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Spain Dominates FIFPro World XI Nominations

FIFPro, the worldwide players’ union, and FIFA have announced the 55 names in contention for the FIFA FIFPro World11 2018.

The FIFA FIFPro World11 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 the most-represented club side, seeing a full 11 players make the cut. (nine) and France (eight) are the countries with the most players represented on the list.

The World XI will be unveiled by FIFA and FIFPro during The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on September 24.

Luka Modric was named after his stellar season in 2017-18, helping Real Madrid to their third successive crown as well as starring in Croatia’s run to the final.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, was snubbed by UEFA in the Player of the Year award as Modric beat him and Salah to take the trophy. Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, called the decision a “disgrace.”

World Cup winners France are well represented with Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe all on the list.

The shortlist of goalkeepers, defenders and attackers is a who’s who of world football talent, with David De Gea joining last year’s winner, Gianluigi Buffon, on the keepers shortlist. Virgil van Dijk, the most expensive defender in history at £75m, is among the top defenders, while Pogba, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and N’Golo Kante are in the running as part of the midfielders category. Up top, Ronaldo and Salah are joined by Messi, Neymar and Harry Kane.

Kane enjoyed another fine season in front of goal, culminating in winning the Golden Boot as reached the World Cup semifinals. Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo were eventually named the attackers in last year’s World XI. This time around, there was no place for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez also missed the cut.

FIFPro World XI shortlist in full:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus/Paris Saint-Germain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium, Chelsea/Real Madrid), David de Gea (Spain, Manchester United), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica, Real Madrid), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany, Barcelona)

Defenders: Jordi Alba (Spain, Barcelona), Dani Alves (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain), Dani Carvajal (Spain, Real Madrid), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy, Juventus), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands, Southampton/Liverpool), Diego Godin (Uruguay, Atletico Madrid), Mats Hummels (Germany, Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Germany, Bayern Munich), Dejan Lovren (Croatia, Liverpool), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid), Yerry Mina (Colombia, Barcelona/Everton), Benjamin Pavard (France, Stuttgart), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain), Kieran Trippier (England, Tottenham Hotspur), Samuel Umtiti (France, Barcelona), Raphael Varane (France, Real Madrid), Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia, Atletico Madrid/Inter), Kyle Walker (England, Manchester City)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Spain, Barcelona), Casemiro (Brazil, Real Madrid), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil, Liverpool/Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona/Vissel Kobe), Isco (Spain, Real Madrid), N’Golo Kante (France, Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Nemanja Matic (Serbia, Manchester United), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (France, Manchester United), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia, Barcelona), David Silva (Spain, Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile, Bayern Munich/Barcelona)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, Paris Saint-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus, Argentina), Antoine Griezmann (France, Atletico Madrid), Harry Kane (England, Tottenham Hotspur), Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern Munich), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium, Manchester United), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia, Juventus), Sadio Mane (Senegal, Liverpool), Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid/Juventus), Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona)