French daily newspaper L’Equipe have named their team of the year, and Cristiano Ronaldo is the biggest absentee from the XI.
The Portuguese ace has had a difficult calendar year with club and country, so it’s not surprising to see him omitted from the dream lineup.
He was irregular in the first half of the year but went completely off the boil in the second, netting just three goals for Manchester United in 16 games before his acrimonious exit last month.
Moreover, Cristiano Ronaldo endured a torrid campaign at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as Portugal were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
The 37-year-old was seen leaving the pitch in tears and is now waiting to sort out his next move, with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr linked with a big-money move for him.
Virgil van Dijk makes it into the L’Équipe Team of the Year.
L’Equipe’s team of the year includes the usual suspects: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Karim Benzema, all of whom have had fantastic years.
Messi guided Argentina to a third FIFA World Cup title on Sunday, while Mbappe once again carried his irrepressible club form into Qatar, where he starred for France with eight goals to win the Golden Boot.
Benzema missed out on the World Cup for Les Bleus with an injury, but he’s had a brilliant year wherein he guided Real Madrid to La Liga and Champions League glory before picking up his first Ballon d’Or.
Luka Modric, who was an integral part of the Los Blancos squad while also guiding Croatia into another World Cup semi-final, has been included alongside Kevin De Bruyne and club teammate Casemiro.
In defense, Kyle Walker (Manchester City/England), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands), Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig/Croatia), and Theo Hernandez (AC Milan/France) have been named.
Gvardiol was the breakout star of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with eye-catching displays in defense and could be set for a big move to a top European side soon.
Real Madrid and Belgium star Thibaut Courtois takes the goalkeeper’s position in the best XI, mainly due to his achievements on the field with his club this year.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s future up in air
🎙️ Eintracht Frankfurt CEO: “Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo was offered to us. In fact, I have a feeling he was offered to every team in the Champions League.”
As club football slowly resumes, Cristiano Ronaldo’s future continues to hang in the balance, with no European club showing interest in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
He’s keen to play in the Champions League, with the Eintracht Frankfurt CEO revealing that Ronaldo was offered to them too, but like Sporting CP and Bayern Munich, they chose to distance themselves.
The only purported ‘offer’ the 37-year-old has on the table is from Al Nassr, who is ready to offer him a seven-year contract worth 200 million euros each season. It remains to be seen if Cristiano Ronaldo will eventually accept it.
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