Football awards can often be used as a barometer to gauge the intelligence of the game's coaches and players. At the Ballon d'Or on Monday night, the Fifa World Team of the Year announced reflected just how insular football is.

Iker Casillas, who hasn't looked secure in goal for a long time, was chosen as 2012's best goalkeeper by virtue of being Spanish. Ditto Sergio Ramos and Gerard Piqué, two dubious inclusions when one considers how good Mats Hummels and Vincent Kompany were for Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City in their title-winning years.

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  • FBL-FIFA-BALLONDOR

    (Top L-R) Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid's Marcello, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, Barcelona's Gerard Pique, Barcelona's Dani Alves, Real Madrid's Iker Casillas (Bottom L-R) Atletico Madrid's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta, Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso receive the FIFA/FIFPro World XI award during the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FIFA-BALLONDOR

    (L-R) Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta, Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez, Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso, Real Madrid's Marcello, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, Barcelona's Gerard Pique, Barcelona's Dani Alves and Real Madrid's Iker Casillas receive the FIFA/FIFPro World XI award during the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2012

    ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 07: Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid's Marcello, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, Barcelona's Gerard Pique, Barcelona's Dani Alves, Real Madrid's Iker Casillas (Bottom L-R) Atletico Madrid's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta, Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso receive the FIFA/FIFPro World XI award during the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FIFA-BALLONDOR

    (Top L-R) Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid's Marcello, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, Barcelona's Gerard Pique, Barcelona's Dani Alves, Real Madrid's Iker Casillas (Bottom L-R) Atletico Madrid's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta, Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso receive the FIFA/FIFPro World XI award during the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas reacts during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - In this July 1, 2012 file photo, Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas lifts the trophy after the Euro 2012 soccer championship final between Spain and Italy in Kiev, Ukraine. Spain won the match 4-0. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)

  • Real Madrid CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 01: Goalkeeper Iker Casillas of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their second ghoal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 1, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-MAN CITY-REAL MADRID

    Real Madrid's Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas punches the ball away during the UEFA Champions League group D football match between Manchester City and Real Madrid at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 21, 2012. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-MAN CITY-REAL MADRID

    Manchester City's Argentinian forward Carlos Tevez (R) has his shot saved by Real Madrid's Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas (L) during the UEFA Champions League group D football match between Manchester City and Real Madrid at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on November 21, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League

    MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 06: Iker Casillas of Real Madrid in action during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 6, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • FBL-EUR-C1-BORUSSIA-DORTMUND-REAL-MADRID

    Real Madrid's goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas kicks the ball away during the UEFA Champions league group D football match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in Dortmund, western Germany on October 24, 2012. Dortmund defeated Real Madrid 2-1. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-WC2014-ESP-FRA

    Spain's goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying football match Spain vs France on October 16, 2012 at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid. The game ended in a draw 1-1 AFP PHOTO/ FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Iker Casillas

    Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas holds up the trophy after defeating FC Barcelona in their Spanish Supercup second leg soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Iker Casillas

    Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas holds up the trophy after beating FC Barcelona in their Spanish Supercup second leg soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • RCD Mallorca v FC Barcelona - La Liga

    MALLORCA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 11: Dani Alves of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Liga match between RCD Mallorca and FC Barcelona at Iberostar Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

  • Sevilla FC v FC Barcelona - La Liga

    SEVILLE, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 29: Dani Alves of FC Barcelona controls the ball during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 29, 2012 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • FC Barcelona v FC Spartak Moscow - UEFA Champions League

    BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 19: Daniel Alves of Barcelona reacts during the UEFA Champions League group G match between FC Barcelona and FC Spartak Moscow at the Camp Nou stadium on September 19, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

  • FC Barcelona's Brazilian defender Dani A

    FC Barcelona's Brazilian defender Dani Alves celebrates after scoring the 0-1 during a pre-season friendly football match between Hamburger SV and FC Barcelona in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 24, 2012. AFP PHOTO / CARMEN JASPERSEN (Photo credit should read CARMEN JASPERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Barcelona's Brazilian defender Daniel Al

    Barcelona's Brazilian defender Daniel Alves kicks a ball during the Champions League quarter-final second leg football match FC Barcelona vs AC Milan on April 3, 2012 at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barcelona's Brazilian defender Daniel Al

    Barcelona's Brazilian defender Daniel Alves gestures during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao on March 31, 2012 at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. AFP PHOTO/LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barcelona's Brazilian defender Daniel Al

    Barcelona's Brazilian defender Daniel Alves (background) makes the V-sign at the end of the UEFA Super Cup football match FC Barcelona vs FC Porto, on August 26, 2011 at the Louis II stadium in Monaco. Barcelona won 2-0. AFP PHOTO SEBASTIEN NOGIER (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN NOGIER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FC Barcelona's Brazilian defender Dani A

