Monday, 9 January 2017

[SPORT NEWS]Revealed: Paul Pogba, Gianluigi Buffon and Neymar left out of FIFPro World XI

What’s the story

Paul Pogba, Gianluigi Buffon and Neymar have all been left out from the 2016 FIFA FIFPro World XI as reported by Goal. The full squad will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich later today.

However, before the final team list is announced, Goal have confirmed that none of the above-mentioned players will make the final cut
In case you didn’t know

FIFPro is the worldwide representative organisation for all professional footballers. A grand total of 26,516 players voted from 69 countries voted for this year’s FIFA FIFPro XI; just 14 short of last year’s record tally of 26,530 votes.

The FIFPro XI was first introduced in 2005 and has been picked every year since then. Each professional player is entitled to cast his vote through FIFPro’s global network of player associations. The final squad of players in lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.
The heart of the matter

Pogba featured in the FIFPro XI squad last year on account of his stellar performances with Juventus. The Frenchman then sealed a move to United from Juventus for a world record transfer fee of £89.3 million. Possibly, he missed out on this year’s squad following a difficult start to his second spell with Manchester United.

More than Pogba however, it is the absence of Neymar and Buffon that is guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows, as both of them had a spectacular last campaign. While Neymar won a domestic double with Barcelona, he also led Brazil to their first ever Olympic gold medal in football in Rio.

Buffon on the other hand, was instrumental in leading Juventus to their 32nd league title and also picked up the prestigious golden foot award for his contributions to the same.

The event in Zurich will also see the crowning of the FIFA World Player of the Year, with Cristiano Ronaldo widely being tipped to take home the award ahead of fellow nominees Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

Ronaldo capped off a brilliant year in 2016 by leading his club, Real Madrid and country, Portugal to glory, in the Champions League and the European Championships respectively.

Messi and Griezmann on the other hand, did not manage to win a trophy on the international stage last year; with Messi falling agonisingly short in the final of the Copa America with Argentina; and Griezmann losing out with France to Ronaldo’s Portugal in the final of the European Championships held in his home country.

Both these losses could prove to be decisive for Messi and Griezmann, if Ronaldo is to win the award, as both the Argentine and the Frenchman had a stellar individual campaign last season.
What next?

If Ronaldo does go on to win the FIFA World Player of the Award, it will mean that the Portuguese would hold the Ballon d’Or and the World Player of the Year Award simultaneously; and given that 2016 is the year in which Ronaldo finally managed to lead his country to glory, while also doing the same with his club, both those awards couldn’t be better deserved.
Sportskeeda’s take

As commendable as Ronaldo’s achievements in 2016 have been, the omissions of Neymar and Buffon from the final list of the FIFA FIFPro XI is set to make equal headlines. For, if the criterion of inclusion is success with both club and country during the past season, then both Neymar and Buffon ought to have made the final cut of the the team. 

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