Liverpool’s European kings honored in FIFPro World XI shortlist
Sport news Sep 7, 2019 at 00:03
(CNN)After lifting a sixth European title last season, and enthralling fans with swashbuckling football, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side has provided seven players on the 55-man FIFPro World XI shortlist.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Allison Becker and Trent Alexander-Arnold were all selected for consideration from votes compiled from about 65,000 professional footballers worldwide.
Every year since 2005, one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards have been honored in the World XI, organized by FIFPro — the International Federation of Professional Footballers. This year, England-based players are back on top.
The seven Reds join eight players from Manchester City, three from Tottenham Hotspur and two each from Manchester United and Chelsea as the Premier League edges out the Spanish Liga 21-20 as the best represented league on the list. This is the first time since 2009 that the English league has contributed the most players.
Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero standout from an impressive cast supplied English Premier League champion Manchester City.
Tottenham Hotspur, defeated 2-0 by Liverpool in last season’s Champions League final, is represented by Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen — the first Dane on the list — and Son Heung-Min, who is the first player from Asia to make the 55.
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Spain’s nine-year reign as the highest contributor to the list may have ended, with 20 players included, but Real Madrid and Barcelona continue to dominate when it comes to individual clubs.
Barca has nine players shortlisted with representatives in all positions. If you include two of its recent recruits in Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann, who joined from Ajax Amsterdam and Atletico Madrid respectively, the Spanish giant could field a complete team.
Real has fallen short of its fierce rivals with eight players on the list. Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric have all been recognised, as has Eden Hazard, who joined from Chelsea over the summer for a reported fee of $113 million.
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Juventus goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo’s name is once again included, making him the only player voted on all 15 World 11 shortlists. The Italian champion has four other players — all defenders — including Giorgio Chiellini, who recently sustained an ACL injury which could rule him out of action for six months.
Brazil is the most represented nation with 10 players. France is next best with seven while Spain has three.
USA, Lyon leading way for women
On the women’s shortlist, 14 of the World Cup-winning USA squad are included. Captain Megan Rapinoe leads a stellar group that includes enough names to field a full team with reserves to spare.
Perennial European champion Olympique Lyonnais has by far the most players of any club. Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg is one of 13 who ply their trade for the French juggernaut.
The women’s World 11 shortlist has been assembled on three previous occasions, the last of which came in 2017. Eighteen players have appeared in every edition including England and Manchester City captain Steph Houghton.
More than 23,000 professional footballers around the world have voted for awards, with the final team announced Monday 23 September at the Best Football Awards in Milan.
2018 Men’s World 11: David De Gea, Dani Alves, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
2017 Women’s World 11: Hedvig Lindahl, Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Irene Paredes, Wendie Renard, Camille Abily, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Marta, Pernille Harder, Lieke Martens and Alex Morgan.