FIFPro, along with FIFA on Monday, announced its 55-man shortlist who will be in contention for the 2018 FIFA World X1. Around 25,000 football players from all over the world were part of the nomination process, and the players with the most votes ended up on the shortlist. You can check the entire shortlist here.
This year marks the 14th edition of the FIFA World XI, which was established in 2005 by FIFPro, the worldwide players union. They later merged with FIFA in 2009, and it was hence called the FIFPro FIFA World XI.
This season's 55-man shortlist consists of some familiar names with some outstanding statistics. Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane are the only Africans to feature in the list, while Real Madrid has the most number of players on the shortlist (11).
Eleven players will be making their first appearance on the shortlist, while two players Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluigi Buffon will continue their record of featuring in every shortlist since its in inception in 2005. The shortlist has also seen some interesting omissions in the form of Gareth Bale, Mesut Ozil, Manuel Neuer, Alexis Sanchez and many more.
The 2018 FIFA World X1 team will finally consist of one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards. The 2018 FIFA World X1 will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on 24 September in London.
FIFA had earlier announced it's three-man shortlist for the 'The Best Men's Player of the Year 2018' award, with Juventus and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo leading the race for the prize along with his former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric, and Liverpool's Mohammed Salah.
The Portuguese skipper, who is the recipient of the award since the last two years, sees his streak come under major threat by Luka Modric, who recently won the UEFA 'Men's Player of the Year' award.
While there is no contesting the selection of these three players for the award, many were surprised by the exclusion of Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi. The 31-year-old has been in the top-three of every FIFA award ever since 2007, and despite being the leading goal scorer of La Liga in 2017/18 and winning the league with his club, his name was excluded from the list.