The on-paper reigns of Barcelona and Real Madrid as the predominate football clubs in the world continued on Monday, as the two La Liga giants nabbed eight of 11 spots in the FIFPro World Xi squad for the calendar year 2015.
[ MORE: Full FIFPro awards results ]
Ever since Lionel Messi made his debut on the FIFPro World XI list for 2007 (he was 20 years old at the time), the Argentine icon has made nine straight appearances on the list. Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo also was also awarded his ninth-straight appearance on the FIFPro World XI list.
Everywhere else you look, you’ll find a strong La Liga flavor: Andres Iniesta made his seventh-straight FIFAPro World XI appearance; Sergio Ramos made his fifth-straight appearance and sixth overall; Dani Alves made his fifth appearance; Neymar made his first of what will surely be many appearances on the list, among others from Barca and Madrid (full team below). From elsewhere in the world, Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer and Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva were each chosen for a third-straight year.
Premier League clubs have landed just one player in the FIFPro World XI in the last four years: Angel di Maria, who at the time of being selected had played half of his only season for Manchester United; his selection was based mostly upon his form for Real Madrid during the second half of the previous season and the 2014 World Cup.
Full 2015 FIFPro World XI
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Defenders: Marcelo (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Juventus), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Neymar (Barcelona)