(Reuters) – World champions France had eight players, one less than former holders Spain, in international players’ association FIFPro’s 55-name shortlist for its World XI of 2018 award.
Ten players out of last year’s World XI, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, were named on the list, with Spanish giants Real Madrid the best represented club with 11 players.
World Cup semi-finalists England had three nominations in Tottenham Hotspur pair Harry Kane and Kieran Trippier as well as Manchester City’s Kyle Walker.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were the only two African nominees.
Wales and Real forward Gareth Bale, who scored twice in the Champions League final in May which Madrid won 3-1, did not make the list.
Around 25,000 professional footballers from 65 countries took part in the poll to decide the contenders. The World XI will be announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards in London on Sept. 24.
Full shortlist (home country/clubs in 2017-18):
Goalkeepers (5): Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain/Juventus), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid/Chelsea), David De Gea (Spain/Manchester United), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica/Real Madrid), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany/Barcelona).
Defenders (20): Jordi Alba (Spain/Barcelona), Daniel Carvajal (Spain/Real Madrid), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus), Dani Alves (Brazil/PSG), Diego Godin (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid), Mats Hummels (Germany/Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Germany/Bayern Munich) Dejan Lovren (Croatia/Liverpool), Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid), Yerry Mina (Colombia/Everton/Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (France/Stuttgart), Gerard Pique (Spain/Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil/PSG), Kieran Trippier (England/Tottenham Hotspur), Samuel Umtiti (France/Barcelona), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool), Raphael Varane (France/Real Madrid), Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia/Inter Milan/Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (England/Manchester City).
Midfielders (15): Sergio Busquets (Spain/Barcelona), Casemiro (Brazil/Real Madrid), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil/Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Spain/Vissel Kobe/Barcelona), Isco (Spain/Real Madrid), N’Golo Kante (France/Chelsea), Nemanja Matic (Serbia/Manchester United), Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (France/Manchester United), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/Barcelona), David Silva (Spain/Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile/Barcelona/Bayern Munich).
Forwards (15): Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay/PSG), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus/Real Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Argentina/Juventus), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atletico Madrid), Harry Kane (England/Tottenham Hotspur), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium/Manchester United), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia/Juventus), Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool), Kylian Mbappe (France/PSG), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil/PSG), Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona).
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)