FIFA FIFPRO Men's World XI: 4 Real Madrid Players make the team; Alisson and Van Dijk represent the Premier League
There was plenty to question about the FIFA FIFPRO Men's World XI, but chiefly it was the inclusion of four Real Madrid players who won nothing all season and by popular opinion had a poor season. Regardless, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric, and Eden Hazard all made the World XI. Of course, it was Eden Hazard's contributions at Chelsea that won him the accolade, but the other three were surprise inclusions.
Recognised by FIFA and FIFPRO, the World XI recognises players for their performances spanning from July 2018 to July 2019. The winners are decided by a process of voting by professional men's players from across the world.
It was a long list of 55 names that was boiled down to eleven, so obviously, some big names would be missed out. Among the most prominent performers from last season who didn't make the cut were two of the Premier League's joint-top scorers and winners of the Champions League Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. Even Bernardo Silva was a notable missing name after having played such a crucial role in a domestic treble-winning season for Manchester City.
Defence: Alisson Becker, Marcelo, Matthijs De Ligt, Virgil Van Dijk, and Sergio Ramos
No one's arguing with two of Europe's best in Alisson and van Dijk being included in this team. They had an excellent season with Liverpool and have been showered with individual awards for keeping one of the tightest defences in the world en route to their European victory. De Ligt making the cut was also acceptable as he had a breakout season with Ajax and at just 19 years of age captained them to a domestic double and took them to within minutes of the Champions League final.
The inclusions of Sergio Ramos and Marcelo in this list must be the other players looking at their attributes and applauding them as players rather than basing their vote on performances across last season.
Midfield: Eden Hazard, Frenkie De Jong, Luka Modric, and Kylian Mbappe
Imagine the horrors that wing duo of Hazard and Mbappe would inflict on any defence. Those two were instrumental in PSG and Chelsea's fortunes last season. Hazard led Chelsea to a Europa League title and to third place in the league while finishing the season as Chelsea's top scorer and earning a move to Real Madrid.
Mbappe was also the top goalscorer for PSG last season as they walked their way to a league title and the domestic cup. He was also Ligue 1 top scorer and was named the player fo the season in France.
Frenkie de Jong, much like his compatriot de Ligt had a superb season playing a lynchpin in Ajax's midfield. He was so influential in Ajax's run for the title that he was named player of the season in the Eredivisie.
Forwards: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Barcelona are now coming to terms with their dependence on their talismanic forward as he's only just coming back from an injury to join the team. Last season, though, Messi obliterated opponents while scoring 36 goals and racking up 13 assists. The Best FIFA Men's Player was instrumental to all things that Barcelona did well last season including reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League and the finals of the Copa Del Rey.
His strike partner Cristiano Ronaldo was named the Most Valuable Player in Italy as he finished top scorer for Juventus as they went on to win the Italian League title. He was also top scorer in the Nations League Finals as Portugal went on to win the first ever edition of the tournament.