Fri 24 December 2021 | 12:00

IFFHS Best European XI of 2021

As the time is fast approaching to the end of the 2021 calendar year, IFFHS have named their best European XI of the year, as some of the biggest names as the likes of Lewandowski, Mbappe and surprisingly 36-year-old Ronaldo are included, so let's dig deep to find out who else has made the XI?

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics have announced their best 11 players in Europe 2021, including Paris Saint-Germain superstar, Kylian Mbappe; Bayern Munich talisman,

Robert Lewandowski

, who has had a phenomenal year in front of goal for his club and of course Cristiano Ronaldo, all featuring in the attack.

Much to your consternation, although Manchester United icon, Cristiano Ronaldo might have finished sixth in the Ballon d'Or in 2021 which had proved to be his lowest finish since 2009, and while he is approaching to celebrate his 37th birthday, he still managed to go through a remarkable year so as to remain among the best players in the world and be a member of IFFHS best European XI 2021.

According to IFFHS, the best 11 players in Europe 2021, would take the following 4-3-3 formation as it works miracle for teams looking to double down scoring goals especially when the 3 skilled attacking players in the front line would go head to head with isolated opposing defenders.

The full account of IFFHS Best European XI of 2021

Let's delve into everything there is no know in line with the IFFHS Best European XI of 2021 to fathom out what a great team that is.

Here is an overview of the IFFHS Best European XI:

In IFFHS Best European XI of 2021, Gianluigi Donnarumma has been called the best goalkeeper since he helped Italy to Euro 2021 glory.

His Italian countrymen Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have made up the defence along with Ruben Dias and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Premier League players have established dominance in the midfield in as much as Chelsea duo N'Golo Kante and Jorginho as well as Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne have acquired the positions.

Since 2021 has been a phenomenal year for Manchester City, with their winning the 2020/21 Premier League title, reaching their first-ever Champions League final, coupled with lifting the Carabao Cup for the fourth consecutive time, it has been of little surprise to see their Ruben Dias and Kevin De Bruyne been selected as

IFFHS Best European XI of 2021

, while Joao Cancelo has taken a spot on the bench.

Moreover aside from naming the best 11 players in Europe 2021, IFFHS have announced seven substitutes, with Joao Cancelo, Bruno Fernandes, Erling Haaland and Karim Benzema among the players who just failed to take a spot on the starting XI.

Finally, following that Chelsea picked up the Champions League glory in June at the helm of Thomas Tuchel, he has been utterly deserved to be called the best European manager of 2021 over the likes of Pep Guardiola, Roberto Mancini and

Jurgen Klopp


Come along with us to read more about each of the players indicated in IFFHS best European XI.

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich)

Although the Bayern Munich talisman has failed to lift the prestigious Ballon d’Or, ending up second, he went on to smash two long-standing Gerd Muller records in 2021, last week.

To know more about the records, you can probe into the Sportmob's

Most goals scored in a calendar year


Likewise, with his being recognised as the striker of the year, there is no way that the Bayern Munich number 9 star would be excluded from the

best 11 players in Europe 2021


RW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Man United)

Following that the Portuguese star grabbed the Coppa Italia with


, he came back to Old Trafford in the summer, where he proved that he has been as consistent as ever.

That is to say, although he joined a struggling Manchester United, he went on to net goals on a regular basis, having scored 46 times for club and country in 2021, averaging 101 minutes per-goal contribution.

Therefore even if the 36-year-old Manchester United icon has ended up finishing sixth in the Ballon d'Or ranking, he is still one of the best players in the world, going down as

IFFHS Best European XI of 2021


LW: Kylian Mbappe (France/PSG)

Although he failed to lead PSG to any major silverware as they were unable to lift the coveted Champions League, and were beaten by Lille in the Ligue 1 race too, he could take advantage of a decent campaign in 2021.

That is to say, even though the 23-year-old Mbappe ended up ninth in the Ballon d'Or ranking, he managed to establish himself among the best players.

