Ronaldo & Messi lead the way on FIFPro World XI forward shortlist

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been named on the 15-man forwards shortlist for the FIFPro World XI team of the year for 2013.

The illustrious duo, who are also on the final shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or which was announced earlier today, are heavy favourites to earn a place on the team, which is voted for by more than 50,000 members of FIFPro.

Amongst the other players hoping to claim a spot in the team at the expense of one of the two is Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.

The Argentinian has enjoyed a brilliant start to the the 2013/14 campaign, and has 12 Premier League goals in 14 appearances to date.

The Premier League has a further three representatives in Manchester United pair Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, and Luis Saurez of Liverpool. Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba also makes the cut.

Perhaps the striker with the most chance of claiming a spot outside of Ronaldo and Messi is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Although the Swede will not be at the World Cup he has been in impressive form since joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2012. The former Barcelona forward has 43 goals in 50 games for the Ligue 1 giants, and also has eight Champions League goals to his name already this term.

Big-money pair Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao make the list, while former Manchester City bad-boy Mario Balotelli is also included, as is Barcelona's Neymar.

Diego Costa is one of three newcomers on the forwards’ shortlist alongside Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski and Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic. 

The goalkeeper, defence and midfield shortlists have already been announced, with the full team set to unveiled at the Ballon d'Or gala on January 14. 

FIFPro World XI forward nominees: 

Sergio Agüero (Argentina, Manchester City FC)
Mario Balotelli (Italy, AC Milan)
Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, AS Napoli/Paris Saint-Germain FC)
Diego Costa (Spain, Atlético de Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid CF)
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Galatasary SK)
Radamel Falcao (Colombia, Atlético de Madrid/AS Monaco FC)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain FC)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Borussia Dortmund)
Mario Mandzukic (Croatia, FC Bayern München)
Lionel Messi (Argentina, FC Barcelona)
Neymar (Brazil, FC Barcelona)
Robin van Persie (The Netherlands, Manchester United FC)
Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United FC)
Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool FC)

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