Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has confirmed his status as one of the leading goalkeepers in the world by earning a nomination for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2014 goalkeeper of the year.
The Belgian ace has returned to Stamford Bridge this season after a three-year loan spell in Spain with Atletico Madrid, and is now considered to be one of the best shotstoppers in Europe.
Having dislodged Petr Cech as number one, his performances have helped Chelsea to the top of the table, while in his final campaign with Atletico he played a key role in helping Diego Simeone's side claim a historic league title. The 22-year-old also featured in their Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid in May.
Courtois' performances over the past year have earned him a place on the shortlist for the FIFPro World XI, which is voted for by footballers from across the globe. Joining the Chelsea ace is Manuel Neuer who won the award last year and Keylor Navas who, like Courtois, has earned his first nomination for the team.
Navas' Real Madrid team-mater Iker Casillas is a surprise inclusion on the list having only played 12 league games for Los Blancos this year. The 33-year-old's first team action has been limited largely to cup competitions, while he also struggled during the World Cup as Spain's defence of their crown ended at the group stages.
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The Spanish international was the World XI goalkeeper for five straight years between 2008 and 2012.
Premier League woes
Completing the five-man list is Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus who has appeared on all ten shortlists since the team was created in 2005, and scooped the award in 2006 and 2007.
The final 55-man shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI will be announced in its entirety by December 1. Last year's team did not include a single player from the Premier League, but had six players from La Liga, three from the Bundesliga and two from Ligue 1.
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