FIFA have released the voting breakdown from their controversial World XI


FIFA's 'The Best' awards certainly didn't disappoint on Monday night.

Despite losing out on the UEFA Player of the Year award to Virgil van Dijk just a few weeks prior, Lionel Messi was crowned 2019's best player by the sport's governing body in Milan.

Megan Rapinoe was then named the year's finest player in the women's game and delivered a wonderful speech that included nods to Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly.

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp and Jill Ellis were crowned the year's top coaches and the goalkeeping duo of Alisson Becker and Sari van Veenendaal were named the best between the sticks.

Daniel Zsori bagged himself the Puskas Award for his acrobatic strike and Marcelo Bielsa - yes, that Marcelo Bielsa - took home the Fair Play accolade to everyone's amusement.

FIFA World XI named

But there can be no doubting that the FIFPro Men's World11 was the most controversial topic of the evening and that was the case even before FIFA confirmed their selection.

There was a collective face-palm in the footballing world when it was revealed that four Real Madrid players, in spite of their dire 2018-19 season, had made the final cut.

But before we devolve into a rant about Marcelo being selected above Andrew Robertson, it makes sense for us to deal in the raw statistics and how the team was actually decided.

Players ranked by position

The accolade is dished out in accordance with, in the words of FIFA themselves, the votes of 'thousands of professional players from around the world.'

And, in fairness to FIFA, they have been incredibly transparent with the particulars of the voting and provided a breakdown for goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers.

In other words, they showed how professional footballers have ranked the best of the best in each position for 2019. 

Sound fascinating? Of course it does and you can check out the full FIFA graphic down below:

There's plenty to unpack from that to say the very least.

It appears that footballers themselves believe that Messi, Frenkie de Jong, Van Dijk and Alisson Becker are all the world's best in the four general positions.

Meanwhile, the players that missed out on the team by the narrowest margins are: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Dani Alves, N'Golo Kante and Sadio Mane.

We'll leave Liverpool fans to decide how they feel about Robertson being behind Alves, and Trent Alexander-Arnold for that matter, as well as Mane leading the way from Mohamed Salah. 


There's also a few head-scratchers in Kevin de Bruyne being named over Paul Pogba, Jan Oblak only being the world's fifth best goalkeeper and Sergio Busquets ousting Bernardo Silva.

But what are you and I to say when, fascinatingly, this is the collective opinion of those who play the game and know it best?

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