FIFPro, the professional footballers’ association and FIFA have announced the 23 candidates for this year’s World XI (the best team on the planet according to the association). It is the only award which is voted for exclusively and entirely by players.
Among the nominees this year are regular faces and big names like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski.
However, there are few surprise inclusions such as Frenkie De Jong and Daniel Alves and big name miss-out like Mohamed Salah, Giorgio Chiellini and Thibaut Courtios.
Mohamed Salah is among the high-profile absentees from FIFA’s star-studded World XI shortlist, but four players from crisis club Barcelona have made the cut.
The squad is voted for by the players themselves, and a massive 10 of the 23 named are currently plying their trade in the English top flight.
Chelsea’s four are made up of Edouard Mendy, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku, while Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City all have two players in the squad respectively.
The larger 23-man group will be voted for and turned into the ‘World XI’ next month, during the ceremony of The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Barcelona having four players on the list has come as a huge surprise to many, given their woeful year on and off the pitch.
WORLD XI: FULL 23-MAN SQUAD
Alisson Becker (Brazil/Liverpool FC)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy/AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain)
Édouard Mendy (Senegal/Chelsea FC)
David Alaba (Austria/FC Bayern München/Real Madrid CF)
Jordi Alba (Spain/FC Barcelona)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (England/Liverpool FC)
Dani Alves (Brazil/São Paulo FC/FC Barcelona)
Leonardo Bonucci (Italy/Juventus FC)
Rúben Dias (Portugal/Manchester City FC)
Sergio Busquets (Spain/FC Barcelona)
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City FC)
Bruno Fernandes (Portugal/Manchester United FC)
Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands/FC Barcelona)
Jorginho (Italy/Chelsea FC)
N’Golo Kante (France/Chelsea FC)
Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid CF)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus FC/Manchester United FC)
Erling Haaland (Norway/ BV Borussia 09 Dortmund)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern München)
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium/FC Internazionale Milano/Chelsea FC)
Kylian Mbappé (France/Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain)
Neymar (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain)