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FIFA have announced the nominees for their 2018 World XI and they are… interesting

Yerry Mina rubbing shoulders with the world's elite...

Every year 55 players are nominated for a place in FIFA’s World XI.

For 2018, approximately 25,000 professional footballers have cast their votes.

Even those who miss out on the team (announced at the FIFA ‘The Best’ ceremony on 24th London) should feel proud to have been recognised by their peers.

So who has made the cut?

GOALKEEPERS

The wall… (for Man United)

Getty - Contributor
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The wall… (for Man United)

NOMINEES:

  • Gianluigi Buffon
  • Marc-Andre ter Stegen
  • Thibaut Courtois
  • David De Gea
  • Keylor Navas

The first thing to note is that the players have clearly placed less emphasis on the World Cup than those determined the nominees for FIFA’s ‘Best Goalkeeper’ award.

Kasper Schmeichel and Hugo Lloris made the cut for the top gong but failed to make the top five for the World XI.

It’s good to see De Gea and Ter Stegen acknowledged for their excellent domestic campaigns last season.

You can’t help but feel there is a hint of sentimentality about Buffon’s popularity but few would begrudge his inclusion.

Jan Oblak is probably the most obvious omission — Atletico Madrid’s keeper had the summer off after Slovenia failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Our pick? De Gea

DEFENDERS

Never sat well with us that he’s No12

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Never sat well with us that he’s No12

NOMINEES:

  • Jordi Alba
  • Gerard Pique
  • Samuel Umtiti
  • Dani Carvajal
  • Marcelo
  • Sergio Ramos
  • Raphael Varane
  • Diego Godin
  • Dani Alves
  • Virgil van Dijk
  • Mats Hummels
  • Josh Kimmich
  • Dejan Lovren
  • Benjamin Pavard
  • Thiago Silva
  • Kieran Trippier
  • Sime Vrsaljko
  • Kyle Walker
  • Giorgio Chiellini
  • Yerry Mina

Mina’s inclusion is interesting.

The Colombian centre-back featured in just six games for Barcelona last season and is yet to make his debut for Everton since his summer transfer.

His headed goals in Russia seem to have done wonders for his reputation.

The same could be said for Trippier and Pavard, though both have played considerably more club games than Mina in recent times.

A somewhat bizarre career so far

Getty - Contributor
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A somewhat bizarre career so far

Nobody will be happier than Dejan Lovren to see his own name on the list.

The Croatian defender finished on the losing side in both the Champions League and World Cup finals.

Our picks? Kimmich, Varane, Godin, Marcelo

MIDFIELDERS

Hands up if you ruined a hundred thousand Dream Teams by getting injured

PA:Empics Sport
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Hands up if you ruined a hundred thousand Dream Teams by getting injured

NOMINEES:

  • Sergio Busquets
  • Casemiro
  • Philippe Coutinho
  • Kevin De Bruyne
  • Eden Hazard
  • Andres Iniesta
  • Isco
  • N’Golo Kante
  • Toni Kroos
  • Nemanja Matic
  • Luka Modric
  • Paul Pogba
  • Ivan Rakitic
  • David Silva
  • Arturo Vidal

Nothing too controversial here we don’t think.

Danish Spurs fans may believe Christian Eriksen deserved a few more votes and Fernandinho could have easily joined his Man City team-mates.

Hazard is one of those players who is categorised as both a midfielder and a forward, depending on the situation.

Our picks? Kante, De Bruyne, Modric

FORWARDS

Enough said

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Enough said

NOMINEES:

  • Karim Benzema
  • Edinson Cavani
  • Paulo Dybala
  • Antoine Griezmann
  • Harry Kane
  • Robert Lewandowski
  • Romelu Lukaku
  • Mario Mandzukic
  • Sadio Mane
  • Kylian Mbappe
  • Lionel Messi
  • Neymar
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Mohamed Salah
  • Luis Suarez

Even though he broke English hearts in Russia, we’re please for Mandzukic.

The 32-year-old put in a tremendous shift for Juventus last season and spearheaded Croatia’s run to the World Cup final.

Roberto Firmino is the only one of Liverpool’s front three to miss out (perhaps unfairly?) with Sergio Aguero also notable in his absence.

Gareth Bale maybe?

Our picks? Salah, Ronaldo, Messi


NEXT: FIFA’s ‘The Best’ finalists are an absolute joke and the organisers should feel embarrassed