Team Of The Year: 2023 has been a long and very interesting year in the world of football, and now that we have come to an end, we want to look at the most outstanding players this calendar year.
This is the Team of the Year for 2023.
1. Marc Andre ter Stegen
In goal, we have Marc Andre ter Stegen. The German shot-stopper had one hell of a 2022-23 season in La Liga. He won the league with Barcelona and also won the Zamora Trophy along with it. But it’s not just that he won that trophy, he conceded just 18 goals in 38 appearances and equaled a long-standing La Liga record by keeping 26 clean sheets in La Liga in the 2022-23 season. Amazing!
Stegen was so good that he was named La Liga Player of the Season. And when a goalkeeper is named Player of the Season in a top league, you just know he was incredibly good. So, he certainly deserves this spot.
2. Kyle Walker
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At right-back, it can be none other than Kyle Walker. Not only did the Englishman win 5 trophies with Manchester City this year, he was actually one of the club’s most important players on their road to achieving tremendous success.
Walker was outstanding against some of the best wingers in the world including Vini Jr. in the Champions League semi-final and an in-form Marcus Rashford in the FA Cup final. His pace and strength made it so difficult to get past him. So yeah, Kyle Walker was surely the best right-back of 2023.
3. Kim Min-jae
At center-back, we have Kim Min-jae. The South Korean defender was a revelation at Napoli in the 2022-23 season. He moved to the Serie A club in 2022 to replace Koulibaly who moved to Chelsea, and he stepped into those big shoes and filled them rather easily.
He was a very important factor in Napoli winning their first Scudetto in over 3 decades in 2023. Min-jae was so solid in his first season at Napoli that Bayern felt confident to trigger his release clause and bring him over to Germany.
And since his move to Bavaria, the South Korean international has continued to be solid. So, he definitely deserves this spot.
Pairing Kim Min-jae at center-back would be Gabriel. He was super solid and dependable for Arsenal in the 2022-23 season, and you could say he was one of the reasons the Gunners were in the title race.
And in the 2023-24 season, the Brazilian has continued to be solid as Arsenal appear to be mounting yet another title race. We’ve also seen him in the Champions League, and he’s been nothing short of great.
5. Alex Grimaldo
To complete this back four will be Alex Grimaldo. He started the year at Benfica but he’s ending it at Bayer Leverkusen, and he has been amazing for both teams.
He helped Benfica win the Primeira Liga, making the Team of the Year, and winning the award for Defender of the Month in January and February 2023.
Now, at Leverkusen, he appears to be a very important part of Xabi Alonso’s team which is shocking the world by mounting a real title race against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
Grimaldo defends well and he’s also awesome going forward. This guy has got 16 goal contributions in 24 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen in 2023. That’s just insane! And let’s not forget the free kick he scored against Bayern Munich. What a guy!
In midfield, you know who exactly the first name will be. Of course, it’s none other than Rodri. This guy won 6 trophies this year; 5 with City and the Nations League with Spain. But he’s more than just the trophies; this guy is the spine of Manchester City. When he’s not in the team, City look like a totally different side.
He was named Nations League Finals Player of the Tournament and Champions League Player of the Season in the space of a month.
Rodri is unarguably the best defensive-midfielder in the world right now, but he still manages to score some really big goals every now and then, like the goals against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final and the most important goal in City’s history, the winner against Inter Milan in the final.
7. Martin Odegaard
Up next is Martin Odegaard. He was the highest-scoring midfielder in the Premier League in the 2022-23 season, and was honestly just so solid for Arsenal. He was the club’s Player of the Year and also made it to the PFA Team of the Year.
On top of all of that, Odegaard became captain of Arsenal ahead of the 2022-23 season, and he did an amazing job leading them to a proper title race. He has also started the 2023-24 season pretty great, with his 11 goal contributions so far.
He fell short by failing to help Norway secure a spot at Euros 2024, but come on! He still deserves his spot.
8. Jude Bellingham
To complete the midfield trio is definitely Jude Bellingham. Oh, what a player this guy has been, especially since he moved to Real Madrid in the summer. This guy is out here out-scoring seasoned strikers. He has managed 22 goal contributions in 21 appearances for Real Madrid this year.
But let’s not forget that he was also great for Borussia Dortmund before he moved. He came so close to saying the perfect goodbye by winning Dortmund the Bundesliga, but they lost out on the title on the last day.
On top of all of that, the 20-year-old was named Bundesliga Player of the Season, Golden Boy, and won the Kopa Trophy all in 2023. No way he’s not the best attacking midfielder of 2023. He could even stake a claim as the best player this year, to be very honest.
9. Kylian Mbappe
Now, let’s get to the attack. On the left wing is none other than Kylian Mbappe. The lad is easily one of the best players in the world. This year, he won the Ligue 1 title, the Golden Boot, and was also named the league’s Player of the Season.
He also wraps up 2023 as one of the highest goalscorers in the world. Honestly, 2023 has not been the best year for the Frenchman, but he was still the best left-winger in the world. That’s how good he is.
10. Bukayo Saka
On the right wing, there was a lot of debate between Mo Salah and Bukayo Saka, but we decided to go for Saka. Salah may have scored more, but Saka helped Arsenal mount a title charge while Liverpool didn’t even qualify for the Champions League.
Saka has also started the new season in spectacular fashion. He became the first player in history to both score and assist in their first 3 Champions League games. Right now, he has 20 goal contributions in 24 appearances so far in the 2023-24 season; those are some really good numbers.
Remember that Saka was also named PFA Young Player of the Year and England Men’s Player of the Year in 2023. Pretty good year the lad had.
11. Erling Haaland
Finally, the center-forward is the easiest guess of all, Erling Haaland. He came into Manchester City and helped them win everything in 2023; the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.
See: What country is Haaland from? – Age, Girlfriend, Siblings, Nickname, Family, Career, Roy Keane incident, Trivia
On an individual level, he won the European Golden Shoe, Premier League Golden Boot, Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season, PFA Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year, UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, Gerd Muller Trophy, and he finished second in the Ballon d’Or.
And we haven’t even talked about the numerous records he broke in his first season in England. He, too, can stake a claim as the outright best player of 2023. In fact, we expect him to go home with The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award for 2023.
Well, there is our 2023 XI. Do you agree with our team? Is there anybody you’d take off? Who would you replace them with?
Tell us in the comments.