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The Best XI Of 2023

We saw some great teams and players in the 2023 year. Manchester City won the treble for the first time in their history. Bayern Munich and PSG continued to dominate their respective leagues, even though it was the closest it's ever been. Barcelona finally won the La Liga after four years. Napoli brought the Serie A trophy for the first time since the late great Maradona played for them.


Just like every year there will be FIFA FIFPRO World 11 and this is my best XI for the 2023 year. 


For the defense, Ter Stegen was the best goalkeeper of the year. He was a big reason why Barcelona's defense was the best in their league. He only conceded 20 goals last season and the fewest after that was Atletico Madrid with 33 against. Ter Stegen also tied the La Liga clean sheet record with 26 clean sheets. Unfortunately, he got injured in November and won't return until March. Ever since his injury Barcelona has looked shaky in the back conceding many goals and barely winning games.


The two center-backs should be Ruben Dias and John Stones. The City duo have been immense for the team and are an important reason why they conceded the joint least number of goals in the Premier League last season with only 33. In their Champions League group, they only conceded twice and in the knockout phase twice as well. They are both very comfortable on the ball, being City’s main build-up players from the back. Not only that but the way they lock up attackers is easy for them. They read the game very well and are always in the right spot at the right time.


This might be surprising, but the left-back position belongs to Alejandro Grimaldo. He helped Benfica win the Liga Portugal with only 20 goals conceded which was the lowest in the league. He isn't just good defensively, but in the attack, he’s another player. He scored eight goals and had 16 assists last season. He also reached the semi-final in the Champions League last year, the first time since 1990. 


A lot of people would discredit his achievements last season because the Champions League was weak last year and the Liga Portugal isn't that good, but he made his big move this year to Bayern Leverkusen and he is thriving even more. Leverkusen are in first place in the Bundesliga, qualified for the next round of the Europa League, and they are still undefeated this season. The thing about him is that he always tries to move the ball forward and looks for a pass to the attacker. He runs up and down the whole game like he has three lungs.


The right-back position is probably the toughest position to select not because there were a lot of good right-backs, but because nobody stood out. The right-back that most deserves it is Achraf Hakimi from PSG. PSG did go out early in the Champions League, but he won the Ligue 1. He is one of their best players and they heavily rely on him to create chances from the right-hand side. His pace and technique are excellent for overlapping the winger in front of him to later create a chance for his striker.


The three midfielders belong to Manchester City, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, and Bernardo Silva. These three players make soccer look so easy; they dominate every midfield they go up against like it's nothing. De Bruyne is the best midfielder in the world when he’s fit. He scored 10 goals and assisted 31 times. 41 goal contributions in 49 games are amazing. The way he bets his man and then puts a perfect cross or pass is world-class. Not only that, but he is the definition of a big game player. You give him the ball and he creates magic out of nothing. He just made his return from injury and City hasn’t been the same after his absence. 


Rodri is the best defensive midfielder in the world and arguably City’s most important player. When he is absent City aren't the same, they lack control and size in the midfield. He decides when City plays with his intelligent and risky passes. He bullies players and wins the ball so easily because of his physical prowess. He has all these attributes plus being a clutch player. He showed that many times last year, especially in the final against Inter where he scored the winner to help City win their first Champions League.


Pep Guardiola has created multiple teams for City, he buys and sells players every year. But the one player that is consistently on the team is Bernardo Silva. He is one of the most underrated players in the world.

His close-control dribbling is one of the best if not the best in the world. You can put him in the attacking mid position, the central mid position, or in the wing he will always have a great performance. He has elegance when he plays, but he is also a workhorse. He goes for every challenge and chases the ball when his team doesn't have it. Moreover, he is a big game player as well. This is why City is such a great team because they have players who have their backs against the wall, they will find something to change the game.


The three attackers are Mbappe, Harry Kane, and Haaland. They are the best attackers in the world. All three of them were in the top four scorers in 2023 and all of them scored over 50 goals. Mbappe didn't do well in the Champions League but won the Ligue 1 for PSG scoring 29 goals in the league. He is a vital part of his team if he doesn't click the team falls apart. He is a big game player, he has shown it in the Champions League, Ligue 1, and even the World Cup final where he scored a hat trick. 


Harry Kane deserves a spot in this attack, he finished second place in the Premier League top scorers with 30 goals. Unfortunately, he didn't win anything, but with his big summer move to Bayern Munich, things are looking to change. 


The Bundesliga just reached the halfway mark, and he tied Robert Lewandowski’s record for the most goals in half a season with 22. Kane is the definition of a complete striker. He is deadly in the box, has fantastic positioning, can play with his back behind the goal, and has great passing. You can see time and time again where he drops deep and creates for his teammates. 


Erling Haaland, arguably the best player of 2023, had an amazing first season for Manchester City. He was the top goal scorer with 36 goals which meant that he broke the record for most goals in a Premier League season. Haaland is a defender's worst nightmare, especially when he is in a team that only has eyes for him and wants him to score in every game.


 He is the greatest goal scorer right now and has some of the best characteristics for a striker. He is always in the right spot at the right time, one of the most underrated skills a player can master. He makes some of the best runs in the world, always finding the defender's blind spots and on top of his speed and size, it's hard to stop him. But one of his most underrated skills is how well he holds up the ball and passes to his teammates. Once he masters that he’ll probably break even more records.


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