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FIFPro and FIFA present the fifteen midfielders who have been voted on the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI of 2012. Three of them will be presented  during the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala, to be held on Monday 7 January 2013.


In other words, based on all votes of the professional footballers in the world, these footballers have been elected as the world’s best midfielders for their performances in 2012.


The fifteen midfielders who have received the most votes from all the professional football players in the world are (in alphabetical order):

  • Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid)
  • Sergio Busquets (Spain, Barcelona)
  • Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Barcelona)
  • Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool)
  • Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea)
  • Andrés Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona)
  • Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea)
  • Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid)
  • Mesut Özil (Germany, Real Madrid)
  • Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus)
  • Franck Ribéry (France, Bayern Munich)
  • David Silva (Spain, Manchester City)
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich)
  • Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast, Manchester City)
  • Xavi (Spain, Barcelona)


The past three years, the midfield of the FIFA FIFPro World XI was dominated by two Spanish players: Andrés Iniesta and Xavi. Iniesta made the World XI three times in a row, Xavi already collected four successive awards. Will the duo from Barcelona and the Spanish national team continue their presence in the FIFA FIFPro World XI?


This year, six Spanish players are mentioned on the shortlist. Iniesta and Xavi are joined by Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas, David Silva and last year’s winner Xabi Alonso.


On the shortlist, there are three more players who have won a World XI Award: Frank Lampard (2005), Andrea Pirlo (2006) and Steven Gerrard (2007, 2008, 2009. Of all the nominated midfielders, only Lampard and Pirlo have been voted on the shortlist in all previous seven World XI campaigns.


This year, there is only one midfielder who is making his debut on the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI: Eden Hazard. In May, the 21-year Belgian international was voted Best Player in the French Ligue 1 for the second consecutive year, after another splendid season at Lille. Two months later, the attacking midfielder left the French side and signed a contract at Chelsea, where he has quickly established himself in the line-up of last season’s Champions League winners.



The 2011 FIFA FIFPro World XI consisted of the following players: Iker Casillas, Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Nemanja Vidic, Xabi Alonso, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.


FIFPro is organising the election of the World XI for the eighth successive year. Since 2009, the world-wide trade union for professional football players has organised this election in close collaboration with FIFA. This autumn, FIFPro sent out 45,000 voting ballots to all affiliated players unions, who in turn distributed the forms among the players.


This year, FIFA and FIFPro will be announcing the 55 nominated players on the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI in four stages.

  1. 1. On Monday 19 November: the 5 nominated keepers
  2. 2. On Thursday 22 November: the 20 nominated defenders
  3. 3. On Monday 26 November: the 15 nominated mid-fielders
  4. 4. On Thursday 29 November: the 15 nominated attackers

All nominations will be announced at 3.00 pm European time by FIFA and FIFPro.


World XI players' history