Football’s governing body FIFA and the worldwide players’ union FIFPro on Monday released a 55-man shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI for 2018.
The list which features two players from Africa, will be whittled down to a list of 11 players voted by almost 25,000 professional footballers from 65 countries.
According to the rules, players are to vote one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards based on the players’ performances between 3 July 2017 and 15 July 2018 inclusive.
The list is dominated by Spanish players (9), followed by France with eight players, and also features 10 players that featured in the final of the World Cup with the goalkeepers, Hugo Lloris and Danijel Subasic, missing out.
The final World XI will be announced on Monday 24 September alongside 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.
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), 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).