Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have once again been shortlisted for the 2023 FIFA FIFPRO World 11.
And, after winning pretty much every trophy in sight over the last 12 months, it’s Manchester City stars who dominate the 23-man shortlist.
Eight of Pep Guardiola’s squad have made the cut, including striker Erling Haaland, who scored 44 goals across all competitions for his club in 2023.
He is joined by team-mates Ederson, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva.
That means there’s no place on the shortlist for Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, scorer of 32 goals in the last calendar year, or Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
However, Harry Kane, who has found the back of the net 25 times for Bayern Munich since his summer move from Tottenham, has made the grade.
He is one of four England internationals to get nominated, alongside Walker, Stones and Jude Bellingham, who has shone since joining Real Madrid.
Messi and Ronaldo continue to set the standard
The nominations for Messi and Ronaldo come despite neither player spending the latter half of 2023 playing in Europe.
The pair, considered by many to be the greatest footballers of all time, now play in the United States and Saudi Arabia respectively.
Messi, 36, transferred to the MLS to join Inter Miami after his contract at Paris St-Germain expired, while Ronaldo swapped Manchester United for Al-Nassr in late December 2022.
That hasn’t stopped either making the shortlist, though, with Argentina’s World Cup winner Messi now having made the World 11 on 16 successive occasions since his debut in 2007, while Ronaldo has been selected 15 times.
The final XI will be named at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on January 15, where the Women’s World 11 will also be revealed.
The shortlist for that includes a number of the England Lionesses side who lost the World Cup final to Spain, including goalkeeper Mary Earps.
She is joined by international team-mates Lauren James, Keira Walsh, Alessia Russo, Georgia Stanway, Alex Greenwood, Ella Toone and Lucy Bronze.
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