The Brazil international raised eyebrows by making the cut for the team, but his club boss believes it was an obvious call to make
Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has defended the inclusion of Dani Alves in the FIFPro World XI.
Alves has not played since May due to a cruciate knee ligament injury, which forced him to miss the World Cup.
Manchester City and England full-back Kyle Walker was a surprise omission but Tuchel feels the Brazilian’s selection was fully justified.
“Surprised? No, it’s logical to me,” he said. “He played a top season.
“Unfortunately, he was injured before the World Cup. If he hadn’t been, he would have played for Brazil.
“He is the type of player who can expect to be in a FIFA team.”
Confirmation of the ex-Barcelona defender’s inclusion in the best team from the last 12 months was among a raft of controversial decisions made during world football’s annual awards ceremony in London.
It was an evening of peaks and troughs for Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who scooped the Puskas Award for the best goal of the year ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s dramatic overhead kick for Juventus in the Champions League.
The Egypt international was nominated on a shortlist of three for the Best player award – eventually given to Luka Modric – but was left out of the World XI.
Meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois was named the Goalkeeper of the Year but also failed to make the World XI as Manchester United and Spain’s David de Gea took the honour.
The individual awards were voted for by national coaches and captains of FIFA member associations, plus a select group of football journalists and supporters, while the World Players’ Union FIFPro assembled the World XI.