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The footballer who is currently enjoying the attention of virtually every footballer lover, put together his FIFA FIFPro World XI: Cristiano Ronaldo. Today, Thursday 21 November, FIFPro and the Spanish players union AFE were guests of the Portuguese world star and his team mates at Real Madrid.


On Thursday, the smile on Ronaldo’s face spoke volumes, as he shook the hands of both AFE President Luis Rubiales and FIFPro World XI Director Tijs Tummers. The 28-year-old striker was in a great mood because his four goals had made a significant contribution to the qualification of Portugal for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Last Friday and last Tuesday, Ronaldo demonstrated in an impressive way why he is one of the all-time best players. And he also brought his tally of goals in his professional career to 401, of which 66 have been scored in 2013.  


Friendly and cooperative as always, Cristiano Ronaldo took time for the World XI election. With 6 elections to this Best Team in the World, Real’s top scorer is the record holder, a record he shares with Lionel Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo knows like no other what the election entails: a photo here, a few autographs there.  He does everything with a smile.


 ‘Of course I’m voting for the World XI again this year, and with pleasure,’ said Ronaldo after dropping his ballot in the box. ‘For us, the players, it is the greatest honour you can receive if your colleague players think you are the best or that you deserve a place in the best team in the world because of the way you’ve performed. There is no opinion more important than that of the players.’





Football may come easy to him, but Ronaldo seemed to have more problems making his choices for his World XI. The first six names were entered without a problem, but after that, he needed a good ten minutes to complete his team. He consulted several of his team mates and even seemed to cast a eye on the form that Iker Casillas was filling in... 


In addition to Ronaldo, several others of his team mates enjoyed a successful World Cup qualification, such as his country-men Pepe and Fabio Coentrão, the French internationals Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane, and Luka Modric. The latter three were also present to collect their voting papers and to fill in their eleven favourite players, just like many other top players of the nine-times European club champion: Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Isco, Marcelo, Angel Dí María, Diego López. The only stars missing were Gareth Bale and the injured Sami Khedira.



Before the voting took place, manager Carlo Ancelotti opened the meeting by addressing all players together with AFE President Luis Rubiales. The Italian coach introduced Rubiales by emphasising the importance of solidarity among players and being part of a union. Then Rubiales briefly informed the players about FIFPro’s activities and this year’s World XI election.


Last year, no less than five Real Madrid players were elected to the FIFA FIFPro World XI: Casillas, Ramos, Marcelo, Alonso and Ronaldo. Three other players in the current Real team made it to the short list: Pepe, Benzema and Bale (then still with Tottenham Hotspur).


Click here for more photos of Real Madrid players


And again this year, many top players of Real are candidates for a place on the short list or even for election to the World XI. But this year, they will have to face a big challenge from players such as those with Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund if they are once again to gain a place in the most unique team in the world.


One player, however, appears to have won the battle already, for it would be a miracle if Cristiano Ronaldo were not included in the World XI...