Standardization of pre-2014/15 Teams of the Season/Tournament

It’s been ten years now since I started compiling a “Team of the Season” at the end of every regular football season. Come late May or early June I reflected upon the season and about which players impressed me the most. Who did perform the best both in terms of quantity and quality of performance? Then I tried to squeeze the standout performers into a realistic (or semi-realistic) formation and added a bench with players who narrowly failed to make the cut. The objective was always to chronicle the exploits of those players who performed the best. This objective, at least partially, sprung from the realization that football awards do not adequately fulfill this task.

For the first couple of years, I wrote my selections into a notebook and did nothing more than to discuss them with a good, and equally football-obsessed friend. Starting with the 2014-15 season, I began to write this blog which served as a modest platform on which I could publish my selections. I already wrote a post about my pre-2014-15 selections.

Needless to say, I think some of my earlier selections are somewhat dubious. The 2008-09 Team in particular suffers from the same flaw that many All Star Teams suffer from: cramping too many high-profile attacking players into the team. However, I always made a point of not changing my earlier selections. They do, after all, accurately represent what I thought at that point in time.

One thing that always annoyed me, though, was the fact that until the 2014-15 Team of the Season, the size of the bench varied. This might seem as a minor point, and by almost all measures of relevance IT IS a very minor point, but it posed some problems for me when I tried to evaluate my selections from a statistical point of view. Hence what follows is an attempt to adjust the benches of my earlier selections to the scheme that I have used since the 2014-15 season: 3 bench players per position in the starting eleven for the Teams of the Season and 2 bench players per position in the starting eleven for Teams of the Tournament.

Here are the adjusted selections:

2008-09 Team of the Season

elf 0809

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Bench: Buffon, Valdes, van der Sar; Abidal, Evra, A. Cole; Vidic, Ferdinand, Simunic, Alex, Chiellini, Pique; Maicon, Bosingwa, Srna; X. Alonso, Y. Touré, Carrick; Fabregas, Lampard, Scholes; Diego Ribas, Misimovic, Gerrard; C. Ronaldo, Dzeko, Kaka; Forlan, Grafite, Ibrahimovic; Rooney, Anelka, Villa

Player of the Season: Lionel Messi

Players in italics were added.

2009-10 Team of the Season

elf 0910

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Bench: Given, van der Sar, Akinfeev; A. Cole, Evra, Chivu; Vidic, Puyol, Pique, Hyypiä, Samuel, van Buyten; Maicon, D. Alves, Ivanovic; Essien, Fletcher, Busquets; Lampard, van Bommel, Cambiasso; Sneijder, Iniesta, Özil; C. Ronaldo, Arshavin, Villa; D. Milito, Drogba, Olic; Ronaldinho, Pedro, Eto’o

Player of the Season: Xavi

Players in italics were added.

Team of the World Cup 2010


Manager: Joachim Löw

Bench: Neuer, Stekelenburg; Coentrao, Capdevila; Lugano, Friedrich, Puyol, Mertesacker; Ramos, Maicon; Busquets, A. Vidal; X. Alonso, Honda; Sneijder, Özil; K.P. Boateng, Tevez; Klose, Forlan; Robben, Messi

Player of the Tournament: Bastian Schweinsteiger

Players in italics were added.

Players scratched: Chicharito, Luis Fabiano

Team of the Season 2010/11

elf 1011

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Bench: van der Sar, Valdes, Hart; Evra, Coentrao, Marcelo; Puyol, Carvalho, Chiellini, Pepe, Ferdinand, Subotic; Lahm, Ivanovic, Srna; Sahin, Busquets, Carrick; Y. Touré, Nasri, Modric; Özil, Fabregas, van der Vaart; Bale, Neymar, Villa; Gomez, Falcao, Cavani; Agüero, Di Maria, Pedro

Player of the Season: Lionel Messi

Players scratched: Mascherano, Cambiasso, Scholes, Giggs, Götze, Lucas Moura, Nilmar, Neymar, Ibrahimovic, Nani, Hulk, Chicharito, D. Silva, Rooney, Tevez

Team of the Season 2011/12

elf 1112

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Bench: Buffon, Cech, Szczesny; A. Cole, Clichy, Alaba; Hummels, Kompany, Chiellini, Badstuber, Mascherano, Ramos; Piszczek, D. Alves, Walker; Scholes, X. Alonso, Y. Touré; Özil, Kagawa, Ramires; K.P. Boateng, Diego, D. Silva; Ribéry, Di Maria, Reus; van Persie, Gomez, Rooney; Benzema, Ibrahimovic, L. Suarez

Player of the Season: Lionel Messi

Players in italics were added.

Players scratched: Cavani, Drogba, D. Milito, Falcao, Agüero

Euro 2012 XI


Manager: Cesare Prandelli

Bench: Neuer, Casillas; Alba, Coentrao; Ramos, Pique, Badstuber, Pepe; Piszczek, Selassie; Veloso, Busquets; Modric, Gerrard; Özil, D. Silva; Nani, Krohn-Deli; Gomez, Mandzukic; Dzagoev, Shevchenko

Player of the Tournament: Andres Iniesta

Players scratched: Zhirkov, Terry, Mellberg, Debuchy, Moutinho, X. Alonso, Fabregas, Jelavic, Cassano

Team of the Season 2012/13

elf 1213

Manager: Jupp Heynckes

Bench: Cech, Courtois, Adler; Alba, Baines, F. Luis; Ramos, Varane, Demichelis, T. Silva, Barzagli, Hummels; Lichtsteiner, Carvajal, Piszczek; Schweinsteiger, Gündogan, Pirlo; Xavi, Y. Touré, Vidal; Götze, Kroos, Özil; Ribéry, Hazard, Isco; Falcao, van Persie, Lewandowski; Mandzukic, L. Suarez, Cavani

Player of the Season: Sergio Busquets

Players scratched: Zanetti, Strootman, Carrick, Ibrahimovic, Agüero

Team of the Season 2013/14

elf 1314

Manager: Diego Simeone

Bench: Courtois, De Gea, Valdes; Alaba, Azpilicueta, R. Rodriguez; Pepe, Koscielny, Bonucci, Chiellini, Mertesacker, Ramos; Zabaleta, Lichtsteiner, Carvajal; Motta, D. Luiz, Pjanic; Y. Touré, Koke, Vidal; Oscar, Iniesta, Rakitic; Reus, Hazard, Ribéry; Lewandowski, D. Costa, Ibrahimovic; Bale, Agüero, Messi

Player of the Season: Sergio Busquets

No changes needed in this one.

2014 World Cup XI


Manager: Joachim Löw

Bench: Navas, Ochoa; Vertonghen, Blind; Vlaar, Boateng, Marquez, Yepes; Zabaleta, Alderwereild; Mascherano, Vasquez; Fernandinho, Pjanic; Oscar, Schürrle; Di Maria, Iniesta; Benzema, van Persie; Sterling, T. Müller

Player of the Tournament: Manuel Neuer

Players scratched: Cabaye

2 thoughts on “Standardization of pre-2014/15 Teams of the Season/Tournament

    • I don’t know what I had for breakfast the day before yesterday. How am I supposed to know why I did not include Bale 8 years ago?! 😉

      Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m usually better at remembering the latter kind of information. But in this case I really do not, sorry.


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