FIFPro, the worldwide players’ union, and FIFA today announced the 15 midfielders shortlisted for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2013 as part of the final 55-player shortlist to be revealed on 9 December 2013.
11 teams can secure passage to the UEFA Champions League knockout phase this week, while five former winners of the European competition, including Juventus and Borussia Dortmund face an early exit if they fail to win.
Cristiano Ronaldo was forced off with a slight thigh strain having opened the scoring and Gareth Bale was also on target as Real Madrid won 5-0 at Almeria, while a depleted Barcelona beat Granada 4-0 at the Camp Nou.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque believes the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be a more enjoyable experience than the holders' qualification journey.
Franck Ribery claimed the award for European player of the year for the 2012/13 campaign at a ceremony in Monaco as part of the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
Featuring Thiago Silva on a photo that has become an internet sensation, Andre Villas-Boas on his desire to compete in the Dakar Rally, Mino Raiola offering a bizarre suggestion and Zico comparing Brazil of ’82 to Del Bosque’s Spain.