The FIFA FIFPro World XI is one of the most prestigious awards in world football, and unlike other such awards such as the Ballon D’Or or The FIFA Best Awards, these are decided by the players themselves, with more than 20,000 professional footballers from 69 different countries casting their vote in 2021.
Before the actual awards ceremony and the announcement of the “starting XI”, two shortlists are created, one for the men’s and one for the women’s side of the game. While these shortlists used to include 55 players, they have been reduced to just 23 this year to create a squad of the three goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders, six forwards and two additional outfield players who received the largest number of votes.
Chelsea have nine players in total on the shortlists this year. From the men’s team, Édouard Mendy, Jorginho, N’Golo Kanté and Romelu Lukaku have been nominated, while Ann-Katrin Berger, Millie Bright, Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder and captain Magdalena Eriksson are all on the women’s shortlist. (Surprisingly, none of our defenders are on the shortlist for the Men’s World XI Squad.)
Kanté is our only player from the men’s side to have made the World XI previously — alongside Eden Hazard in 2018 — while Bright and Harder have previously made it to the final World XI lineup from the women’s team.
The final selection of the two starting XIs will be announced during The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on 17 January 2022, alongside the winners of the other categories of the FIFA Football Awards 2021.
The full list is below, with Chelsea players in bold:
2021 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI Squad
Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich/Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Dani Alves (Sao Paulo/Barcelona), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Jorginho (Chelsea), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan/Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
2021 FIFA FIFPro Women’s World XI Squad
Goalkeepers: Laura Benkarth (Bayern Munich), Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea), Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain/Lyon)
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Kadeisha Buchanan (Lyon), Ellie Carpenter (Lyon), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea), Irene Paredes (Barcelona), Wendie Renard (Lyon)
Midfielders: Estefania Banini (Levante/Atletico Madrid), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus), Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona), Delphine Cascarino (Lyon), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham), Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)
Forwards: Pernille Harder (Chelsea), Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Marta (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Alex Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur/Orlando Pride/San Diego Wave), Gabrielle Onguene (CSKA Moscow), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)