To say the 2012 FIFPro World XI was a bit conspicuous might be the understatement of 2013. The selection of 11 players all from La Liga was unprecedented and has since sparked heated debate over the legitimacy of the lineup, which was determined by the votes of 55,000 players worldwide.
Ambiguous selection criteria and the general stereotype of footballers being out of touch with reality are among the criticisms against the selection, which came with a disturbing undertone that all football outside Spain is irrelevant.
This undertone is a severe injustice to footballers around the world who give their best effort week in, week out, particularly those who have outplayed members of the World XI on numerous occasion in their careers—in many instances, in the last 12 months.
Consider the stars of Dortmund and Bayern Munich, for example. Both clubs got the better of Real Madrid in 2012, with the latter advancing to the Champions League final following a penalty shootout, and the former winning 2-1 at home and drawing 2-2 at the Bernabeu in the Champions League group stage.
Still, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo—some more deservedly than others—represented los Blancos in the World XI.
Click "Begin Slideshow" to see a player-by-player comparison of the recently voted World XI and a selection of Bundesliga stars, the latter of which were chosen based on class and performance in 2012 with heavy emphasis given to those who have a record of showing up those from the former.