In case you didn't get enough of awards season last night with the Golden Globes, today's Ballon d'Or ceremony might have been enough to work the awards bug out of your system. And for the third year running, Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world according to his peers.
While the competition behind Neuer in David De Gea is fierce, with the aging Gianluigi Buffon taking third place it's almost a foregone conclusion at this point as to who will be the world's best at this position. Especially given the importance many voters tend to place on overall team performance in this award category, we may not see De Gea overtake Neuer anytime soon given the way Manchester United seem to be performing.
And given that Manuel Neuer is still an exceptional specimen of a goalkeeper, it may not even be then, given the way he's made the sweeper keeper role in vogue. At this point, it may be that no goalkeeper is as important to the way a team plays as Manuel Neuer is to Bayern Munich and that right there speaks volumes about his quality on the pitch.
The rest of the FIFPro/Best X11 reads like a who's who of Spanish football:
Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (PSG)
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Juventus)
Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Neymar (Barcelona)