Former Manchester United captain, defender and chief organiser Gary Neville, now a renowned pundit on Sky Sports, has offered his World XI selection based on form throughout 2013 and, despite his former allegiances and Premier League nous, there are no players from Old Trafford and no professionals on the books at Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City.
In fact, only two players in Neville's XI has ever featured in a Premier League line-up - one of them at Chelsea (Arjen Robben) and the other is the man who Neville tips to win the Ballon d'Or: 'My tip for Ballon d’Or: Ronaldo. 100 per cent Cristiano.'
Real Madrid's Ronaldo, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich attacker Robben are all selected over Manchester City hero Sergio Aguero and prolific Liverpool goal-getter Luis Suarez, who has scored 20 and assisted ten from just 15 appearances in the English division this season.
Juventus middle man Arturo Vidal and Bayern Munich pair Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller are favoured over Arsenal's playmaker Mesut Ozil, who recently won German player of the year for the third time in a row, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Chelsea's in-demand Belgium international Eden Hazard, apparently wanted by Paris Saint Germain who are contemplating making their interest official with a reported £60m bid.
In defence, there is no room for Manchester City star Vincent Kompany, nor Arsenal's gelling duo of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as, again, Bayern Munich and Juventus dominate Neville's line-up, while Manuel Neuer is the man between the sticks.
Philipp Lahm - Giorgio Chiellini - Dante - David Alaba
Bastian Schweinsteiger - Thomas Muller - Arturo Vidal
Arjen Robben - Lionel Messi - Cristiano Ronaldo
image: © Jan S0L0