To the point that he is on the brink of surpassing Zlatan Ibrahimovic's scoring tally for PSG, as he has had a promising 2021, just for evidence consider his scoring a brace in PSG's 2-0 triumph over Monaco in game week 18 of the Ligue 1 2021-22.

As a result, in an incredible individual season in Ligue 1. the Frenchman has proceeded to put away goals freely, bagging assists almost in every competition, so as to take the position of an attacker on the

IFFHS Best European XI of 2021


CAM: Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Man City)

Picking up the honour of becoming PFA Player of Year at the end of the previous season, saw him be the titleholder of the Premier League playmaker of the year twice, Premier League player of the season, PFA POTY twice, UCL midfielder of the year and Worlds best playmaker of the year twice.

These are enough to still consider him as one of the best players in the

Premier League

, making up the IFFHS Best European XI in midfield.

CDM: Jorginho (Italy/Chelsea)

What has landed


a spot in the IFFHS Best European XI of 2021, is that he received the honour to become the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, as he even won the Champions League with Chelsea.

Not to mention that he became the Euros winner with Italy and went on to grab the super cup too, while he played a significant role in each of the aforementioned terrific triumphs.

CDM: N'Golo Kante (France/Chelsea)

There is not a shadow of a doubt that the France international and Chelsea midfielder is currently the best in his position throughout the world, especially when with his mind-blowing feats, he has completed a Premier League heavy midfield in the team of the year.

Not to mention that as he featured in all of the 13 games of Chelsea victorious Champions League campaign while coming off the bench in six of them, he picked up the honour to become the man of the match four times in the knockout stages.

Moreover, his performance in both the legs of the semi-final, against Real Madrid, was so much of significance that at the end of the day, many speculated he would most likely win the 2021 Ballon d’Or.

Had injury not hindered Kante in the 2019/20 campaign, perhaps he would have had such an illustrious year the same as 2021, in which he has been unavailable only for seven games in all competitions. 

CB: Ruben Dias (Portugal/Man City)

The Portuguese centre-back has had an auspicious start in his very first season in England, as he was dubbed as the FWA Player of the Year, being one of the easiest picks in the 2021 team of the year and sequentially taking a position in the IFFHS Best European XI of 2021.

In other words, although he was not among the four City players, who were nominated for our 'Fans' Footballer Of The Year' shortlist, with Bernardo, Rodri, Cancelo and Phil Foden were preferred to him, he still managed to be crowned the best player in the Premier League for 2021 by football analysts CIES.

That is because he could firmly establish himself as the best central defender in the Premier League, as he won the English top-flight title at his first endeavour, secured a Carabao Cup, and helped his side reach their first-ever Champions League final.

Therefore it is no wonder to see him become Manchester City Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season, and the Champions League Defender of the Season, so as to be highly regarded as the best central defender in the English game.

CB: Leonardo Bonucci (Italy/Juventus)

Following making astonishing feats at

Euro 2020

, leading the Italy national team to achieve the 50 years long aspiring trophy, he took a spot in the Euro team of the tournament, and as a result, it is of little surprise to see Bonucci as part of IFFHS Best European XI of 2021.

To be specific, although he appeared to be a typical, old-school, Italian centre-half, when it comes to his distribution on the ball and passing range on Euro 2020, he unbelievably dazzled football fans across the world.

After all, he featured in all the games of the tournament, put away the goal in the final being just as good defensively as his old pal Chiellini.

Just recently he even went on to be dubbed The Best Defender of the Year by Dubai based Globe Soccer award for his outstanding feats at the tournament.

In essence, he picked up a huge honour as he was recognised as the Best Player in the European Championship final, being granted the Italian Republic’s top accolade, the prestigious Cavaliere al Merito for the sake of his sporting values as well as the national spirit he put on show in the Italian victory in Europe.

LB: Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus)

In spite of the fact that the Juventus captain would have 40 years old in the next few years, he actually has had all the requiring experience to lead


to new heights internationally, being called the final defender in the 2021 team of the year.

