IFFHS continues to hand out its end-of-the-year awards, with the latest category being the Men's World Team of 2022 category. And to no one's surprise, FIFA World Cup champion Lionel Messi makes a deserved appearance.
The Argentine icon, who led La Albiceleste to the prestigious title in Qatar, had already been named the World's Best Player and World's Best Playmaker of 2022 and has followed this up by making the dream XI of the recent calendar year.
But La Pulga wasn't the only Qatar 2022 superstar to make this list as Kylian Mbappe claimed a truly-merited spot on the team of the year after winning the Golden Boot. Joining the Bleus sensation in attack is another Frenchman, this time Karim Benzema, the reigning Ballon d'Or holder who inspired Real Madrid to their UEFA Champions League and La Liga success last season.
Despite featuring a 4-3-3 lineup, there was room for another attacker. That man is Erling Haaland, the former Dortmund striker who made the switch to Manchester City over the summer only to maintain his breathtaking goalscoring record.
But how did the IFFHS squeeze in four attackers into its 4-3-3 setup? Messi was named in a star-studded—but woefully unbalanced—midfield three alongside the evergreen Luka Modric, who guided Croatia to a third-place finish at the FIFA World Cup, and Premier League champion Kevin de Bruyne.
The back-four features two standout performers from Qatar 2022: Croatia center-back Josko Gvardiol, arguably the best defender of the tournament, and Morocco right-back Achraf Hakimi.
Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk, Bayern Munich ace Alphonso Davies, and Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois completed the team of the year. Check it out in the graphic below.
In the other categories, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni was named the Men's World Best National Coach of 2022 while the club coach of the year prize went to Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti.