Ronaldo, Messi lead 2017 FIFA World XI nominations

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Amsterdam, Sep 20 (IANS) Star forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi led the 55-man list of FIFA World XI nominations announced by FIFPro here on Wednesday. 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 amongst 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 Dybala.  English Premier League (EPL) 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 11 included Manuel Neuer, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Andrés Iniesta, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo. The following is the list of 55 players: Goalkeepers Gianluigi Buffon-Italy, Juventus David De Gea-Spain, Manchester United Keylor Navas-Costa Rica, Real Madrid Manuel Neuer-Germany, Bayern Munich Jan Oblak-Slovenia, Atletico Madrid Defenders David Alaba-Austria, Bayern Munich Jordi Alba-Spain, Barcelona Dani Alves-Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain Jerome Boateng-Germany, Bayern Munich Leonardo Bonucci-Italy, Juventus/AC Milan Dani Carvajal-Spain, Real Madrid Giorgio Chiellini-Italy, Juventus Diego Godin-Uruguay, Atletico Madrid Mats Hummels-Germany, Bayern Munich Philipp Lahm-Germany, Bayern Munich (Retired) David Luiz-Brazil, Chelsea Marcelo-Brazil, Real Madrid Javier Mascherano-Argentina, Barcelona Pepe-Portugal, Real Madrid/Besiktas Gerard Pique-Spain, Barcelona Sergio Ramos-Spain, Real Madrid Thiago Silva-Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain Samuel Umtiti-France, Barcelona Antonio Valencia-Ecuador, Manchester United Raphael Varane-France, Real Madrid Midfielders Thiago Alcantara-Spain, Bayern Munich Sergio Busquets-Spain, Barcelona Casemiro-Brazil, Real Madrid Philippe Coutinho-Brazil, Liverpool Eden Hazard-Belgium, Chelsea Andres Iniesta-Spain, Barcelona Isco-Spain, Real Madrid N'Golo Kante-France, Chelsea Toni Kroos-Germany, Real Madrid Nemanja Matic-Serbia, Chelsea/Manchester United Luka Modric-Croatia, Real Madrid Mesut Ozil-Germany, Arsenal Paul Pogba-France, Manchester United Marco Verratti-Italy, Paris Saint-Germain Arturo Vidal-Chile, Bayern Munich Forwards Gareth Bale-Wales, Real Madrid Karim Benzema-France, Real Madrid Edinson Cavani-Uruguay, Paris Saint-Germain Paulo Dybala-Argentina, Juventus Antoine Griezmann-France, Atletico Madrid Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Sweden, Manchester United Harry Kane-England, Tottenham Hotspur Robert Lewandowski-Poland, Bayern Munich Romelu Lukaku-Belgium, Manchester United Kylian Mbappe-France, Paris Saint-Germain Lionel Messi-Argentina, FC Barcelona Neymar-Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain Cristiano Ronaldo-Portugal, Real Madrid Alexis Sanchez-Chile, Arsenal Luis Suarez-Uruguay, Barcelona

IANS