FIFPro and FIFA present the twenty defenders who have been nominated on the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI of 2012.
Four of them will be presented during the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala, to be held on Monday 7 January 2013. In other words, their fellow professional footballers are of the opinion that these four footballers may call themselves the best defenders in the world for their performances in 2012.
The twenty defenders who have received the most votes from all the professional football players in the world are (in alphabetical order):
- Jordi Alba (Spain and Barcelona)
- Gareth Bale (Wales and Tottenham Hotspur)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Italy and Juventus)
- Ashley Cole (England and Chelsea)
- Dani Alves (Brazil and Barcelona)
- David Luiz (Brazil and Chelsea)
- Patrice Evra (France and Manchester United)
- Rio Ferdinand (England and Manchester United)
- Mats Hummels (Germany and Borussia Dortmund)
- Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia and Chelsea)
- Vincent Kompany (Belgium and Manchester City)
- Philipp Lahm (Germany and Bayern Munich)
- Marcelo (Brazil and Real Madrid)
- Javier Mascherano (Argentina and Barcelona)
- Pepe (Portugal and Real Madrid)
- Gerard Piqué (Spain and Barcelona),
- Carles Puyol (Spain and Barcelona)
- Sergio Ramos (Spain and Real Madrid)
- John Terry (England and Chelsea)
- Thiago Silva (Brazil and Paris St-Germain)
Jordi Alba, Mats Hummels and Branislav Ivanovic are making their debut on the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI. Alba impressed many people with his display in the Spanish national team during their successful title defence in Poland and Ukraine, last summer. In combination with his stellar play at Valencia, the left wingback earned himself a transfer to Barcelona, where he has immediately conquered a place in the line up.
Hummels is probably the main man in the back line of Borussia Dortmund, with which he managed to retain the Bundesliga title they won in 2011. The 23-year old central defender also played for the national team of Germany that reached the semifinal at Euro 2012.
Ivanovic has proven himself at Chelsea as a defender with scoring ability. The captain of the Serbian national team can play both as a right full back and as a central defender. This year, he captured the Champions League title with Chelsea, although he had to miss the final due to a suspension.
Ashley Cole, Carles Puyol, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry are shortlist veterans. All four players have made the shortlist of the World XI each year since the introduction of the World XI in 2005.
Puyol and Terry received multiple World XI Awards, with the Barcelona captain collecting this prize in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and the Chelsea captain winning five in a row from 2005 until 2009. Ferdinand received one award, in 2008. On the other hand, Cole has never made the World XI despite seven previous nominations on the shortlist.
The 2011 FIFA FIFPro World XI consisted of the following players: Iker Casillas, Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Nemanja Vidic, Xabi Alonso, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
FIFPro is organising the election of the World XI for the eighth successive year. Since 2009, the world-wide trade union for professional football players has organised this election in close collaboration with FIFA. This autumn, FIFPro sent out 45,000 voting ballots to all affiliated players unions, who in turn distributed the forms among the players.
This year, FIFA and FIFPro will be announcing the 55 nominated players on the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI in four stages.
- On Monday 19 November: the 5 nominated keepers
- On Thursday 22 November: the 20 nominated defenders
- On Monday 26 November: the 15 nominated mid-fielders
- On Thursday 29 November: the 15 nominated attackers
All nominations will be announced at 3.00 pm European time by FIFA and FIFPro.
- Published: 22 November 2012