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World Best XI?

Don't want to clutter up this space and distract from all the other piping hot threads, so after the jump please find the nominees for FIFPRo's World Best XI awards. FIFPro is "the worldwide representative organization for all professional soccer players." (Basically, 45,000 players from 42 different players' unions, whose votes decide this team.) MLS players participated in the voting process for the first time this year, and an MLS player was selected for the first time. I'll let you guess which one. (Hint: not Facu.)

The nominees and some stats after the jump. Thoughts on omissions/oddities are welcome.

The EPL attracted the most nominees with twenty, followed by the Spanish Primera Division with seventeen and Italy's Serie A with fifteen. The Bundesliga in Germany generated two nominees, and the French Ligue 1 and Argentines Primera Division also provided one each.

Champion League winners AC Milan heads the list for the most nominations with nine, Manchester United have eight, Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid seven, Valencia, Liverpool, Inter, AS Roma and Bayern Munich two and there is one each from Juventus, Fiorentina, Sevilla, Villareal, Arsenal, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Olympique Lyon and Boca Juniors.

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/ Juventus), Iker Casillas (Spain/ Real Madrid), Petr Cech (Czech Republic/ Chelsea), Nelson de Jesus Silva 'Dida' (Brazil/ AC Milan), Edwin van der Sar (Holland/ Manchester United)

Defenders: Éric Abidal (France/ Olympique Lyon), Daniel Alves (Brazil/ Sevilla), Roberto Ayala (Argentina/ Valencia), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy/ Real Madrid), Roberto Carlos da Silva (Brazil/ Real Madrid), Jamie Carragher (England/ Liverpool), Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal/ Chelsea), Cristian Chivu (Romania/ AS Roma), Ashley Cole (England/ Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (England/ Manchester United), Philipp Lahm (Germany/ Bayern Munich), Ferreira Lucio (Brazil/Bayern Munich), Paolo Maldini (Italy/ AC Milan), Marco Materazzi (Italy/ Inter), Alessandro Nesta (Italy/ AC Milan), Carles Puyol (Spain/ Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain/ Real Madrid), John Terry (England/ Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Serbia/ Manchester United), Gianluca Zambrotta (Italy/ Juventus).

Midfielders: David Beckham (England/ Real Madrid), Anderson Deco (Portugal/ Barcelona), Mickaël Essien (Ghana/ Chelsea), Gennaro Gattuso (Italy/ AC Milan), Steven Gerrard (England/ Liverpool), Andrès Iniesta (Spain/ Barcelona), Ricardo Kaká (Brazil/ AC Milan), Frank Lampard (England/ Chelsea), Claude Makélélé (France/ Chelsea), Andrea Pirlo (Italy/ AC Milan), Juan Roman Riquelme (Argentina/ Villareal/Boca Juniors), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/ Manchester United), Paul Scholes (England/ Manchester United), Clarence Seedorf (Holland/ AC Milan), Xavi (Spain/ Barcelona).

Forwards: Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria/ Tottenham Hotspur), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast/ Chelsea), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon/ Barcelona), Thierry Henry (France/ Arsenal), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/ Inter), Filippo Inzaghi (Italy/ AC Milan), Lionel Messi (Argentina/ Barcelona), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Holland/ Real Madrid), Ronaldinho (Brazil/ Barcelona), Ronaldo (Brazil/ Real Madrid/ AC Milan), Wayne Rooney (England/ Manchester United), Carlos Tévez (Argentina/ West Ham United), Luca Toni (Italy/ Fiorentina), Francesco Totti (Italy/ AS Roma), David Villa (Spain/ Valencia).

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 26, 2007; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  World  
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