Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are snubbed, Mohamed Salah makes up for his FIFA World XI omission and SIX more Premier League stars make the cut, as L’Equipe reveal their best XI of 2021
- Argentina star Lionel Messi has been omitted from L’Equipe’s Team of 2021
- The 34-year-old former Barcelona star was awarded his seventh Ballon d’Or
- However, French paper L’Equipe have not found space for him in their team
- Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out after a mixed year for Juventus and United
- Mohamed Salah is among seven Premier League stars selected in the XI
Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi may have scooped a seventh Ballon d’Or in 2021, but the diminutive Argentine has not done enough to convince L’Equipe to give him a place in their team of the year.
Messi, 34, won the Copa America with his country last summer, as well as leading Barcelona to victory in the Copa del Rey before leaving for the French capital before the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
He has, however, struggled to make his mark in Paris, scoring just once in the league – although he has hit five goals in five games on the European stage for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Lionel Messi (R) and Cristiano Ronaldo (L) have both missed out on L’Equipe’s Team of 2021
The Argentine, 34, was awarded his seventh Ballon d’Or gong after a strong 12 months
Regardless, L’Equipe – France’s biggest but famously harsh football newspaper – has omitted Messi from their team of the year, while Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has missed out too.
The Portuguese, 36, finished a lowly sixth in the Ballon d’Or standings, and he has not done enough to earn a place in the side, with the publication opting for a front two of Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski.
Mohamed Salah missed out on FIFA’s World XI of 2021, but his sensational year has been recognised by L’Equipe, and he occupies the right flank in front of Liverpool team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Chelsea duo Jorginho and N’Golo Kante form a midfield pairing, while Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne is shifted out to the left side of a four-man midfield.
However, French paper L’Equipe have not found space for the PSG star in their starting XI
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) were recognised by the paper
Chelsea duo Jorginho (L) and N’Golo Kante (R) occupy the central midfield positions
Ruben Dias (L) is given a place at centre back while Kevin de Bruyne (R) is put on the left
At the back, De Bruyne’s City team-mate Ruben Dias partners up with PSG captain Maquinhos in the centre of defence, while AC Milan star and Chelsea target Theo Hernandez slots in at left back.
Gianluigi Donnarumma may have been the hero for Italy at the Euros and won the Yashin Trophy, but L’Equipe have deemed that Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy had a better year than the PSG goalkeeper.
Barring the glaring omissions of Messi and Ronaldo, PSG stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe also do not feature in the team, nor does Borussia Dortmund marksman Erling Haaland.
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