Cristiano Ronaldo has won this year's Ballon d'Or trophy, but as FIFA 14 Ultimate Team players will know, the Team of the Year announcement holds greater importance to this year's virtual proceedings.
EA Sports annually release FIFA's World XI with increased playing stats—more details here—meaning there's a whole new reason to get earning those Ultimate Team coins that can make such a difference.
It's worth noting, only goalkeeper and defenders are available now and will leave packs on Wednesday Jan. 15 at 6 p.m GMT/1 p.m. ET. Midfielders will enter the market after this, with attackers coming in last.
Here's the full lineup, followed by a statistical breakdown of those released, for your convenience:
FUT14: Goalkeeper and Defenders Revealed
Manuel Neuer, Goalkeeper
Philipp Lahm, Right-back
Sergio Ramos, Centre-back
Thiago Silva, Centre-back
Dani Alves, Right-back
While FIFA's TOTY selection may leave many fans unsatisfied—with surprising omissions including the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Alaba and just about anyone who helped Bayern Munich to win a quintet of trophies—EA have taken the opportunity to release some truly excellent player items already.
Perhaps Dani Alves' 98-rated sprint speed, 92-rated acceleration and 98-rated agility do it for you? Even more terrifying, the Barcelona defender possesses terrific attacking attributes, including 99 shot power and 88 long shots.
Maybe you prefer Lahm, whose crossing comes in at 97, sliding tackle at 99 and interceptions at 99? These are ridiculous numbers and provide Ultimate Team users with a handful of players who can compete with the Legendary releases, which you can find here.
Most telling of all, this is only the defence. Be sure to stick with Bleacher Report as we bring you information on the midfield and attack—including Ronaldo and Lionel Messi—extremely soon.