FIFPro announced their Women's World XI Thursday. FIFPro created the first World XI for men in 2005 and this is the first year for Women to have the same opportunity. The list was voted on by female players from around the world and features four US national team stars.
WOMEN'S WORLD XI
- Wendie Renard(France, Lyon)
- Meghan Klingenberg(USA, Houston Dash)
- Kadeisha Buchanan(Canada, West Virginia Mountaineers)
- Julie Johnston(USA, Chicago Red Stars)
- Carli Lloyd(USA, Houston Dash)
- Amandine Henry(France, Lyon)
- Aya Miyama(Japan, Okoyama Yunogo Belle)
- Celia Sasic(Germany, 1.FFC Frankfurt) *
- Eugenie LeSommer (France, Lyon)
- Anja Mittag(Germany, PSG)
Where is Sauerbrunn? Snubbed again...
The list includes two of Becky Sauerbrunn's back line partners in Johnston and Klingenberg but somehow they missed voting for the best center back in the world. In the World Cup the US allowed only one goal leading up to the final and that was against a talented Australia and well before the US started playing well.
Johnston and Klingenberg both had good World Cups but both could get forward because they knew Sauerbrunn would clean it up for them if they made a mistake, Sauerbrunn's positioning was almost flawless in the World Cup and her leadership formed that back line into a wall.
The only reason Japan was able to score two in the final was because Johnston flicked one in for them.
Throughout the World Cup, the best attackers from around the world saw their offense sputter and fade when they ran into Sauerbrunn and her back line. World XI keeper Hope Solo looked positively bored most games.
If Sauerbrunn had not played so well and led her defense so well, the US may have never had the time to get in sync and start playing like champions.
Being the best player in the World Cup wasn't enough, Sauerbrunn came home to the NWSL and led her FC Kansas City to their second straight championship while earning her third defender of the year award.
This is not to say that Klingenberg or Johnston or Buchanan or even Renard do not deserve the award, just that Sauerbrunn deserves it more and it is amazing that she continues to be overlooked. It was kind of understandable when FIFA left her off the best players in the World Cup, they are known for being rather clueless when it comes to the women's side of the sport. This was voted on by fellow players around the world.
Sauerbrunn has consistently brushed off the snubs and she will certainly continue to do so in future and remain the class act that she had always been but it is inexplicable how it continues to happen.
This was listed on Equalizer soccer but that is the only place I have found that showed who FIFPro had vote. We have requested confirmation on the voters but have not heard back at this time.
Voting parties, according to FIFPro:
Four national teams participated: Australia, Cameroon, Finland and Portugal. Australia and Cameroon appeared in the 2015 Women's World Cup Finals in Canada and reached the final 16.
Participating players from clubs such as Bayern Munich, Chelsea (English champions), Olympique Lyon (French champions), Paris Saint-Germain (Champions League finalists), VfL Wolfsburg (runners-up Germany), FC Rosengard (Swedish champions), Verona, (Italian champions) Atlético Madrid (runners-up Spain), Houston Dash and Portland Thorns.
If this list is accurate it is interesting that the best clubs from most of the leagues in Europe voted while two teams that did not make the playoffs in NWSL got to vote.
A word from Lauren Holiday
World Cup Champion, Olympic Gold medal winner and two time NWSL champion. There are only three women in the world that have this resume: Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Holiday and Becky Sauerbrunn. Holiday has also been one of the best in the world for some time and has retired while on top. If anyone would know how good Sauerbrunn is, it would be Holiday.
@CPVDAR23 I've played with her for years and I've played against others for even longer. my opinion I've never went against anyone better.— Lauren Holiday (@laurenholiday12) February 18, 2016