FIFPro World XI

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FIFPro World XI: Barcelona, Real Madrid nab 8 of 11 spots

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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.

[ MORE: Tue. & Wed.’s Premier League TV schedule | JPW’s PL picks ]

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)

The FIFA FIFPro World XI revealed; Germany leads the way with three

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One of the first happenings at the Ballon D’Or gala on Monday was the unveiling of the FIFA FIFPro World XI, and it’s no surprise that World Cup champion Germany has a trio of players representing club and/or country

Manuel Neuer is between the sticks for this imaginary team after leading Germany and Bayern Munich to championships last season, and he’s joined by his club and countrymate Philipp Lahm on the squad. Bayern’s Arjen Robben is one of the 4-3-3 formation’s three up top

[ FIFA: Wambach meets with Valcke over TurfGate ]

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and club teammate Toni Kroos of Germany are, of course, joined by Cristiano Ronaldo, while Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta represent Barcelona.

Meanwhile, David Luiz and Thiago Silva, now together at Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain are on the list, with current Manchester United midfielder Angel Di Maria.

Notable snubs include Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, as well as Juventus’ Andrea Pirlo.

FIFA FIFPro World XI
GOALKEEPER: Manuel Neuer
DEFENDERS: Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos, David Luiz, Thiago Silva
MIDFIELDERS: Angel Di Maria, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta
FORWARDS: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben.

By current club
Real Madrid – 3
Bayern Munich – 3
Barcelona – 2
Paris Saint-Germain – 2
Manchester United – 1

By national team
Germany – 3
Brazil – 2
Argentina – 2
Spain – 2
Portugal – 1
Netherlands – 1

FIFPro’s World XI five goalkeeper shortlist includes… Iker Casillas???

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The world of soccer players still likes Iker Casillas a great deal, while many of us are left rolling our eyes at the shortlist of players in the running for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2014.

Many expect Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer to ease to a win, so the inclusion of Real Madrid keeper Casillas provides us with a decent talking point; How did a man who lived through an embarrassing World Cup and has just reclaimed his No. 1 gig for his club make the list?

Casillas won the award five times from 2008-12, so perhaps players were struggling for names on their ballot and thought, “He’s usually good.” Also on the list are Chelsea’s Thibault Courtois, Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon and Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo.

Consider that even his most notable accomplishment, winning the UEFA Champions League final, comes with a goofy goalkeeping blunder.

Certainly keepers like David De Gea, Tim Howard, Wojciech Szczesny, Hugo Lloris and Salvatore Sirigu are scratching their heads.

FIFPro World XI ‘Team of the Year’ leaked ahead of announcement via Twitter photo

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The FIFA FIFPro World XI, set to be announced at this evening’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich, has seemingly been leaked by someone working at the event who took the photo (at right).

Assuming the photo accurately represents the 2013 World XI squad, the team is as follows:

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer – Bayern Munich
Defender: Philipp Lahm – Bayern Munich
Defender: Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid
Defender: Thiago Silva – PSG
Defender: Dani Alves – FC Barcelona
Midfielder: Andres Iniesta – FC Barcelona
Midfielder: Xavi Hernandez – FC Barcelona
Midfielder: Franck Ribery – Bayern Munich
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrd
Forward: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG
Forward: Lionel Messi – FC Barcelona

While there are no huge surprises on the list there are some notable absences, including: Dante, David Alaba, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sergio Busquets, Yaya Toure and Luis Suarez.

It’s also interesting to note that the World XI team is made up of players from only four clubs: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid. That means no Premier League players, no Serie A players and no players employed outside of Europe.

Tonight’s event will decide the winner of Ballon D’Or with Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo all nominated. Ronaldo is expected to claim the prize with bookmakers slashing the odds on him to 1/50. The gala will also decide manager of the year with former Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes and current Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp short-listed for the award.

You can watch the press conference from the ceremony in the video below.