FIFA on Monday announced a short list of 55 players from which the FIFA FIFPro World XI will be announced for 2018.
Only two players from Africa, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah made the initial cut.
In the list are five goalkeepers, 20 defenders, 15 midfielders and 15 strikers. Of the 55, 10 of those in last year’s World XI made the cut.
FIFPro is the worldwide players’ union. The FIFA FIFPro World XI is decided by the players, for the players and involves votes from almost 25,000 professional footballers from 65 different countries.
During voting, they each select one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.
This year’s list includes some familiar names, and standout statistics. Ten of last year’s World11 return to make the 55-man list, with Real Madrid CF the most-represented club side, seeing a full11 players make the cut.
Spain (nine) and France (eight) are the countries with the most players represented on the list, with European players making up 71 per cent of the total players selected.
FIFPro and its national affiliates are responsible for gathering votes from professional footballers worldwide. The rules of allocation explain the voting procedure, with the World11 votes based on the players’ performances between 3 July 2017 and 15 July 2018 inclusive.
The 55 players selected (home country/club)
Goalkeepers (5): Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain/Juventus FC), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid CF/Chelsea FC), David De Gea (Spain/Manchester United FC), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica/Real Madrid CF), Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany/FC Barcelona).
Defenders (20): Jordi Alba (Spain/FC Barcelona), Daniel Carvajal (Spain/Real Madrid CF), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus FC), Dani Alves (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain), Diego Godin (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid), Mats Hummels (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Germany/FC Bayern Munich) Dejan Lovren (Croatia/Liverpool FC), Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid CF), Yerry Mina (Colombia/Everton FC/FC Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (France/VfB Stuttgart), Gerard Pique (Spain/FC Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid CF), Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain), Kieran Trippier (England/Tottenham Hotspur), Samuel Umtiti (France/FC Barcelona), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool FC), Raphael Varane (France/Real Madrid CF), Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia/Internazionale/Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (England/Manchester City FC).
Midfielders (15): Sergio Busquets (Spain/FC Barcelona), Casemiro (Brazil/Real Madrid CF), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City FC), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea FC), Andres Iniesta (Spain/Vissel Kobe/FC Barcelona), Isco (Spain/Real Madrid CF), N’Golo Kante (France/Chelsea FC), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid CF), Nemanja Matic (Serbia/Manchester United FC), Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid CF), Paul Pogba (France/Manchester United FC), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/FC Barcelona), David Silva (Spain/Manchester City FC), Arturo Vidal (Chile/FC Barcelona/FC Bayern Munich).
Forwards (15): Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid CF), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay/Paris Saint-Germain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus FC/Real Madrid CF), Paulo Dybala (Argentina/Juventus FC), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atletico Madrid), Harry Kane (England/Tottenham Hotspur), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium/Manchester United FC), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia/Juventus FC), Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool FC), Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain), Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool FC), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona).
The final FIFA FIFPro World11 2018 will be announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Monday 24 September. During the ceremony The Best FIFA Men’s Player and Coach, The Best FIFA Women’s Player and Coach, The Best FIFA Goalkeeper, the FIFA Puskás Award, the FIFA Fan Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award for 2018 will all also be presented.