That is to say, along with club teammate Leonardo Bonucci, he made wonders throughout Euro 2020, just conceding four goals on their path to the victory over England on penalties at Wembley.

This saw the 37-year-old Italian, to be signed a new agreement with Juventus, keeping him at the club till 2023.

Likewise, even

Bastian Schweinsteiger

called Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini the two best centre-backs in world football after Italy's 2-1 win over Belgium.

RB: Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain/Chelsea)

As one of the most loyal stars in recent years, Chelsea’s captain picked up the honour of lifting the Champions League trophy in 2021, so as to cement his place as a defender in the back four of IFFHS Best European XI of 2021.

Strictly speaking, it was exactly his second season as Chelsea captain, that he demonstrated the reason why he has become such a prominent figure for the club, on and off the pitch.

On the contrary to the first half of the 2020/21 season, in the second half, he appeared regularly to the point that there was not a shadow of a doubt over his great commitment and leadership were never in doubt, as he put in use all the experience of his 31 years along with the athleticism of someone a decade younger.

With appearing 43 times in the 2020/21 season, 11 of his appearances were in the Champions League all from the start. Even  Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel who led them to the Champions League glory in 2021, indicated as saying:

“Cesar Azpilicueta is a fantastic captain and a fantastic sportsman. He is everything Chelsea means in my point of view – he’s humble, he’s a fighter, he thinks constantly about winning and he does everything to be in shape every three days.”

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy/PSG)

After that


earned the European Championship with Italy and was included in



Euro team of the tournament 2021

; he took advantage of another amazing season with AC Milan and therefore he has been fairly deserved to be selected as the best goalie in Europe at the moment, taking his position in the team of the year as well.

Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich-Substitute Goalkeeper)

Bayern Munich and Germany captain is widely revered as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the sport, being named the best goalkeeper of the decade from 2011 to 2020 by IFFHS.

As he went on to continue making his feat in 2021, it is no wonder to see him take at least the substitute goalkeeper of IFFHS Best European XI of 2021.

Joao Cancelo (Portugal/Man City-Substitute Defender)

Notwithstanding a position switch, Cancelo proved to be one of Manchester City’s best players in 2021 so as to somehow put the misfortune of missing out on Euro 21 behind him.

Antonio Rudiger (Germany/Chelsea-Substitute Defender)

As a regular for the German national team, he had been a mainstay in Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, appearing regularly in this season across all competitions, enjoying a rather great career year in 2021.

Thomas Muller (Germany/Bayern Munich-Substitute Midfielder)

The Bayern Munich attacking midfielder has taken advantage of a thriving 2021 individually and collectively, having lifted the


title with his club this year as well as the DFL-Supercup.

While his tally of assists is the one of highest among many player across Europe this season, he has taken a substitute spot in

IFFHS Best European XI

of 2021.

Bruno Fernandes (Portugal/Man United-Substitute Midfielder)

With his creative passing and attacking gameplay, Fernandes has proved to be one of the best midfielders of the season as well as one of the best players for Manchester United in all competitions throughout the season, while he successfully made his 100th appearance for his club in December.

Erling Haaland (Norway/Borussia Dortmund-Substitute Attacker)

The 21-year-old Borussia Dortmund sensation has taken benefit of an utterly successful season in 2021, having some astonishing stats in this year, being one of the most in-demand strikers in the world.

Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid-Substitute Attacker)

Although the French star is rather an underrated striker, with his being Madrid’s go-to man for every situation, since the departure of Ronaldo; as well as his representing the French team at the ongoing Euro 2020, he could at least take a substitute role in IFFHS Best European XI of 2021.

Thomas Tuchel (Germany/Chelsea-Coach)

Thomas Tuchel

is utterly qualified to be in charge of IFFHS Best European XI of 2021, since he led Chelsea not only to the Champions League title but also helped them to finish fourth in the Premier League, as well as to end up as the runner-up of the English FA Cup.


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source: SportMob

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