Barcelona and Real Madrid continued their dominance, delivering five players each. However, Paul Pogba was very close to claiming a trophy at the expense of Real's Toni Kroos. Only two votes separated the French midfielder from his German colleague. It was the closest call in the history of the World 11.
Pogba was beaten on the last day of the election, when he had to surrender his slim lead over Kroos after the votes of the last four teams were counted: Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Dutch side Fortuna Sittard and Real Madrid, Kroos’ team.
In total, 26,465 professional footballers from 69 countries participated in this unique player vote.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were both honoured with their tenth consecutive World 11 award.
The List of 55
Some household names did not earn enough votes to make the List of 55 most voted players. John Terry and Iker Casillas, who both won five World 11 awards, disappeared from the list. So did Wayne Rooney and Andrea Pirlo, who had been on the List of 55 ever since the very first election in 2005. This left Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluigi Buffon as the only players to appear on every List of 55.
The nine debutants on this list included, among others, Leonardo Bonucci, Kevin De Bruyne, Antoine Griezmann and N’Golo Kante.
Special World 11 road movie
Each year, representatives of up to 70 player unions affiliated to FIFPRO support this unique vote. They are the ones who enable us to listen to the voice of the players. With a special video, shot in Brazil, Egypt, Iceland, India and the Netherlands, FIFPRO shows you how these men and women collect the player votes.