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Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe made the final 55 players in the World XI – but some Portuguese footballers were left disappointed.

Many of the more than 1,100 votes from Portugal had voted for Nani, the national-team winger who now plays at Fenerbahce in Turkey.

The former Manchester United player last made the list of 55 players in 2011. Portuguese fans may have to wait until up-and-coming players such as Rúben Neves (FC Porto, 18 years), Gonçalo Guedes (Benfica, 18) and Bernardo Silva (AS Monaco, 21) develop into stars.

The Portuguese professional footballers’ union SJPF used the last few weeks to visit almost all of the country’s clubs and collect votes.

Portugal is far from one of Europe’s most populated countries, but Portuguese club teams always find a way to compete at the highest international level.

Since the turn of the century, three different clubs reached a European club final (Porto, Benfica, Sporting Braga), winning two cups, while the national team managed to make the Euro 2004 final.

Nevertheless, Cristiano Ronaldo is still the only Portuguese-born player who has been selected for the World XI, since the introduction of this virtual team in 2005.

The Real Madrid star shares the record for most appearances with Lionel Messi, eight.

Pictured above are Braga's striker Rui Fonte and FC Porto's goalkeeper and captain Helton. Below are players voting at Portuguese clubs Sporting Braga, Guimarães, União da Madeira (a team run by Ronaldo's brother Hugo Aveiro and sponsored by the CR7 Museum), Nacional, AC Viseu and Portimonense.

2015 Portugal 640

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