Decade review

Cristiano, Messi, Marcelo and Ramos: Decade XI constants

France Football, Sportv, Daily Mail, Goal, Usa Today and Givemesport selected their team of the decade and four names found their place in each.

Cristiano, Messi, Marcelo and Ramos: Decade XI constants
Harold Cunningham - UEFA UEFA via Getty Images

As 2019 ticks over to 2020, sporting outlets around the globe have reflected on the past decade of football. It has been an astonishing period in the history of the game: long-standing records broken, tactical ingeniuty devised to battle the granular level analysis, heart-warming underdog triumphs, and ten years to enjoy two of the greatest players ever.

Decade XIs

A popular item in any review of the year or, in this case, the decade, is a journalist's ability to put together a starting line-up made up of the best players across the period. Whether it's a collation of the highest profile stars, those that have won most trophies, or a more thoughtful approach to a line-up that would gel together on the field, numerous contributions have been put forward. Some have even taken to just spelling out messages with the surnames!

Six well-known media outlets of varying standings (France Football, SporTV, Daily Mail, Goal, USA Today and Givemesport) put together their own decade XIs and within them we saw four players that were present in them all. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo took their place in the respective sides along with a mix of others from around Europe's top clubs, many of whom were repeated several times.

Players of the decade | Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid shakes hands with Barcelona's Lionel Messi during El Clásico 2017.

Players of the decade | Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid shakes hands with Barcelona's Lionel Messi during El Clásico 2017.

Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves, Luka Modric, Manuel Neuer, Xavi Hernández, Sergio Busquets all found a place in more than one combined team, while the likes of Casillas, Piqué, David Silva, Neymar, Van Dijk, Lahm, Luis Suárez, Kroos, Thiago Silva, Buffon, Lewandowski, Chiellini, Varane and Ibrahimovic were all notable inclusions.

What will the next ten years bring? More of the same please...