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Far-Fetched Friday: Weston McKennie For FIFPro 2021 World XI
This week saw FIFA release their FIFPro World XI, their best starting lineup based on the 2020 calendar year. The most surprising inclusion was arguably Alphonso Davies becoming the first-ever North American player to receive this esteemed recognition. However, this prediction is not about him; it's about another North American player. This prediction is one of my most Far-Fetched to date, but what's the fun in it if it is not extremely difficult and unlikely. My prediction is that Weston McKennie will make the 2021 FIFPro World XI.
The Alphonso Davies recognition was the motivation for this article. As I wrote in another edition of Far-Fetched Friday, I believe Alphonso Davies will win a Ballon d'Or one day, and the FIFPro World XI recognition is a massive step in that direction. It made me think about how Alphonso Davies came to get that recognition.
Simply put, Davies balled out on the highest stage of club soccer for one of the most storied clubs in history for the world to see. He was a massive piece in helping Bayern secure a Champions League Trophy. To get into the 2021 FIFPro World XI team, at the very least, Weston McKennie would have to help Juventus win the Champions League Trophy.
And so far this year, what we have seen is that McKennie is arguably Pirlo's most valued midfielder since his return to full fitness after battling Covid-19 at the start of the season. It's easy to see why too. McKennie is an extremely versatile player with incredible stamina and no real weaknesses in his game. There is not a single thing on a soccer pitch that McKennie can't do, as his incredible goal against Barcelona in the group stages highlighted. It bodes well for the rest of his career as he continues to improve; after all, he is only 22.
Juventus is a sleeper candidate for the Champions League Trophy. They have the ultimate winner in Cristiano Ronaldo at 35 years old, one of the most clutch players in history, the GOAT for many, and someone desperate to win a Champions League Trophy in Italy after two disappointing exits in a row since leaving after three successive trophies in Madrid. They have a great mix of youth and experience. And after turning one of the most historic leagues in the world into a joke by winning 9 straight Serie A Trophies, everyone in the world knows the goal for Juventus is to win the club's first Champions League Trophy since 1996, two years before McKennie was born.
Pulisic may get all the clout right now, but many are starting to recognize McKennie as one of the most underrated stars in the game. Evident by the U.S. National Team Player of the Year award he just won for 2020. 2021 promises to be a big year for McKennie, and if he correlates that year with success for Juventus in helping them capture the one trophy they are most desperate for, then he is a virtual lock for the FIFPro World XI.
Weston McKennie will make the 2021 FIFPro World XI.
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