TOTY or Team Of The Year is an annual promo held by EA Sports in their football video games.
This event showcases players who have had a year to remember in football, but recently has been a subject of controversy due to some players being added to the squad when they haven’t had a good a year as compared to other players.
Due to this, their squads have always been subject to ridicule but today we are going to see which players really deserve to be in the Team Of The Year
GK – Alisson (Liverpool)
The Brazilian has been key to Liverpool in bailing them out of dire situations. Jurgen Klopp has even said before, if they didn’t have Alisson they probably wouldn’t be where they are right now. The stats back him as well with him being in the 99th percentile currently for save percentage (77% of shots saved) and having an average of 0.74 goals conceded per 90 minutes, he is in the 98th percentile for this stat. While many other keepers may have a claim for this spot due to silverware last season, none of them probably have a big as an impact on their team as Alisson does. He stays in the team.
Honourable mentions – Ederson (Man City), Gregor Kobel (Dortmund)
Ederson was Alisson’s closest competitor for the spot after winning the treble with Man City, but the Citizens didn’t rely on him as much as players like De Bruyne, Haaland or Rodri. Kobel also had a good year with Dortmund with them coming agonisingly close to overthrowing Bayern’s dominance in the Bundesliga if it weren’t for last day drama.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
The prolific inverted full-back found new life in his reimagined role, now playing more central and at the heart of Liverpool’s engine room. Although he has been criticised for his poor defending, his attacking power definitely silences the critics. Last year he was in between the 95th and 99th percentile for stats such as assists, expected assists, passes, successful passes, key passes, crosses and successful crosses. To put this in perspective, only Kevin De Bruyne was more prolific in assists, being in the 99th percentile for these stats. This season Trent has improved his defensive side as well with him being in between the 85th and 94th percentile for interceptions, goals conceded, minutes per goal conceded and clean sheets. The only blot on his record is him being dribbled past 2.34 times per 90 minutes which leaves him in the 0 percentile.
Honourable mentions – Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Kyle Walker (Man City)
Frimpong was included in EA’s team, and he has reason for it with him and Grimaldo being pivotal to Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen revolution. He has been in the 85th to 90th percentile for attacking stats but defensive stats are further down as he has been deployed more as a right midfielder rather that a right-back. Kyle Walker won the treble with Man City but he was not a nominated defender, therefore on technicality he can’t be in the team.
CB – Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Man City)
We stick with EA’s choices as Van Dijk has found his form that led Liverpool to the Champions League and Premier League all those years ago. Ruben Dias was crucial to Man City’s treble win providing an outlet to a new attacking threat and being a rock in defence.
Honourable Mentions – William Saliba (Arsenal), John Stones (Man City), Jules Kounde (Barcelona)
William Saliba looks like how Van Dijk did when he first joined Liverpool, and has taken the title of “Rolls Royce centerback”, emulating Van Dijk’s playstyle. The entire Man City team could’ve been in the team but there are players who impacted other teams more. Jules Kounde had a good year as well after helping Barcelona win LaLiga however he was injured a lot and had been rotated with Ronald Araujo and Inigo Martinez.
LB – Federico Dimarco (Inter Milan)
Dimarco was crucial in helping Inter Milan to a Champions League final last season as well as being a constant attacking threat. His wing play helps the likes of Lautaro Martinez get the goals that he does. Theo Hernandez from city rivals AC Milan was EA’s choice and he was just as good by helping them to the Champions League semi-final where they lost to Inter and they finished below Inter in the Serie A as well.
Honourable Mentions – Alex Grimaldo (Bayer Leverkusen), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli)
Di Lorenzo was essential in leading Napoli to their Scudetto triumph last season however, he hasn’t been able to emulate that success this season as Napoli sit 9th. Grimaldo, like Frimpong, plays a more attacking role therefore his defensive stats are much lower than his attacking stats.
CM – Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Rodri (Man City), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
We stick with EA’s choices for the entire midfield with De Bruyne and Rodri winning the treble at Man City and Jude Bellingham showing everyone what he is capable of. The Englishman has completely ripped up the rulebook for attacking midfielders with him being in the 99th percentile for goals scored, goal involvements, expected goals (xG) and non penalty expected goals (npxG).
Honourable Mentions – Bernardo Silva (Man City), Pedri (Barcelona), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Martin Odegaard (Arsenal), Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona)
Both Silva and Gundogan were involved in City’s treble win and have big claims to get in the squad, meanwhile Odegaard and Pedri were central to their teams attacking threat last season. And Musiala has been potentially the only competitor to Jude Bellingham with the German winning the Bundesliga last season and performing even better this season.
RW – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
EA gave this spot to Lionel Messi, who has been riding the coattails of his World Cup triumph in 2022. This position should be rightfully awarded to Salah as he still proves to be evergreen as he tops the Premier League scoring and assisting charts. Meanwhile Messi only had 3 goal contributions this season in the MLS.
Honourable Mentions – Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Rodrygo (Real Madrid)
Saka had a wonderful 2023 with him being the main talisman in Arsenal’s title challenge last season meanwhile Rodrygo is on the right of an electric front three in Real Madrid however he gets overshadowed by Vini Jr and Jude Bellingham.
LW – Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
EA gave this spot to Kylian Mbappe and we are going to stick with that choice as the Frenchman already has 19 goals and 3 assists in 17 matches this season.
Honourable Mentions – Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Kvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli), Jack Grealish (Man City)
Kvara and Grealish have silverware to try and claim this spot however consistency is key and they both do lack that meanwhile Vinicius Junior shows that wingers aren’t afraid to take on defenders anymore however he lacks end product.
ST – Erling Haaland (Man City)
What else needs to be said for the Norwegian? He broke the record for the most goals scored in a Premier League season, top scorer in the Champions League, and treble winner. The man has done it all.
Honourable Mentions – Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Lautaro Martinez is having an exceptional season by being in the 99th percentile for all goalscoring stats, plus he lead Inter to the Champions League final last season. Victor Osimhen was crucial in Napoli’s Scudetto win last season and he found great form which earned him a reputation for being on of Europe’s most clinical strikers.
12th Man – Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo should be awarded the 12th man vote as he finished 2023 by being the man with the most goals over the last year (38). The feat has been overlooked due to the fact that he is playing in the Saudi Pro League, but he is 38 years old and still doesn’t look past his prime.
And that is our Team Of The Year
Other posts by Hiresh