Buffon was already part of two World 11s. He was the team's goalkeeper in 2006 and 2007. After a stellar 2016/2017 season with Juventus, which ended with a loss in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, the 39-year old Italian was awarded with another selection for this excellent team. He is the oldest player to receive this trophy.
A record number of 27,093 professional footballers from 71 countries participated in this unique global vote. They also honoured Bonucci with his first appearance in the World 11. He is the 55th player in World 11 history to receive this prize.
FIFPRO and FIFA changed the format of the poll. Previously it covered performances over a calendar year, but now it is aligned with the majority of competitions which run from August to June.
List of 55
Real Madrid set a new record as thirteen of its players received enough votes to be on the List of 55. The Spanish club was already the record holder with twelve selections in both 2014 and 2015. Real's Casemiro was one of the nine debutants on this list.
Other newcomers included Kylian M'bappe, Jan Oblak, Romelo Lukaku, Harry Kane and Samuel Umtiti. The French defender was in a close fight with Alex Sandro for the final spot among the defenders. Only 39 votes separated them.
Messi once again collected most votes: 22,229. Ramos came second with only 14 less. Marcelo, Ronaldo and Neymar completed the top 5. (note: defenders statistically had a bigger chance of being selected than other players, as voters were asked to select 4 defenders, 3 attackers, 3 midfielders and 1 goalkeeper).
How important is winning a World 11 award?
FIFPRO asked Lionel Messi, Leonardo Bonucci, Neymar Jr, Toni Kroos, Gianluigi Buffon and of course Cristiano Ronaldo to explain what winning a World 11 award means to them.