    FC Barcelona's Brazilian defender Dani Alves (L) celebrates with his teammate Brazilian midfielder Adriano Correia Claro after scoring the 0-1 during a pre-season friendly football match between Hamburger SV and FC Barcelona in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 24, 2012. AFP PHOTO / CARMEN JASPERSEN (Photo credit should read CARMEN JASPERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Barcelona defender Daniel Alves (R) of B

    Barcelona defender Daniel Alves (R) of Brazil celebrates after scoring against Sporting Gijon on March 3, 2012 during a Spanish league football match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. AFP PHOTO/LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - Liga BBVA

    MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 26: Dani Alves of Barcelona celebrates after scoring Barcelona's opening goal during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Ajax Amsterdam v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

    AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - OCTOBER 03: Marcelo of Real in action during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Ajax Amsterdam and Real Madrid at Amsterdam Arena on October 3, 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

  • Ajax Amsterdam v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

    AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - OCTOBER 03: Marcelo of Real in action during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Ajax Amsterdam and Real Madrid at Amsterdam Arena on October 3, 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid CF v RC Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 30: Marcelo of Real Madrid runs with the ball during the la Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Deportivo La Coruna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on September 30, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

  • Marcelo, Cristiano Ronaldo

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, down, celebrates with Marcelo from Brazil after scoring a goal against Manchester City during a Champions League Group D soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, in Madrid, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • Marcelo

    Real Madrid's Marcelo from Brazil celebrates after scoring a goal against Manchester City during a Champions League Group D soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, in Madrid, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • Real Madrid v Barcelona - Supercopa

    MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 29: Marcelo of Real Madrid celebrate with the trophy after defeating FC Barcelona during the Supercopa second leg match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 29, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid v Barcelona - Supercopa

    MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 29: Marcelo of Real Madrid celebrate with the trophy after defeating FC Barcelona during the Supercopa second leg match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 29, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo

    Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo gestures during the UEFA Champions League second leg semi-final football match Real Madrid against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 25, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo

    Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo (up) vies for the ball with Valencia's Portuguese defender Ricardo Costa (down) during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid against Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on April 08, 2012. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo

    Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo heads the ball during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid against Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on March 24, 2012. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid CF v RCD Espanyol - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 16: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid CF reacts during the match during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RCD Espanyol at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 16, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

  • CORRECTION-FBL-ESP-LIGA-VALLADOLID-REALMADRID

    CORRECTION ALL INFOS Real Madrid's defender Sergio Ramos (R) reacts during the Spanish league football match Real Valladolid CF vs Real Madrid CF at Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid on December 8, 2012. Real Madrid won 3-2. AFP PHOTO/ CESAR MANSO (Photo credit should read CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ATHLETIC-BILBAO

    Real Madrid's defender Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring during the Spanish League football match Real Madrid vs Athletic de Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 17, 2012. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Spain's Sergio Ramos, left, holds the trophy with a girl after the Euro 2012 soccer championship final between Spain and Italy in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

  • Spanish defender Sergio Ramos holds the

    Spanish defender Sergio Ramos holds the trophy and celebrates with team mates after winning the Euro 2012 football championships final match Spain vs Italy on July 1, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Spain v Italy - UEFA EURO 2012 Final

    KIEV, UKRAINE - JULY 01: Sergio Ramos of Spain poses with the trophy following victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium on July 1, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

  • Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos

    Real Madrid's goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, right lifts the trophy with Sergio Ramos to celebrate the team's league title after a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Sunday May 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul White)

  • Sergio Ramos

    Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, right, celebrates his goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • FBL-WC2014-ESP-FRA

    Spain's defender Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring during the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying football match Spain vs France on October 16, 2012 at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Spain v France - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

    MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 16: Sergio Ramos of Spain celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier between Spain and France at estadio Vicente Calderon on October 16, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga

    BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 01: Gerard Pique of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club at Camp Nou on December 1, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-ATHLETIC

    Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Athletic Club at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE. (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-ATHLETIC

    Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Athletic Club at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE. (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Soccer - UEFA Euro 2012 - Final - Spain v Italy - Olympic Stadium

    Spain's Gerard Pique kisses the trophy

  • Soccer - UEFA Euro 2012 - Final - Spain v Italy - Olympic Stadium

    Fans make a grab for the trophy as Spain's Gerard Pique carries the trophy back down to the pitch

  • Spain's Gerard Pique celebrates with the trophy after winning the Euro 2012 soccer championship final between Spain and Italy in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, July 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona - Copa del Rey Final

    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 25: Gerard Pique of Barcelona celebrates after a victory in the Copa del Rey Final match between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium on May 25, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

No one may like Ashley Cole but it is arguable he had a superior year than Marcelo at left-back and Dani Alves? The criteria for a defender is to defend, something which he struggles with manfully.

The XI is made up entirely of Primera Liga footballers, which isn't bad going for a league accused of resembling a sunny SPL. And no, not even when Rangers were in the top flight, because it's a one-horse race in Spain now as well.