Man City Club World Cup

Which Manchester City stars could make the World 11?


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Man City Club World Cup
  • Could Manchester City stars dominate the 2023 Men's World 11?

  • The World 11 is voted for by professional footballers from around the globe

  • World 11 finalists to be announced on Wednesday 3 January 2024; winners to be revealed on Monday 15 January 2024

Champions of England, champions of Europe and now champions of the world. Given Manchester City conquered all before them in domestic and continental competitions, the 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 has the potential to be laden with City stars.

The decision of who makes the team of the year, though, rests with the players themselves. Professional footballers from around the world vote to decide the World 11 – the only global football award decided exclusively by the players.

The 23 finalists for the Men’s World 11 will be announced on Wednesday 3 January; the 11 winners will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards on Monday 15 January.

FIFPRO looks at six Man City players who could be named in the Men’s World 11, which recognises the best players during the period 19 December 2022 to 20 August 2023 inclusive.

World 11: By the players, for the players

Ruben Dias

Age: 26
Position: Defender
Previous World 11 appearances: 1

An ever-reliable presence at the back, Ruben Dias was at the heart of Manchester City’s defence during their treble-winning season. Though Dias brings calmness to the backline with his defensive skills, he is equally comfortable on the ball. Indeed, Dias made 902 passes in the 2022/23 Champions League campaign, putting the centre-back second in the overall passing charts.

Dias is often the protagonist of turnovers for City with his ability to intercept the ball and find a progressive pass.

What the manager said

Guardiola on Dias: “Ruben has the ability to see and solve problems for many things. His character is so important. His leadership is huge. For training he arrives two hours before, leaves two hours after. He lives 24 hours for his profession.”

John Stones

Age: 29
Position: Defender
Previous World 11 appearances: 0

John Stones enjoyed a transformative year in 2023, in which he made a vital contribution to City’s treble-winning side. Stones started the year as a ball-playing centre-back and showed his footballing intelligence by enjoying starring roles at full-back and even midfield as the season progressed.  

As the 2022/23 campaign reached the business-end, Stones was able to maraud into midfield and during the Champions League final against Inter Milan, the Englishman completed all seven of his dribble attempts – a feat only ever matched by Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

What the manager said

Guardiola on Stones: “He is an incredible player. Stones has the quality to pass the ball and he can arrive into the attacking positions to control the play.”

Kevin De Bruyne

Age: 32
Position: Midfield
Previous World 11 appearances: 3

Kevin De Bruyne is no stranger to the World 11 having been voted into the team of the year by his fellow pros in 2020, 2021 and 2022. De Bruyne staked his claim of being selected for a fourth successive year after topping the 2022/23 assists charts in the Premier League (16) and Champions League (7) and reaching 100 assists quicker than anyone in Premier League history.

De Bruyne has been widely regarded as one of the world’s best players in recent years and it could be argued 2023 was his finest yet: the Belgian finally got his hands on a European trophy that had eluded his grasp for so long.

What the manager said

Guardiola on De Bruyne: “When he is running at the highest speed possible, he has the ability to see the pass… it’s difficult to find that. Normally, the higher you go, it’s more difficult for the opponent, in certain moments. He has the ability to see it and the reason he’s reached 100 assists quicker than anyone in Premier League history is because he’s quite remarkable.”


Age: 27
Position: Midfield
Previous World 11 appearances: 0

Is Rodri the scorer of Manchester City’s most iconic goal to date? His winner in the final against Inter Milan ensured City secured their first Champions League trophy. In many ways it felt fitting that Rodri should be the one to grab the winner: no-one played more minutes for the Blues during their treble-winning season than the Spaniard.

Relentless in the centre of the pitch, Rodri’s 4,068 passes across all competitions was the most of any Premier League player in the 2022/23 campaign and the 27-year-old also led the way in ball-recoveries in last season's Champions League.

What the manager said

Guardiola on Rodri: "Right now he's the best [midfielder in Europe]. Hopefully he can be better and improve but he's an extraordinary holding midfielder. We were lucky the club signed this player and, when he arrived, he wasn't this type of player. Now, he's one of the captains. He's a top-class player."

Bernardo Silva

Age: 29
Position: Midfield
Previous World 11 appearances: 0

Bernardo Silva demonstrated his ability to rise to the big occasions during his side’s 2022/23 campaign, most notably scoring a brace in his side’s 4-0 rout of Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.

City relied heavily on Silva’s presence in 2023: the Portuguese winger was second only to Rodri in appearances. While recognised for his skill on the ball and dribbling ability, Silva is also known for his versatility having been deployed in central midfield, on the wing, and even full-back when needed.

What the manager said

Guardiola on Silva: “He can play everywhere because he understands the game perfectly and every action with and without the ball. He’s a player who you say is going to play in that position and you don’t have to say anything else. I’ve been lucky to coach some very good players for Barca and Bayern. He’s one of the best players I ever trained in my life, ever, he’s something special as a football player."

Erling Haaland

Age: 23
Position: Forward
Previous World 11 appearances: 2

Will Erling Haaland make it three successive World 11 appearances? His cumulative total of 52 goals in all competitions during the 2022/23 campaign represented the biggest haul ever by a Premier League player.

The scoring sensation will have undoubtedly caught the attention of his fellow professionals after netting a record 36 goals in his debut Premier League season. And the Norwegian giant also showed his clinical edge on the continental stage by topping the 2022/23 Champions League scoring charts with 12 goals.

What the manager said

Guardiola on Haaland: “It is unbelievable how many goals he has scored - so many important goals to help us win games. He is a unique person, as a player but also the person is special. One day maybe he will break his record or someone else will, but they will have to score a lot of goals.”