It all ends with eleven fantastic football players on stage receiving their FIFA FIFPro World XI award in January. The election of this unique team has already started four months earlier, involving tens of thousands of professional footballers worldwide.
The goal is clear and simple: FIFPro invites all professional footballers on the planet to pick their team, consisting of the eleven players who in their opinion have been the best in their position in the current year.
Voters must select 1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards. FIFPro only makes a distinction between the four lines, not between each position. For example, participants are allowed to select three central defenders and one right back, or three attacking midfielders, or three centre forwards. FIFPro simply asks for the best goalkeeper, 4 best defenders, 3 best midfielders and 3 best attackers.
Players can choose from all professional footballers worldwide: there is no shortlist attached to the form.
The players who receive the most votes in their line will be selected for the FIFA FIFPro World XI. The chosen players must have made at least 15 official appearances during the calendar year to be eligible for the World XI.
Any suggestion that either FIFPro or FIFA decides who is on the shortlist or in the World XI is completely untrue.
The election begins in September. At FIFPro's head office in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, there are piles of boxes with voting ballots in various languages: English, French and Spanish – the three official FIFPro languages – and also German, Japanese, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian and more.
FIFPro ships these forms – approximately 45,000 ballots – to all corners of the world: to Australia, Chile, Egypt, Finland, Japan, South Africa – 70 countries in total.
The professional footballers' associations that are FIFPro members or candidate members are asked to distribute the forms among all professional football players in their countries. Union representatives will be visiting the clubs with a voting ballot for each player. As some countries are simply too vast for a personal visit, players there will receive their ballots via mail.
In October, the first ballot forms are returned to FIFPro's head office. From that moment on, FIFPro staff will be counting the tens of thousands of votes. It is a fun and interesting task, although it is also a tiring job to count each vte manually. There are no computers used in this procedure. Only hard working people.
At the end of November, FIFPro and FIFA together announce the 55-player shortlist, consisting of 5 goalkeepers, 20 defenders, 15 midfielders and 15 forwards who are the major candidates for their position in the FIFA FIFPro World XI.
In December, all ballots that have been returned will have been counted. The FIFPro staff composes the new FIFA FIFPro World XI: the goalkeeper with the most votes will be picked, the same goes for the four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.
The World XI
Monday 12 January 2015 will be show time in Zürich, Switzerland. The FIFA Ballon d'Or is the ideal setting for revealing this special team: the FIFA FIFPro World XI. One by one the eleven best footballers in the world appear on stage to collect their award. A unique moment in football history, as this is the only team picked by all professional footballers worldwide: for the players by the players.
The 2013 FIFA FIFPro World XI
- Published: 16 December 2013