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A new World XI season celebrating the finest players of 2015 is set to begin in earnest with FIFPro shipping 55,000 printed voting forms to professional footballers worldwide.

Every year, FIFPro, in association with FIFA, invites players to make their selections based on a team which includes one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards. Now in its eleventh year, the World XI is held in high regard by the players as this is the only global team award decided exclusively by professional footballers.

Get to know the process involved around the World XI in this sixty-second video clip which includes an interview with reigning World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo.

This year’s award carries added significance for FIFPro as it coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the World Players’ Union.

FIFPro’s Director of Player Services, Tijs Tummers, told FIFPro TV the response rate from professional footballers in recent years was “over fifty percent” and that this prize “is all about letting the players decide” with no interference from media, coaches or fans.

Nearly 24,000 votes were received in 2014 to create the following team: Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, David Luiz; Andrés Iniesta, Toni Kroos, Ámgel Di Maria; Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Arjen Robben. For more details, click here.

In addition, it is important to note that there are no pre-selected shortlists which could influence the vote. Players are free to select their fellow professionals however they choose.

After the vast majority of votes have been counted later this year, the top 55 names (5 goalkeepers; 20 defenders; 15 midfielders; 15 forwards) will be announced on November 26, 2015, with the World XI itself to be unveiled on January 11, 2016, at FIFA’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich.