Gareth Bale - Real Madrid
It may well be the more illustrious Cristiano Ronaldo reaping the plaudits currently, but Welshman Gareth Bale hasn't had a shabby year either - lifting the Champions League (something his team are joint-favourites to do again this season) and the Copa del Rey (scoring the winner against bitter rivals Barcelona) as well as being voted Welsh Player of the Year and racking up a colossal 26 goals and 19 assists across last season and this. He also found time to become the first Welshman to score in a Champions League final, popping up in extra time to score Madrid's vital second goal on the way to a 4-1 win over another rival, cross-city team Atletico Madrid.
He's proven the perfect foil for his Portuguese teammate, and it would be hard to make an argument against the best British export since David Beckham making the team for the first time.
Phillipp Lahm - Bayern Munich
Probably the only player in this list who could be considered for two positions in the team, Phillipp Lahm lifted the World Cup as captain of Germany in the summer as well as clinching the domestic double with Bayern Munich last season. A diminutive, yet tenacious athlete, he is adept with both feet and possesses the sort of footballing intelligence that most other players can only dream of. When asked about the 30-year-old Guardiola termed him 'the cleverest player I have ever worked with'. High praise indeed.
Paul Pogba - Juventus
Voted the best young player at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Paul Pogba has matured into a world-class midfield player, capable of controlling games and producing moments of brilliance that set him apart from his contemporaries. Clinching his second Serie A title in as many years at Juventus last season, the Bianconieri amassed a record 102 points and won the league by an astonishing 17 points. Pogba made more appearances than any other squad member, scoring nine goals and picking up just five bookings across all competitions.
The charismatic Frenchman then went on to star in last summer's World Cup and is already one of the world's very best players at just 21. Manchester United will be kicking themselves.
Angel Di Maria - Manchester United
For all the talk of Lionel Messi dragging Argentina to a World Cup, it was almost his less celebrated teammate Angel Di Maria that did it. In fact, had he not torn a muscle in the quarter-final against Belgium, the man that scored the crucial winner in the second round against Switzerland may have taken his nation all the way to the title. He wasn't too shabby at club level either, lifting the Champions League with Real Madrid (and being voted Man of the Match in the final) and making a huge 52 appearances in all competitions.
Strangely, he has now joined the ever-growing list of world-class players that Madrid have let slip through their fingers and now plies his trade in the Premier League with Manchester United, where he has hit the ground running with three goals and three assists in five games. To watch Di Maria play is to watch a sublimely talented attacking midfielder with the workrate of a man who possesses three lungs; he never stops and at 26 is surely destined for even greater things. For him to miss out on this side would be a huge oversight.
Toni Kroos - Real Madrid
At just 24 years old, Toni Kroos has already amassed 53 caps for Germany and, along with Phillipp Lahm, lifted the World Cup in the summer off the back of a double win with Bayern Munich. A protracted saga around where he would be playing this season then unfolded, with Manchester United persistently trying to secure his signature before he joined Real Madrid for around £25m - a bargain, whatever his contract status.
To watch Kroos play is to watch the game being played in an almost perfect fashion; correct decision after correct decision made across short, medium and long passes allied with a tremendous engine and technical ability par excellence. And at his age, and with the players he has surrounding him in Madrid, he is sure to improve. Which is a terrifying prospect for opponents everywhere.