Picking an All-Out Attacking World Best XI

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentApril 23, 2014

Picking an All-Out Attacking World Best XI

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    If you were to assemble an all-out attacking world best XI which players would you choose?

    Here are the prerequisites:

    Instead of using a 2-3-5, it has to be a common formation and the players you select have to regularly play the position you place them.

    So in this case, here is an all-out attacking world bext XI in a 4-2-3-1.

    Substitutes: Vincent Enyeama (Lille); Layvin Kurzawa (Monaco); Steven Gerrard (Liverpool); Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad); Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim); Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain).

GK: Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo)

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    Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni has scored more goals (114) than some centre-forwards will in their entire career. 

    Ceni had the courage of his convictions to continue mastering the art of the set-piece even though it is left-field for a keeper to take a penalty or a free-kick over a No. 9 or a No. 10. 

    "This is my last year, not only for Sao Paulo, but as a professional footballer," Ceni said, per Alex Fisher at Goal.com. "At the end of the year, I'm going to really stop [playing]."

RB: Kelvin Leerdam (Vitesse)

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    Vitesse right-back Kelvin Leerdam has an uncanny knack of getting himself right in front of goal and converting. 

    He is also strong in the air, so he is a threat from set-pieces, which have contributed to four of his eight goals in league play this season. 

    He has played in midfield before, so he could have an extended run as a box-to-box midfielder next season. 

CB: Serge Aurier (Toulouse)

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    Claude Paris

    Toulouse manager Alain Casanova has given Serge Aurier an extended run at centre-back in a 3-5-2.

    However, Aurier is at his best as a wing-back.

    Despite playing 14 of 29 Ligue 1 games this season at centre-back, Aurier has still scored six goals and registered six assists. 

CB: Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)

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    Martin Skrtel loves scoring for and against his team—he's registered seven goals scored and three own goals in the Premier League this season.

    He has scored more league goals (seven) than centre-forwards such as Carlton Cole (West Ham United; six), Roberto Soldado (Tottenham Hotspur; six) and Fernando Torres (Chelsea; four).

    "He [Skrtel] has started backing himself much more in the opposition penalty box and has shown his threat from set-pieces," former Liverpool centre-forward John Aldridge said, per the Liverpool Echo. "I laughed my head off when I read that Martin Skrtel has now got more Premier League goals than Fernando Torres this season."

LB: Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg)

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    Michael Sohn

    Ricardo Rodriguez is arguably the best left-back in Europe, as he is an elite attacker and defender. 

    He has made 91 tackles, intercepted 60 passes, scored five times and created seven goals. 

    What makes him so effective in the attacking half is his ability to create his own shot and get past opposing players. 

DM: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)

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    Aaron Ramsey's transformation from being a liability at Arsenal to their most important player is a case study of how determination and perseverance pays dividends.

    Without Ramsey, Arsenal lack a cutting edge going forward, and the Gunners missed his box-to-box running. 

    In his last two Premier League games, he has scored once and created two goals. 

    This season, he has scored and created a combined 17 goals in 21 league games. 

DM: Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

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    Yaya Toure's marauding runs for Manchester City are spectacular. 

    He has scored 18 goals and created five this season, but he could have been playing this way since the start of his career, if he had listened to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during a trial period at the Gunners.

    "He [Wenger] asked me: 'Yaya, which position do you want to play?'," Toure said, per Jamie Redknapp at the Daily Mail. "I told him I wanted to be a midfielder. He said: 'Why? When I saw you training, for me you look more like a striker'."

    What an accurate projection from Wenger.

    Toure is enabled to play this free-roaming role with midfield partner Fernandinho making 92 tackles and accumulating 58 interceptions. 


RAM: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

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    In hindsight, Barcelona centre-back Marc Bartra should have professionally fouled Real Madrid right forward Gareth Bale before he went on to score an epic goal in the Copa del Rey final. 

    Bartra may argue he did try to impede Bale by pushing the Welshman out of bounds. 

    But Bale is a freakish athlete.

    He made a curled run back into the field of play to run on to the ball, accelerated forward and prodded the ball past Barca goalkeeper Jose Pinto.

    Bale has scored 14 times and registered 12 assists in 25 La Liga games, but he needs to better his output next season. 

CAM: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

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    The media built Lionel Messi into this footballing messiah who could do no wrong, and when he finally had a mediocre patch of form by his historically great standards, he was torn to shreds. 

    "A lot of the time people demand too much of him [Messi]," Barcelona central midfielder Xavi said, per AAP (h/t SBS.com.au). "We need to leave him in peace and let him work."

    Messi's 26 goals and 10 assists equate to 36 total league goals in 27 La Liga games, which is on par with Real Madrid left forward Cristiano Ronaldo (28 goals, eight assists, 36 total league goals).

LAM: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

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    Real Madrid left forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the reigning FIFA Ballon d'Or winner. 

    While his shot selection is hit-and-miss, you cannot argue against his 28 goals in 27 La Liga games and 14 goals in eight UEFA Champions League games. 

    He is a complete offensive juggernaut in that he has skill, speed, power and productivity. 

CF: Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

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    Six months ago, Luis Suarez was moaning, sulking and wanted to leave Liverpool, per BBC Sport.

    His body language against Melbourne Victory in pre-season was so negative. 

    One of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' greatest decisions was not throwing the book at Suarez.

    By being empathetic to Suarez, Rodgers gained the trust of the Uruguayan international. 

    With 30 goals and 12 assists in the Premier League, Suarez is not only on course to help Liverpool win their first-ever Premier League, but he could end up as their greatest-ever player.



    Statistics via WhoScored.com