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Ronaldo, Messi, Hazard Lead FIFA World XI Nominations

FT28 ZÚRICH (SUIZA) 11/01/2016.- El argentino Leo Messi (i) y el portugués Cristiano Ronaldo, dos de los candidatos al FIFA Balón de Oro 2015, participan en una rueda de prensa previa a la entrega de premios Balón de Oro de la FIFA que se celebrará en el Kongresshaus de Zúrich (Suiza) hoy, 11 de enero de 2016. EFE/Valeriano Di Domenico

Star forwards Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard led the 55-man list of FIFA World XI nominations announced by FIFPro on Thursday, Gulf News reports.

A total of 25,000 professional footballers took part in a poll to nominate the best players. The footballers, who received most votes in their line, are on the list of 55.

Ronaldo (4) and Messi (5) share nine Ballon d’Or among them and are favourites to add one more to the tally during the next award ceremony.

“FIFPro and its affiliated player associations invited professional footballers worldwide to pick a team of 1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 attackers who were the best at their position during the 2016-2017 season,” FIFPro said in a statement.

Real Madrid dominated the list after winning both La Liga and the Champions League in 2016-17, with Keylor Navas, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Isco, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo all in line to make the XI.

Pepe is listed as both a Real Madrid player and a Besiktas player, after moving to the Turkish team in the summer.

Champions League runners-up and Serie A champions Juventus had four players on the list comprising Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo DybalaPremier League  champions Chelsea have three nominees in Eden Hazard, David Luiz and N’Golo Kante.

David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romelu Lukaku (previously with Everton), Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic (formerly of Chelsea) represent Manchester United.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are nominated from Arsenal, while Philippe Coutinho is the only Liverpool player on the list.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe is the youngest player on the list, at the age of 18, fresh from sealing a loan move to PSG from Monaco. The teenager scored 27 goals in 60 games for the French champions last season.

However, Claudio Bravo, Hector Bellerin, Kevin de Bruyne, Dimitri Payet, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Jamie Vardy are among the 12 players, who were included last time but missed out this year.

The 2016 World XI included Manuel Neuer, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Andres Iniesta, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo.


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