I want to give a huge thank you to anyone who reads here. I like writing about football, and I make a big effort to write something that is factually accurate and fun to read. I really believe that football is fun because it is a great game, but also because it is so easy to talk to people around the world about it. Sadly in a country like the US, it isn't as easy, so I write here or drone on and on to my co-writer and get some of this stuff out of my head. I try to be a bit original, and different rather than focusing on the same old stuff you can read at ESPN and Sky Sports. With that in mind, I am going to be a bit conventional and I want to give some individual dap to some of the best on the planet and name my team of the year.
Subs:Hart, Van Der Vaart, Iniesta, Dzeko, Donovan, Schweinsteiger, Ibrahimovic
Valdes-I think he's the better keeper than Casillas. Call me crazy, but I think he is so important to the Barca team when they struggle to score, he always keeps them in it.
Lahm-German captain, and one of the great right backs in the game. Funny that he used to prefer to play left back. None the less, I think he is a great leader and a great defender.
Pique and Puyol-This is a pairing to end all pairings. When you watch Barca play, it is amazing the understanding they have and to see the shape of the defense when Abidal or Alves go tearing down their side is fantastic. Great defenders, and Pique can score with his feet. And I haven't even mentioned how important they are to the Spanish national team.
Baines-Yes. I mean Leighton Baines. He has been in great form this season, and he is one of the few proper left backs who can defend and come forward. He should have been in South Africa. Perhaps even instead of Ashley Cole.
Messi-Best player on the planet. He will also be one of the all time greats when he finishes his career in about a decade or decade in a half.
Xavi-I'd be stupid to forget this man and you could argue that Iniesta could be here instead, but I think Xavi is the focal point of the offense for club and country and he is the best at what he does.
Sneijder-Scary coming forward and a great presence in any midfield. Made sucha difference to the treble winning side Inter, and to his national team, willing them to the final.
Bale-Breakout player of the year. He is the reason I became a Spurs fan several year ago. Now that he is the player he has become, I am so proud to have seen him then. He is fast, tricky, and is the reason Tottenham has gone where they have.
Villa-He was the force that kept Valencia as high in La Liga as they were. He has been a big part in the national team since Euro 2008. He has been fantastic With Barca.
Gyan-The feel good player of the year. He was they key to Ghana going as far as they did without Essien. Now he is tearing up the premier League and gets the credit he deserves.
Mourinho-It's the Special one. And he keeps building that reputation every year.
Hart-Should have been the England number 1 in June. Deservedly, he is now. Was amazing at Birmingham City, and is doing the same for Manchester City now.
Van Der Vaart-Has been great for the national team, but now gets to show his ability at Club level. He has helped to will Spurs to victories and will be a big part as they go forward.
Iniesta-How can I say anything about this guy that hasn't been said. Crucial for club and country and scored the winning goal in the World Cup final.
Dzeko-Amazing player who is getting the respect he deserves. Hopefully he will get the chance to do it at the top level since Wolfsburg is falling off a bit.
Donovan-Spiritual leader of the US team. Deserves so much more, but he has been trapped by MLS.
Schweinsteiger-2nd best passer of the ball only to Xavi. He is one of my favorite players on the planet. His loyalty is amazing.
Ibrahimovic-He has brought AC Milan back to life. That is an amazing feat. Coming back to the national team has also been good for him and the team. He may be a bit of a nutter, but he's a spellbinding player.