Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah headline FIFPro World XI shortlist

Tanya Simon
September 12, 2018

Almost 25,000 professional footballers from about 65 different countries voted for 55 players to select one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards for the 2018 World XI, FIFA said.

The shortlist for goalkeepers and defenders for the FIFPro World XI has been released, and it features Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk.

Federation Internationale de Football Association on Monday announced 55 nominees to come up with a team of 11 players to be named the squad of the year.

Each participating footballer should select one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards, based on players' performance between July 3, 2017 and July 15, 2018.

The shortlist of goalkeepers, defenders and attackers is a who's who of world football talent, with David De Gea joining last year's victor Gianluigi Buffon on the keepers shortlist.

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been included after winning a third successive Champions League title with Real Madrid.

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Liverpool's Van Dijk, the most expensive defender of all time at £75 million, helped the Reds to the Champions League final last season.

The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah and Luka Modric are among the big names on the list, but there were also some surprises.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's incredible 12 year run in the final nominations list also came to an end alongside Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Alexis Sanchez and Gareth Bale as the most notable omissions.

Despite interest from Manchester United and Lyon, in the end, it was Everton who won the race and secured his services.

Barcelona are kings in Spain, Madrid in Europe, over the last few years, and the two clubs are doing battle again in the FIFPro awards.

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