France, Spain dominate FIFPro World XI award nominations

Mohamed Salah

According to the rules, players are to vote one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards based on the players' performances between 3 July 2017 and 15 July 2018 inclusive.

Almost 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.

FIFPro and its affiliated player associations asked professional footballers to pick a team from the best players in world football last season.

Forty-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is the oldest nominee on the list.

There is also no room for Bale, despite the Real Madrid forward scoring 21 goals in all competitions last season, including two in the Champions League final.

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Pogba, who has been strongly linked with an exit from Manchester United, features on a star-studded list of midfielders.

UEFA Champions League title holders Real Madrid are the most represented club with 11 players. Andres Iniesta, who left Barcelona for Japan's Vissel Kobe, is on the list for the 12th year in a row.

Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard are among the names included in the 15-man midfield shortlist for a spot in FIFPro's World XI.

AC Milan's Leonardo Bonucci did not make the final list of 20 defenders, which included eight debutants, including Yerry Mina, Virgil van Dijk, Joshua Kimmich, Benjamin Pavard, Dejan Lovren and Kieran Trippier.

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, PSG, Italy) Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid, Belgium), David De Gea (Man Utd, Spain), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid, Costa Rica), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona, Germany).

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