as the Spanish keeper with the most international clean sheets.


Daniel Alves

(Brazil, Barcelona, 26)

2009 record: Champions League, Primera División, Spanish Cup, European Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup, World Cup for Clubs (with Barcelona), Confederations Cup (with Brazil).

A defender who spends more time on the half of the opposition than on his own. Daniel Alves showcased at Barcelona what fans of Sevilla already knew: the Brazilian wingback is quick, explosive and has as many offensive as defensive skills. In the 2008/09 season he produced 11 assists and 5 goals, this season he has 5 assists and 2 goals. He won 7 trophies in 2009, but due to a suspension he had to watch from the stands to see Barcelona conquer the Champions League.




Nemanja Vidic

(Serbia, Manchester United, 28)

2009 record: Premier League and League Cup.
After an impressive 2008/09 campaign Nemaja Vidic was not only voted best player of Manchester United by the club’s fans and his team mates. The Serbian central defender was lauded as the Best Player in the Premier League too. Vidic is an athletic defender with a solid tackle, who is dangerous in front of the opponent’s goal as well. Last season he scored seven times, mostly with forceful headers. But defence is his game, as he was one of the cornerstones of United’s tough backline that set a record of consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League.



John Terry

(England, Chelsea, 29)

John Terry is the only player to appear in each FIFPro World XI since its introduction in 2005. The physically strong Englishman once again proved to be one of the best central defenders in the world. Whether the coach was Luis Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti or Fabio Capello, Terry was secured of his position and the captaincy in 2009. It is no coincidence that the team to break Barcelona's scoring run was Chelsea. With Terry leading the Blues' defence the Spanish rival was held scoreless for the first time in almost eight months.



Patrice Evra

(France, Manchester United, 28)

2009 record: Premier League and League Cup.

The former left-winger of Olympique Nice has transformed into the best left-back of the planet. The Senegal-born Patrice Evra was one of the main stays in Manchester United's superb defence last season, when the Reds secured a record 14 clean sheets in a row.

Evra does not solely play defence. Gifted with offensive skills and speed, the French international occasionally bursts down the left flank to create havoc in the opponents half.