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Analyzing the FIFA 23 Team of the Year: Part 1 – The Defenders and Goalkeepers

Starting off this series from the back!

Argentina V France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Ayman Aref/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The nominees for the FIFA 23 Team of the Year (TOTY) have been released and there’s no guarantee that everyone will be happy about the selection of the nominees. I’ll be the judge of that.

This is a new series that I will be doing where I analyze the nominees for the Attackers, Midfielders, and Defenders + GK. I will be writing down who I think should be in the final team and those who should have and should not have been included in the nominees list. I will be following the standard 4-3-3 formation so, for the part where I say who makes the cut, I will be listing the goalkeeper and four defenders, three midfielders, and three attackers. To make it fair, I won’t be criticizing players I haven’t seen much of.

Let’s not wait any longer, let’s go!

The Goalkeeper and Defenders

The last line of defense before opposition attackers get to the goal, these guys are meant to stop attacks. The only attack going on here is me having a go at the nominees for goalkeepers and defenders because I see some who shouldn’t be here and remember some who should’ve been included. Let’s look at the nominees.


Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid and Belgium)

Gregor Kobel (Borussia Dortmund and Switzerland)

Mike Maignan (AC Milan and France)

Alisson Becker (Liverpool and Brazil)

Ederson Moraes (Manchester City and Brazil)

Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus and Poland)

Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt and Germany)

Yassine Bounou (Sevilla and Morocco)

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur and France)

Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa and Argentina)



Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil)

Cristiano Ronaldo (hehehehe...siuuuu!) Biraghi (Fiorentina and Italy)

Joao Cancelo (Manchester City and Portugal)

Jonathan Clauss (Olympique Marseille and France)

Thiago Silva (Chelsea FC and Brazil)

Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich and Canada)

Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen and the Netherlands)

Eder Militao (Real Madrid and Brazil)

Ruben Dias (Manchester City and Portugal)

Alejandro Grimaldo (SL Benfica and Spain)

Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain and Morocco)

Theo Hernandez (AC Milan and France)

FC Bayern München Doha Training Camp - Day 4 Photo by Mohammad Karamali/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Reece James (Chelsea and England)

Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea and Senegal)

Nicolas Otamendi (SL Benfica and Argentina)

Gleison Bremer (Juventus and Brazil)

Niklas Sule (Borussia Dortmund and Germany)

Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan and England)

Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United and England)

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and the Netherlands)

Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig and Croatia)

Jules Kounde (FC Barcelona and France)

Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur and Argentina)

Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich and France)

Marcos Acuna (Sevilla and Argentina)

Get in the team! – Hugo Lloris, Alphonso Davies, Josko Gvardiol, Dayot Upamecano, Achraf Hakimi

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Those five players are ones who make a strong case for their nomination for the TOTY. Lloris has been a steady performer and reached a second successive World Cup final (shame he couldn’t win it again). Davies and Hakimi are still two of the best wingbacks in the game while Upamecano and Gvardiol are absolute beasts in defense.

Did your invite end up like Choupo’s? – Manuel Neuer and Antonio Rudiger

Costa Rica v Germany: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Neuer is not among the candidates, and it is obvious why he is not there. His performances have been iffy and coming off a horrendous group stage exit in the World Cup (for the second tournament running) won’t help his case. The time may be coming to say goodbye to the GOATkeeper.

Rudiger is also another notable omission as he has been a good defender for Real Madrid and is the reason why Germany managed to last until Matchday 3.

What are you doing here? – Niklas Sule

Costa Rica v Germany: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

I’m sorry but how is Sule among the nominees? He hasn’t been good for Dortmund and Germany so it’s weird seeing him there. I’ve seen some Dortmund fans favor Nico Schlotterbeck (who isn’t any better) so that should speak volumes about our old boy.

What do you think? Do you agree with the list of nominees? What about my selections, thoughts, and criticisms? Anyone that me and EA missed? Head to the comments and fire away!

If you want to vote for the Team of the Year, click here.

Watch out for part 2 coming soon!

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