The 2014/2015 season in top European leagues is done and dusted and while top football players, apart from those taking part at the 2015 Copa America, are enjoying themselves at exotic destinations, it’s time to recap the campaign behind us and present you our team of the season. It goes without saying that superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both make the list, but read on to see who else is in the star-studded starting line-up.
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
Jose Mourinho had a big decision to make when Thibaut Courtois finally returned to Stamford Bridge and he eventually handed the number one spot to the Belgian keeper, which proved to be a very good move. The 23-year-old showed incredible maturity for his age, producing some stunning saves throughout the season and ending the campaign with just a couple of minor mistakes. Courtois played an important role in helping the Blues end a long wait for the Premier League title, while also doing his best in the Champions League campaign.
Right-back: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)
Most Premier League attackers single out Branislav Ivanovic as the most difficult defender to play against and that has got to count for something. The Serbian right-back hasn’t missed a single minute of league action last term, while starting Champions League fixtures, while his record of 6 goals and 7 assists in 49 competitive appearances is enough to suggest the 31-year-old also offered very good contribution to team’s attack considering his position.
Centre-back: Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
Barcelona won the second treble of titles in a single season last term and they did so while conceding mere 36 goals in 60 competitive fixtures, with Gerard Pique taking part in the majority of those games. The Spain international was able to rediscover his form early on and also contributed with 7 goals, performing very well in all key matches, which earns him a place in our team of the season.
Centre-back: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Arguably one of the most underrated defenders in world football, Bonucci has been performing admirably for both club and country for some five years now, with the 28-year-old rarely putting in a foot wrong. And while the Italy star is a key part of one of Europe’s strongest defences, his ability to start attacks from the back and provide pin-point long passes to his forwards often goes under the radar, but we rare Bonucci up there with the best of them.
Left-back: Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg)
The attacking full-back had the likes of Marcelo and Jordi Alba to fight for the starting position in our team, but his unbelievable stats ensured he finished on top. It is easy to forget that the Switzerland hotshot is still just 22 considering that he now has two impressive Bundesliga campaigns behind him and with 10 goals and 5 assists in just 39 outings last term, Rodriguez looks set for a big club move this summer.
Central midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg)
The second Wolfsburg star to find his place on our list is easily the most sought-after footballer at the moment, having enjoyed incredible rise since leaving Chelsea in favour of moving to German Bundesliga. The Belgian playmaker managed amazing 16 goals and 28 assists last term to help the Wolves lift the DFB Pokal and achieve a second-place finish in the league, with his price almost doubling in a year’s time.
Central midfielder: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
The Barcelona midfielder is often overlooked when these lists are made, but ask any football coach and they will tell you that Busquets plays a key role in helping the team find the perfect balance between attack and defence. The 26-year-old always find that perfect pass to start attacks while doing an amazing job in defence, and even if it is his teammates that usually steal the headlines, Busquets deserves ultimate recognition for his performances last season.
Right winger: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
One of the main reasons why Barcelona failed to win a single trophy in the 2013/2014 season was the poor form of Lionel Messi, but the Argentine ensured to return stronger than ever, having largely impressed playing on the right wing this season. The 27-year-old not only managed 58 goals and 31 assists in 57 appearances, but more importantly made the difference in almost all key games, proving why many consider him to be the best player in the history of the game.
Attacking midfielder: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Even if he had performed at a very high level ever since joining Chelsea, this was the season when Hazard proved he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo. The Belgian always had two or three opposition defenders guarding him, but he, nonetheless, managed to score some very important goals for the Blues, helping the team lift the coveted Premier League title and he is now widely expected to perform even better in the upcoming campaign.
Left winger: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Even if he did not win anything this season and many pundits believe that he is hardly the perfect team player, Cristiano Ronaldo has again outscore his rival Leo Messi and his mind-blowing stats cannot be ignored. The Portuguese superstar scored 61 goals in 54 matches, while bagging no fewer than eight hat-tricks and his ability to change the course of the match with a single move continues to amaze football fans across the globe.
Centre forward: Carlos Tevez (Juventus)
In what is probably his final season in Europe, Carlos Tevez has showed that he can still be regarded as one of world’s top strikers. The 31-year-old bagged 20 goals in Italian Serie A, where scoring a goal is more difficult than in most other top leagues, while also bagging seven Champions League goals to lead the Bianconeri to the final. Tevez missed a couple of good chances to score in Berlin, but he has done enough to earn a place on this exclusive list.
Let us know what you think. Do you agree with our choices or would you rather see someone else make the Team of the Season?