Pick just three?!? FIFPro World XI midfielder shortlist is Juve-heavy, really good


There will be at least one new name on the FIFPro World XI list, as Franck Ribery has been left off the shortlist of nominees for the 2015 unit.

Reigning winners Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona both are up for the honors again, and Juventus placed a remarkable three players on the shortlist.

[ FIFPRO: Goalkeeper shortlist | Defenders ]

The Serie A champions are represented by Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal. Real Madrid are also represented thrice.

Spain (4) and Germany (3) are the only nations with multiple members.

It’s another bizarre reputation-based list in that the top-represented  country had a poor year — by their standards — and one of the top teams didn’t make it out of its Champions League group (Juventus). Presumably Arjen Robben will be on the forwards list.

The winners will be named Jan. 12 in Switzerland, and three names from this list will make the cut. Good luck, voters: Xabi Alonso (Spain, Bayern Munich); Angel Di Maria (Argentina, Manchester United); Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Chelsea); Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea); Xavi Hernandez (Spain, Barcelona); Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona); Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid); Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid); Mesut Ozil (Germany, Arsenal); Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus); Paul Pogba (France, Juventus); James Rodriguez (Colombia, Real Madrid); Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich); Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast, Manchester City); Arturo Vidal (Chile, Juventus).

Team breakdown
Juventus – 3
Real Madrid – 3
Barcelona – 2
Bayern Munich – 2
Chelsea – 2
Manchester United – 1
Manchester City – 1
Arsenal – 1

Nation breakdown
Spain – 4
Germany – 3
Croatia – 1
France – 1
Colombia – 1
Chile – 1
Ivory Coast – 1
Belgium – 1
Argentina – 1
Italy – 1