- 2022 FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 recognises best men’s players in current game
- World 11 is the only global football award decided exclusively by players
- Seasoned veterans such as Lionel Messi and Luka Modric made their World 11 return, but new faces graced line-up for first time
On a night in which Lionel Messi made history with a record 16th successive appearance, five players were named in the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 for the very first time.
The only global award decided exclusively by players, the World 11 is an all-star team consisting of the best footballers in the current game for the period 8 August 2021 to 18 December 2022.
We round up the 2022 Men’s World 11 debutants, whose on-pitch exploits earned them the vote of their fellow professionals to be in the team of the year.
Club: Real Madrid
No goalkeeper made more saves or clean sheets in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League season than Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian stopper played a pivotal role in helping Los Blancos to the Champions League title and was chosen as Player of the Match in the final against Liverpool.
By being named in the World 11 by fellow professionals, Courtois joins an elite list of goalkeepers such as Iker Casillas, Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon in achieving the feat.
Club: Manchester City/Bayern Munich
Currently on loan at Bayern Munich, Joao Cancelo played one of the starring roles in Manchester City’s 2021/22 Premier League-winning side. As well as topping the Blues’ leaderboard for interceptions and tackles, Cancelo was also second for assists during the 2021/22 campaign for City – and his reliable presence at the back meant he was the outfield player who racked up the most league minutes for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Nobody had more touches or made more passes in last season’s Premier League campaign than Cancelo, illustrating his sheer importance when playing out from the back.
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Inspiring performances for club and country meant Achraf Hakimi was given the seal of approval by fellow professionals who voted him into the World 11 for the first time. Hakimi picked up a Ligue 1 winners medal with Paris Saint-Germain and also enjoyed a memorable 2022 with Morocco.
The beginning of the calendar year saw Hakimi voted into the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament before the right-back played a pivotal role in helping Morocco become the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals in December 2022. Hakimi is the first African player to be named in the World 11 since Didier Drogba in 2007.
Club: Real Madrid/Manchester United
Not since 2019 had there been an outfield Brazilian player in the World 11 until Casemiro was voted into the 2022 side. An ever-dependable presence with his relentless determination, Casemiro was top of the list for ball recoveries during the 2021/22 Champions League season, helping Real Madrid to yet another European crown.
Since leaving Los Blancos, Casemiro has considerably elevated the Manchester United midfield with his steely aura and everlasting hunger for winning interceptions, tackles, and breaking up play.
Club: Real Madrid
An integral member of Real Madrid’s La Liga and UEFA Champions League-winning team in the 2021/22 campaign, Karim Benzema topped the individual scoring charts of both competitions. He netted an impressive 15 goals in 12 Champions League matches, not to mention bagging 27 La Liga goals in 31 games during the 2021/22 season.
The Frenchman also found the net for his country in the semi-finals and final of the UEFA Nations League as France won the tournament for the first time.