FIFA/FIFPro World XI Goalkeepers: Proof Arsenal and Man City men should feel aggrieved?

Joe Hart

The shortlist of goalkeepers for the FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2013 seemed quite biased towards the old guard - we ask whether Premier League duo should feel aggrieved not to be selected.

FIFA/FIFPro have took the unorthodox method of releasing the shortlist for each individual positions separately in the week leading up to the final and complete announcement, which will be made on the 9th December (next Monday).

The goalkeeping selection left a few people with their eyebrows raised as they seemingly picked the first 5 that came to mind without too much logic nor investigation.

First name on the shortlist is 35-year-old Gianluigi Buffon. The Italian is without a doubt one of the most credible keepers in the world, and is undeniable in his selection in the nominees'. He has made 29 Serie A appearances in 2013 keeping 17 clean sheet, proving the old dog has it in him.

The second name on the shortlist is another undeniable entry, and unless goes incredibly wrong should end up winning the award. Manuel Neuer has had a notoriously good year with Germany and Bayern Munich and won both Bundesliga and Champions League trophies last season. He has made 28 Bundesliga appearances, keeping 15 clean-sheets.

And aside from them two, it is open season.

Victor Valdes made the line up, now I don't agree with the abuse he gets just for being Barcelona keeper. However, his inclusion into nominees' is definitely up for debate. The Spaniard has played in 27 La Liga games this year, keeping 11 clean sheets. He has been in good form this season (13/14) which is most likely the largest reason behind his inclusion.

Petr Cech is another one of the old guard included on the list. Another one that deserves his name mentioned with some of the best in the world, but still another one that could be debated. 10 clean sheets in 30 games, which is worse than the three previously mentioned and worst than keepers that were not included on the list, so it's hard to see how he was included based on anything other than reputation.

The real eyebrow raiser was the inclusion of Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas, who has notoriously slipped into second place in the hierarchy at the Bernabeu. Casillas has managed to grab a nomination despite only playing THREE games in La Liga in the past year, which is a clear sign of favouritism for the players previous achievements.

So, should Manchester City and Arsenal keepers feel aggrieved by not receiving a nomination... Absolutely!

Joe Hart was widely considered the best goalkeeper in the Premier League last season, picking up the most clean-sheets. This season has been tough for the England number one, but there is no doubt he has grounds to be considered as a nomination. 14 clean sheets in 27 games in 2013, which is at least better than 3 of the keepers mentioned on the list and in the same ball park as Manuel Neuer. He has had an error strewn start to the season, but a worse year than Casillas, really?

Wojciech Szczesny is another keeper than deserves special mention for his heroics in 2013. 28 games played 11 clean sheets for the Polish international means that he is amongst the other nominees - equal to Valdes, more than Cech, and should get a mention, at the very least above three game Iker Casillas.

image: © illarterate

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