27th November 2012
FIFPro and FIFA present the fifteen midfielders who have been voted on the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI of 2012. Three of them will be presented during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala, to be held on Monday 7 January 2013. In other words, based on all the votes from the professional football players worldwide, these footballers have been elected as the world's best midfielders for their performances in 2012.
The fifteen midfielders who have received the most votes from all the professional football players in the world are (in alphabetical order):
- Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid)
- Sergio Busquets (Spain, Barcelona)
- Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Barcelona)
- Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool)
- Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea)
- Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona)
- Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea)
- Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid)
- Mesut Ozil (Germany, Real Madrid)
- Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus)
- Franck Ribery (France, Bayern Munich)
- David Silva (Spain, Manchester City)
- Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich)
- Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast, Manchester City)
- Xavi Hernandez (Spain, Barcelona)
The past three years, the FIFA FIFPro World XI midfield was dominated by two Spanish players: Andres Iniesta and Xavi. Iniesta made the World XI three times in a row, Xavi collected four successive awards. Will the Barcelona and the Spanish national team duo continue their presence in the FIFA FIFPro World XI?
This year, six Spanish players are mentioned on the shortlist. Iniesta and Xavi are joined by last year's winner Xabi Alonso, and Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva.
On the shortlist, there are three more players who have already won a World XI Award: Frank Lampard (2005), Andrea Pirlo (2006) and Steven Gerrard (2007, 2008, 2009). Of all the nominated midfielders, only Lampard and Pirlo have been voted on the shortlist in all previous seven World XI campaigns.
This year, there is only one midfielder who is making his debut on the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI: Eden Hazard. In May, the 21-year Belgian international was voted Best Player in the French Ligue 1 for the second consecutive year, after another splendid season at Lille. Two months later, the attacking midfielder left the French side and signed a contract at Chelsea, where he has quickly established himself in the line-up of last season's Champions League winners.
The 2011 FIFA FIFPro World XI consisted of the following players: Iker Casillas, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Nemanja Vidic, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.