World XI News
La Liga dominates the FIFA FIFPro World XI
Monday 07 January
La Liga dominates the FIFA FIFPro World XI of 2012. The election of the best team in the world for 2012 provided a unique result. According to all the professional footballers in the world the members of the FIFA FIFPro World XI all play in Spain. It is the first occurrence that all the players play their football in the same country.
On Monday evening FIFA and FIFPro, the union for all professional footballers in the world, presented the FIFA FIFPro World XI of 2012, a team composed on the basis of an election among all professional footballers world-wide.
Five players from Barcelona, five players from Real Madrid and one player from Atlético Madrid appeared on stage in the Kongresshaus Zurich in Switzerland during the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala:
All eleven players received their FIFA FIFPro World XI Award from Andriy Shevchenko, winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2004 and member of the World XI of 2005 (the first of the now eight World XI’s).
Two players make their debut in the FIFA FIFPro World XI: Marcelo and Radamel Falcao. Marcelo has proved himself at Real Madrid, where he has impressed as an attacking left-sided wingback. Falcao made an impression as a goal scorer with Atlético, which he helped to win two prizes with his many goals: the Europa League and the European Super Cup. Falcao is the first Columbian player to be elected in the World XI. Marcelo and Falcao have replaced Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic, who were members of the World XI last year.
It seems that in recent years five players have developed into the untouchables of the FIFA FIFPro World XI: goalkeeper Casillas, the midfielders Xavi and Iniesta and the attackers Messi and Ronaldo again received this year the vast majority of the votes and left their competitors far behind them. This group of five were all elected in each of the last four years.
Messi and Ronaldo are now the record holders with six World XI Awards, Casillas and Xavi follow with five election successes and Iniesta has now been elected on four occasions.
Lionel Messi received the most votes of all players this year. Almost 75 percent of professional footballers voted for the Argentinian attacker from Barcelona (74.6%). Cristiano Ronaldo and Andrés Iniesta follow with respectively 64.9% and 64.5%.
Four players just missed the boat and landed this year in the least enjoyable position in the election: just below the line. Joe Hart (England, Manchester City) finished second among the goalkeepers, Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid) was fifth under the defenders, Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast, Manchester City) was fourth with the midfielders and Robin van Persie (Netherlands, Manchester United) settled into fourth place among the attackers.