The worldwide players’ union FIFPro and FIFA has announced the 15 forwards shortlisted for the FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2012 (see list below), the final part of the 55-player final shortlist and was revealed at a press conference in São Paulo on 29 November 2012.
After the unveiling of the five shortlisted goalkeepers and the 20 shortlisted defenders, the 15 shortlisted midfielders, the list of 15 forwards completes the selection of players deemed to have performed exceptionally during 2012 by their fellow professionals.
The forwards shortlist is: (home country, club)
Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City); Mario Balotelli (Italy, Manchester City); Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid); Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, Napoli); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid); Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire, Shanghai Shenua); Samuel Etoo (Cameroon, Anzhi Makhachkala); Falcao (Colombia, Atletico Madrid); Mario Gomez (Germany, Bayern Munich); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Paris St-Germain); Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona); Neymar (Brazil, Santos); Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United); Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool); Robin van Persie (Netherlands, Manchester United).
Read the profiles of the forwards, midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers, and play the FIFA/FIFPro World XI Predictor.
The 50,000 professional footballers belonging to the players’ unions across the world that form FIFPro received voting forms to nominate their peers in a secret ballot for inclusion in their World XI – choosing the best goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders, and three forwards of 2012.
The final FIFA FIFPro World XI will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 7 January 2013. During the televised gala, the winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the best player of 2012 and the winner of the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2012 award will also be revealed. Meanwhile, the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award and the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award will be presented for the third time. The FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year, the FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented during the gala.
FIFPro has organised the World XI since 2005. In 2009, for the first time, the World XI was presented jointly with FIFA under the name “FIFA FIFPro World XI” at the FIFA World Player of the Year Gala, since renamed as the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala.