By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) – FIFA on Monday announced 55 nominees to come up with a team of 11 players to be named the squad of the year.
Nearly 25,000 professional footballers from about 65 different countries voted for 55 players to select one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards for the 2018 World XI, FIFA said.
Among the 55 players, there are 26 nominees from Spain's La Liga — 12 players from Barcelona, 11 players from Real Madrid and 3 players from Atletico Madrid.
Forty-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is the oldest nominee on the list.
The 55-player shortlist is as follows (home country/club):
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/Paris Saint-Germain), 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/VfB Stuttgart), Gerard Pique (Spain/Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain), Kieran Trippier (England/Tottenham Hotspur), Samuel Umtiti (France/Barcelona), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool), Raphael Varane (France/Real Madrid), Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia/Internazionale/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/Paris Saint-Germain), 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/Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain), Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona).
The final FIFA FIFPro World XI will be announced at a ceremony in London on Monday, September 24.