The FIFA FIFPro World XI for 2017 was dominated by European and Spanish champions Real Madrid but who are the 11 best players in the world?

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus and Italy)

Despite suffering a cruel defeat in the 2017 UEFA Champions League final at the hands of Real Madrid, Buffon had a remarkably successful 2016-17 season with Juventus.

Not only did the Bianconeri lift their sixth straight Scudetto, but they also won the Coppa Italia.

FIFA FIFPro World XI 2017, Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus FC
An emotional Buffon choked up during his acceptance speech! (Photo: AFP)

 

The 39-year-old, however, left his best performances for Europe and played a crucial role in Juventus’ run to the final.

The mighty Barcelona came undone against the Buffon and co’s steely rearguard and while the continental crown eluded them, Buffon was easily the standout keeper last season and deserved his inclusion in the World XI.

A third-time awardee, remarkably a decade after his last. Previous wins were in 2006 and 2007.

Left-Back: Marcelo (Real Madrid and Brazil)

Marcelo has been so good for so long, people forget the Brazilian is still 29.

The pacy left-back made the World XI for the third time in a row (overall 4th) and deservedly so after his cavalier performances lit up Europe as Real Madrid dominated Europe and Spain enroute to a impressive Double.

The first of many Los Blancos players to feature in the FIFPro World XI for 2017.

Centre-Back: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/AC Milan and Italy)

Arguably the finest component of the ‘BBC’ (Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini) that wowed the world last season, Leonardo Bonucci

A blockbuster move to AC Milan has followed and while the Rossoneri are struggling this season, Bonucci’s exploits for Juventus were enough for him to warrant an inclusion.

Like teammate Buffon before him, Bonucci reserved his best for Europe and his man-marking of Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League alone was enough to get him his first-ever award.

Centre-Back: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain)

Sergio Ramos at 31, shows no signs of slowing down.

The Real Madrid and Spain captain remains one of the finest defenders on the planet and his selection in the World XI for an eight time was a mere formality after Los Blancos’ barnstorming displays in Europe and Spain.

Last season, Ramos scored 10 goals. For a centre-back, that’s an impressive statistic and just underlines his immense threat on set-pieces.

Right-Back: Dani Alves (Juventus/Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil)

Another veteran who continues to defy Father Time is Dani Alves. Selected primarily for his displays for Juventus last season, the now-PSG right-back is at the top of his game despite being 34.

Motoring up and down the flank like a 20-year-old, the Brazilian was superb for the Bianconeri last season and proved his immense quality on both ends of the pitch, especially in the UEFA Champions League.

FIFA FIFPro World XI 2017, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Juventus FC, Dani Alves
The evergreen Dani Alves left Barcelona last year but success followed him at Juventus as well! (Photo: AFP)

 

A seven-time awardee, Alves proved he’s a serial winner no matter where he plays and despite spending just one season in Turin, left quite the legacy.

Left Midfield: Andres Iniesta (FC Barcelona and Spain)

Andre Iniesta may no longer have the legs at 33 as he once did but his footballing brain is as sharp as ever and his footballing IQ remains undiminished.

Nine times the diminutive Spaniard has been voted into the FIFPro World XI and he’s ability to play a ball invisible to most still takes the breath away.

Barcelona may not have won a plethora of titles last season, but they did finish a close second to Real Madrid in the La Liga and lifted their third straight Copa del Rey crown as well.

Centre Midfield: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid and Germany)

The man who makes Real Madrid’s imperious midfield tick, is the German maestro Toni Kroos.

Kroos’ calm demeanour whether its the first or the last minute, helps his team dictate proceedings and it’s not a coincidence that since the German’s arrival in 2014, Real have won the La Liga once and the UEFA Champions League twice.

A mainstay of the German national side, the 27-year-old has played an integral part in their domination on the international scene and deservedly makes the FIFPro World XI for the third time in his career.

Right Midfield: Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)

Like Iniesta at Barcelona, Modric continues to pull strings at Real Madrid with his immense footballing acumen.

The 32-year-old Croatian made it a three-peat of FIFA FIFPRO World XI awards after forming a formidable partnership Kroos and Casemiro in Real’s three-man midfield.

Left Wing: Neymar (FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil)

Neymar made the headlines for his world-record €222 million move from Barcelona to PSG in the summer but let’s not forget that the Brazilian had an extremely productive individual season with Barcelona.

FIFA FIFPro World XI 2017, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Neymar
Neymar was one of many showstoppers in London (Photo: AFP)

 

The 25-year-old was the architect of La Blaugrana’s incredible comeback against his future club in the UEFA Champions League.

Touted as a future winner of the main award, Neymar makes the FIFA FIFPRO World XI for the second time and looks set to be a regular feature in the years to come.

Centre Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)

A virtual guarantee after another eye-popping season with Real Madrid.

His goals, especially in the latter stages, fired Real Madrid to an impressive UEFA Champions League and La Liga double as the Portuguese forward proved that despite diminishing physical traits, there’s nobody you would rather want leading your side.

FIFA FIFPro World XI 2017, Real Madrid CF, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane,
Ronaldo (L) scooped the main award as well, while Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane won the coach of the year gong! (Photo: AFP)

 

Since 2007, ‘CR7’ has been voted in the FIFA FIFPro World XI an unbelievable 11 times! Now, to find a man who can match that..

Right Wing: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona and Argentina)

Messi once again pushed his great rival all the way and some would say the diminutive Argentine actually had a better individual season than Ronaldo.

In 52 games, Messi scored an incredible 54 times! Even if one takes aside the sheer volume of net-busters, the 30-year-old continued to transcend the game with his marvellous dribbles and exquisite assists.

FIFA FIFPro World XI 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona
Ronaldo (L) and Messi will undoubtedly go down as all-time greats! (Photo:A AFP)

 

Eleven straight nominations and counting, Messi is going nowhere and while his Barcelona teammates let him down last season, he continued to be a one-man army and very nearly dragged the Catalans to a La Liga crown.