FIFPro has included Cristiano Ronaldo in the list of 26 nominees for the 2022 World XI, alongside Benzema, Haaland, Lewandowski, Mbappé, Messi, and Neymar in the forward position.
The list also includes three goalkeepers, eight defenders, and eight midfielders. FIFPro will announce the 11-player World XI at the annual FIFA awards ceremony on February 27 in Paris.
Ronaldo ended the 2021-2022 season with 24 goals for Man Utd but won no titles. The second half of 2022 was a personal crisis for the striker. In the first 16 matches of the 2022-2023 season, he only scored three goals for Man Utd.
After publicly criticizing the club and manager Ten Hag, he had to accept contract termination. Ronaldo’s crisis continued into the 2022 World Cup, where he scored only one goal in five matches, and Portugal was eliminated in the quarterfinals. In early 2023, Ronaldo moved to Saudi Arabia to play for Al Nassr.
Messi, Mbappe, Benzema, and Neymar are also noticed in Fifpro 2022 shortlist for the best XI in the world.
Read more: Messi vs Ronaldo – Who is the best in modern football?
Meanwhile, despite playing better than Ronaldo throughout the year, Brazilian forward Vinicius was not noticed by FIFPro. The 22-year-old star scored 22 goals in the 2021-2022 season, helping Real Madrid win both La Liga and the Champions League.
In the Champions League final, he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Liverpool. Vinicius also had a better performance than Ronaldo in the first half of the 2022-2023 season, scoring 16 goals in 33 matches for Real Madrid.
While Vinicius is absent, four other Brazilian players are nominated, including Alisson Becker, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, and Neymar. Brazil is also the country with the most nominated players.
The new World Cup champion, Argentina, contributes three players, including Emiliano Martinez, Enzo Fernandez, and Lionel Messi. France also has three players, including Theo Hernandez, Benzema, and Mbappe.
Previously, FIFA announced the nominees for The Best awards (Messi, Mbappe, Neymar), Best Goalkeeper (Martinez, Courtois, Bounou), and Best Coach (Scaloni, Ancelotti, Guardiola).
26 candidates for the 2022 World XI:
Goalkeeper: Martínez, Courtouis, Alisson
Defenders: Cancelo, Davies, Van Dijk, Gvardiol, Achraf Hakimi, Theo Hernández, Rüdiger, Thiago Silva
Midfielders: Bellingham, Casemiro, De Bruyne, Enzo, Gavi, Modric, Pedri, Valverde
Forwards: Benzema, Haaland, Lewandowski, Mbappe, Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo
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