Chelsea star an expensive omission in World XI shortlist

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The shortlist of midfielders in contention to be named in the FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2012 was revealed on Monday, with 15 players battling it out to be included in the final team.

Of the players selected, seven are from La Liga - with all of these players from either Barcelona and Real Madrid - five play in the Premier League, two in the Bundesliga and just the one in Italy.

In the Premier League, both Chelsea and Manchester City have two representatives in the 15-man shortlist, with Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard, David Silva and Yaya Toure getting the nod, while Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is also included.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale may have also been included among the players in line to make the final midfield, were he not somehow listed as a defender - alongside the likes of Thiago Silva and Vincent Kompany - at the weekend.

There will be some prominent midfielders in the Premier League who feel they have been overlooked, with Chelsea star Juan Mata perhaps the most notable of exceptions.

Mata ended last season with winners' medals in the FA Cup, Champions League and European Championships, and has been one of the best performers in the Premier League so far this term.

The contribution Mata has made over the past 11 months surely far outweighs that of England captain Gerrard, who is perhaps included due to his significant standing in the game, rather than his form in 2012.

Gerrard did guide Liverpool to the League Cup last season, while he was England's best player at Euro 2012, but the 32-year-old can count himself lucky to be under consideration for the World XI.

Mata, meanwhile, is the highest valued midfielder (according to Transfermarkt) in the Premier League not to be shortlisted by FIFA and FIFPro this year, while Real Madrid's Angel di Maria is the only schemer with a greater market value who also fails to make the cut.

Some of the other priciest midfielders in the English game, like Luis Nani and Samir Nasri, have rightly been overlooked, but Mata looks to be an expensive mistake by FIFA and FIFPro.

Below are the players in the Premier League with the highest market value and, for the sake of consistency with FIFA/FIFPro, Gareth Bale has been left out...

1. David Silva - £44m

2. Eden Hazard - £35m

3. Juan Mata - £33.5m

= 4. Luis Nani - £32m

= 4. Yaya Toure - £32m

6. Oscar - £28m

7. Ramires - £26.5m

8. Antonio Valencia - £24m

9. Ashley Young - £24m

10. Samir Nasri - £22m

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