Fifty-five players shortlisted for FIFA FIFPro World XI 2011

The worldwide players’ union FIFPro and FIFA today announced the 55 players shortlisted for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2011 (see full list below), which is to be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d’Or in Zurich on 9 January 2012.

The 50,000 professional footballers belonging to the players’ unions across the world that form FIFPro took part in a secret ballot to nominate their peers for inclusion in their World XI – choosing the best four defenders, three midfielders, three forwards and goalkeeper of 2011.

World champions Spain have the most players in the shortlist with 12, followed by eight from Brazil, five each from Germany and England, four from Portugal, three each from France, the Netherlands and Italy, two each from Côte d’Ivoire, Argentina and Uruguay and one each from Serbia, Wales, Belgium, Colombia, Sweden, and Cameroon.

Spain’s Primera Division attracted the most nominees with 22, followed by England’s Premier League with 18 and Italy’s Serie A with nine. Four nominees came from Germany’s Bundesliga and one each from Russia’s Futbolnaja Premjer-liga and Brazil’s Serie A.

The final FIFA FIFPro World XI will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 9 January 2012. During this televised gala, the winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the best player of 2011 and the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2011 award will also be revealed. In addition, 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 second time. The FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year, the FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will complete the line-up of awards presented during the gala.

The 55-player shortlist in full (home country, current club) is:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Víctor Valdes (Spain, Barcelona), Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands, retired, formerly Manchester United).

Defenders: Eric Abidal (France, Barcelona), Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona), Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal, Real Madrid), Ashley Cole (England, Chelsea), Patrice Evra (France, Manchester United), Rio Ferdinand (England, Manchester United), Vincent Kompany (Belgium, Manchester City), Philipp Lahm (Germany, Bayern Munich), Lucio (Brazil, Internazionale), David Luiz (Brazil, Chelsea), Maicon (Brazil, Internazionale), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid), Alessandro Nesta (Italy, AC Milan), Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid), Gerard Piqué (Spain, Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Spain, Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil, AC Milan), John Terry (England, Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United).

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid), Gareth Bale (Wales, Tottenham Hotspur), Sergio Busquets (Spain, Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Kaka (Brazil, Real Madrid), Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), Nani (Portugal, Manchester United), Mesut Ozil (Germany, Real Madrid), Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich), David Silva (Spain, Manchester City), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands, Internazionale), Yaya Toure (Côte d’Ivoire, Manchester City), Xavi (Spain, Barcelona).

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City), Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, Napoli), Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire, Chelsea), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon, Anzhi), Radamel Falcao (Colombia, Atletico Madrid), Mario Gomez (Germany, Bayern Munich), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, AC Milan), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil, Santos), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester Utd), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool), Robin van Persie (Netherlands, Arsenal), David Villa (Spain, Barcelona).