At the beginning of every year, EA Sports chooses 11 players to get into the Team of the Year. Even though FIFA is a virtual game, TOTW and FIFA 19 TOTY are chosen according to real-life performances. However, the difference between TOTW and TOTY is that FIFA fans take part in choosing TOTY by voting. Let’s take a look at current standings and try to predict how TOTY is going to look like.
As previously mentioned, people from all around the world are electing players that are going to be part of FIFA 19 TOTY. Many of them are people from FIFPro and other professional footballers, coaches, and journalists (we assume they are going to be unbiased), but the majority are just FIFA fans who can vote on EA Sports platform. Hence, we cannot solely expect the best eleven in FIFA 19 TOTY, but also the most popular eleven. The good thing is that EA Sports brings 40% of the decision. Truly, even they can be biased, but we can expect at least a little bit of objectivity.
As people have been voting for several days, most of the votes are already in. So let’s check out the current standings and discuss whether those players deserve to be part of TOTY or not. In addition, we are going to predict if someone is going to overtake the leading position from leading players.
GK: David de Gea (Spain) – Manchester United (49%*)
There are five goalkeepers nominated for FIFA 19 TOTY. This is perhaps the toughest decision to make, at least to people who try to be unbiased. If we ask fans, they are 49% ‘sure’ that De Gea should be the FIFA 19 TOTY goalkeeper. The other 51% is separated by four other goalkeepers (Courtois, Oblak, Lloris, and Alisson). De Gea ultimately leads on the goalkeepers list. Courtois is far behind him with 20% of the votes. We can agree that De Gea is overall the best goalkeeper without a doubt, but it’s not fair that he leads so convincingly. He comes from the very popular Manchester United, and that’s part of the reason why he is so far ahead of others.
RB: Sergio Ramos (Spain) – Real Madrid (15%*)
The list of defenders is much longer than the list of goalkeepers. There are 20 names that can potentially be in FIFA 19 TOTY. However, current standings reveal to us it’s unlikely that someone is going to beat the leading quartette. Again, voters were kind of biased when they were choosing defensive four. For example, Joshua Kimmich got just 2% of votes, which is really a shame. The young German played so well in 2018. He provided his teammates with numerous assists in the Bundesliga. However, his country dropped out of World Cup in Group Stage as the defending champion. On top of that, Kimmich is not very popular player, especially not popular as Ramos.
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Real Madrid’s center-back totally deserves to be in FIFA 19 TOTY, considering his outstanding skills and achievements in the previous year. He can be definitely be proud of winning Champions League for third consecutive time. Furthermore, experts have always thought of Ramos as one of the best defenders ever, and it’s very unlikely that Kyle Walker (8%), Jordi Alba (7%), Umtiti (5%) or anyone else will overtake Ramos’ position. We will not talk about the qualities and prices of these players as it would be ridiculous and pointless, considering they are all superior and expensive players.
CB: Raphaël Varane (France) – Real Madrid (17%*)
Both Varane and Umtiti won World Cup. Nontheless, the Champions League is something that distinguishes these two players. Same as Ramos, Varane won his third consecutive Champions League with Real Madrid. Moreover, he won the World Cup and that indeed makes him one of the most successful players in 2018. Besides his team achievements, Varane played very solid in all matches, and he is generally a great player. Therefore, we can agree Varane absolutely deserves a place in FIFA 19 TOTY.
CB: Virgil van Dijk (Netherland) – Liverpool (17%*)
Virgil van Dijk definitely deserves to be the part of FIFA 19 TOTY, but it’s questionable whether he deserves the leading spot on this FIFA 19 TOTY defenders list. Liverpool fans are surely very delighted because Van Dijk joined their club. He absolutely made a huge impact on weak Liverpool’s defense. The English team needed this kind of player for a long time and they finally found him. Plus, we can say Van Dijk is one of the main reasons for Liverpool being the first team in the PL at the moment. However, besides leading position in PL, Van Dijk doesn’t have many team accomplishments.
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His country didn’t get to the World Cup, and last season in Liverpool was just partly successful. Liverpool reached the final of the Champions League but didn’t win it. Moreover, they finished in the fourth position in the Premier League.
LB: Marcelo (Brazil) – Real Madrid (16%*)
Here is another Real Madrid’s player. Everything we said about Ramos applies to Marcelo. According to the opinions of many experts, Marcelo is the best left back in the last decade. He is just impressive, and it’s always interesting to watch him dribbling as one of the best attackers. But he is Brazillian, so there is nothing unusual about that. Marcelo’s National team wasn’t so successful in the World Cup, at least not according to their standards. They lost to Belgium in Quarters 2-1. That doesn’t mean Marcelo doesn’t deserve a place in FIFA 19 TOTY.
Choosing the midfield is the easiest part of TOTY voting, at least if you are not biased at all. Regardless, we can again discuss the order of the top 3 midfielders. Kanté leaves all other players behind him. He indeed won the World Cup and played perfectly in Russia, but he didn’t accomplish anything significant in Chelsea. Furthermore, London team didn’t even qualify for Champions League this season. People genuinely love Kanté and for a good reason. He is a hard worker and a very kind person. He is the team’s engine and every coach would like to have him in on their side. Kante runs much more in the match than anyone else. additionally, he surely deserves to be in TOTY, and he will be.
CM: Luka Modric (Croatia) – Real Madrid (24%*)
It’s really absurd that the best FIFA player in 2018 and winner of Ballon d’Or, Luka Modric is not a midfielder with the most votes. That tells us what people, in fact, think about the results of Ballon d’Or voting. It’s not a secret that common opinion is that Modric didn’t deserve to win Ballon d’Or. The only reason why people think that is because of his poor form in the second half of 2018. But it’s not just his fault as everyone in Real Madrid played badly in the second part of 2018.
However, Modric won third consecutive Champions League. His National team reached WC final which is the biggest Croatia’s success in their history. It’s important to stress out Modric was the most important player both for Real Madrid and Croatia. He ended Ronaldo’s and Messi’s domination which was completely justifiably.
CM: Kevin de Bruyne (Machester City) – Belgium (22%*)
If we look at current standings, only Paul Pogba (11%) can overtake de Bruyne’s position, but it’s very unlikely. Moreover, de Bruyne deserves to be in FIFA 19 TOTY more than Pogba. Surely, the French player won the World Cup, but he had a bad beginning of 2018/19 season in Manchester United. On other hand, his big rival won third place with Belgium in WC, and PL title with Manchester City as well.
RW: Kylian Mbappé (France) – PSG (17%*)
There are 15 players competing for three places in last third in FIFA 19 TOTY. There are really many doubts which player should get in Team of the Year. Nevertheless, it seems fans don’t think so, as four players convincingly lead. One of them is Kylian Mbappé, but Mohamed Salah is very close (12%). It’s actually surprising that Salah and Neymar (4%) don’t have more votes considering how much popular they are. Anything can change when it comes to the third spot in TOTY. We could say both Salah and Mbappé equally deserve to be in this team. However, Ligue 1 and World Cup title are making Kylian slightly better choice.
He contributed to his teams a lot and has been chosen as the best young player in the world. So, he will definitely remember this year in a very positive way. On another side, Salah had a magnificent individual year, but unfortunately got injured in CL final and dropped out WC in Group Stage.
ST: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – Real Madrid/Juventus (26%*)
When it comes to the attacking third, the real question is only who is going to be the third attacker. The remaining two are well-known. Despite being so popular, Ronaldo deserves a place in TOTY. He was part of the team that won third consecutive CL title, scored a magnificent goal against his current team, a hattrick versus Spain in Group Stage and helped his both National and club teams a lot. Furthermore, he had more than 40 goals and 10 assists in 2018.
LW: Lionel Messi (Argentina) – Barcelona (27%)
Messi is the perhaps the best player alongside Ronaldo. He scored more than 50 goals and provided more than 15 assists in 2018. Messi won La Liga with Barca, and they are in first place at the moment. Nonetheless, it’s disappointing that Messi didn’t manage to do anything notable in Argentina in World Cup, neither in CL with Barcelona. If someones deserve his place in TOTY, it’s definitely Messi.
* percent of votes at the moment of writing