Ozil, Iniesta, Pirlo & Ribery among midfielders shortlisted for World XI
New Delhi: Real Madrid`s Mesut Ozil, Barcelona`s Andres Iniesta, Juventus` Andrea Pirlo and Bayern Munich`s Franck Ribery have been included in the 15-man shortlist for the World Players` Union, FIFPro, and FIFA World XI 2012.
The list of midfielders comes after the shortlist of five goalkeepers and 20 defenders was revealed earlier this month, with a further list of 15 forwards to be announced on Friday 29 November.
Los Blancos midfielder Ozil was rewarded for his performances during his side`s successful 2011-12 La Liga campaign.
Spain international Iniesta has been included after some impressive displays for his country at the Euro 2012 tournament, playing a vital part for the world and European champions.
In addition to this, Italy`s veteran midfielder Pirlo also features for leading his club to the Serie A title last term and his country to the Euro 2012 final.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich`s Franck Ribery also made the list while Manchester City`s Yaya Toure is the only non-European to be selected.
The final XI will be announced on January 9, 2013.
Full 15-player midfield shortlist:
Xabi Alonso (Spain / Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Spain / Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Spain / Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (England / Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Belgium / Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Spain / Barcelona), Frank Lampard (England / Chelsea), Luka Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Germany / Real Madrid), Andrea Pirlo (Italy / Juventus), Franck Ribery (France / Bayern Munich), David Silva (Spain / Manchester City), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany / Bayern Munich), Yaya Toure (Cote d`Ivoire / Manchester City), Xavi (Spain / Barcelona).
Furthermore, the goalkeeper list consists of Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Petr Cech, Joe Hart and Manuel Neuer.
And in the 20-man shortlist for defence, Carles Puyol, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Thiago Silva and Mats Hummels make an appearance.