Today 9 January, 2016, will go down in history as a memorable day for some footballers and coaches. FIFA is set to announce winners of the 2016 FIFPro World XI selected from a long list of 55 shortlisted players.
The selection was conducted by FIFPro, the worldwide players’ union. It is a decision made by the players, for the players.
FIFPro awards involves 25,000 professional footballers from 75 countries, who cast their votes for a goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.
The voting system is in line with FIFA’s 4-3-3 formation.
FIFPro and its national affiliates have a sole responsibility to conduct the selections by gathering votes from professional footballers worldwide according to FIFA’s voting procedure in the rules of allocation.
Here’s a list of the 55 players shortlisted on 1 December, 2016: (home country/club)
Goalkeepers (5): Claudio Bravo (Chile/FC Barcelona/Manchester City), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus), David de Gea (Spain/Manchester United), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica/Real Madrid) and Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich).
Defenders (20): David Alaba (Austria/FC Bayern Munich), Jordi Alba (Spain/FC Barcelona), Serge Aurier (Côte d’Ivoire/Paris Saint-Germain), Héctor Bellerìn (Spain/Arsenal), Jérôme Boateng (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Leonardo Bonucci (Italy/Juventus), Daniel Carvajal (Spain/Real Madrid), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus), Dani Alves (Brazil/FC Barcelona/Juventus), David Luiz (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain/Chelsea), Diego Godín (Uruguay/Atlético Madrid), Mats Hummels (Germany/Borussia Dortmund/FC Bayern Munich), Philipp Lahm (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Pepe (Portugal/Real Madrid), Gerard Piqué (Spain/FC Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain) and Raphaël Varane (France/Real Madrid).
Midfielders (15): Xabi Alonso (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Sergio Busquets (Spain/FC Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Andrés Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona), N’Golo Kanté (France/Leicester City/Chelsea) Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Luka Modrić (Croatia/Real Madrid), Mesut Özil (Germany/Arsenal), Dimitri Payet (France/West Ham United), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus/Manchester United), Ivan Rakitić (Croatia/FC Barcelona), David Silva (Spain/Manchester City), Marco Verratti (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain) and Arturo Vidal (Chile/FC Bayern Munich).
Strikers (15): Sergio Agüero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Argentina/Juventus), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atlético Madrid), Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina/Napoli/Juventus), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Thomas Müller (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Alexis Sánchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suárez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona) and Jamie Vardy (England/Leicester City).
The final FIFA FIFPro World11 will be announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony at the Zurich TPC studios on 9 January 2017.
During the ceremony The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016, The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2016, The Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2016, The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2016, The FIFA Puskás Award 2016, The FIFA Fan Award and The FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented.
A report from Marca argues that Real Madrid dominated European football last year, and having five players in the FIFPRO World XI proves their status as Champions.