• The lack of a single Manchester City player and the inclusion of so many Real Madrid players makes it clear that the FIFPro World XI, which is voted on by players, is a popularity contest and not a meritocracy.
By 90Min
September 24, 2019

One of the biggest prizes around is to earn a spot in FIFA's World XI. The team is supposed to be full of the best players in the world, but this year's lineup looks more like a joke.

Don't get it twisted, there are several players in the XI who absolutely deserve their spot there, but there are plenty who do not, and countless players around the world will be furious to have been omitted.

When you look at the team, one of the biggest surprises is that there is not a single Manchester City player in the squad. Not one player from arguably the strongest side in Europe made it in to the team. 


No Sergio Aguero. No Raheem Sterling. No Bernardo Silva. No Aymeric Laporte. They were four of the world's top performers last season, but they don't get any credit here. They don't all need to be in the squad, but how can none of them make it in?

Yes, getting in as an attacker is incredibly hard. Cristiano RonaldoLionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe all deserve their spot too (even if you could argue that Sterling deserves it more), but any other area on the pitch is fair game.

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Take central midfield for example. Frenkie de Jong was admittedly great, Eden Hazard somehow fits in there despite not being a center midfielder, and they are joined by Luka Modric. Last season, Modric managed four goals and eight assists for one of the most disappointing Real Madrid sides in recent memory. Certainly doesn't seem that great.

Does Silva not deserve his place? He racked up 13 goals and 14 assists for an electric City side and established himself as one of the world's finest talents. He was just as, if not more, influential than Ronaldo on Portugal's Nations League-winning side. You know, the kind of player who should be part of a World XI.

In defense, Virgil van Dijk absolutely deserves to be there. Matthijs de Ligt is a bit of a questionable one even with his rise at Ajax, but then things get even more ridiculous.

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Sergio Ramos makes the cut despite also being part of that poor Real side, but it is the inclusion of Marcelo which raises the most questions. 

Last season, Marcelo wasn't even the best left back in Madrid, let alone in the world.

How is Laporte not taking one of those spots? The Frenchman was amongst the best defenders in the world last season. He made City into the animal that took the Premier League by storm. Laporte can even play as a left back, so surely he could have slotted in instead of Marcelo and nobody would have complained.

It's not even just City players. Trent Alexander-Arnold deserved a spot. Andrew Robertson was unfathomably better than Marcelo last season. Jordi Alba merited inclusion ahead of the Real Madrid man. The list goes on.

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By including some of the underperforming players, this award ceremony has lost almost all of its credibility. It almost seems to be a popularity contest, rather than recogniszing players for actually being the best in their respective positions. You wonder how much football the 23,000 players across 68 countries who voted actually watch.

Fingers crossed that the 2020 lineup makes more sense.

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