Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo and Fernandes included in World XI squad

Wednesday 15 December 2021 11:06

Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo have been included in a 23-man World XI squad named by FIFA and FIFPRO, the global players’ union.

Around 45,000 professional players from across the world were asked to vote for the three goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards they believed were the outstanding players during the 2020/21 season – which means Ronaldo is included based on his Juventus form, rather than his spell at United.

The three goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and six forwards with the most votes were included in the squad, along with the two remaining top-polling outfield players. FIFA’s squad is dominated by Premier League representatives, with Bruno and Cristiano being joined by players from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.

SIUUU! It's Ronaldo's seven best goals of 2021/22 Video

SIUUU! It's Ronaldo's seven best goals of 2021/22

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Surprisingly, 36-year-old Ronaldo isn’t the oldest man chosen, as Dani Alves – who recently returned to Barcelona at the age of 38 – is included.

Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho, all podium finishers at the recent Ballon d’Or ceremony, have also made it.

The 23-man squad will be further narrowed down to an XI, again based solely on the votes of players, with the final line-up being announced on Monday 17 January 2022 during the ceremony of The Best FIFA Football Awards.

FIFA’s World XI has been running since 2005 and, while Fernandes is bidding for a first inclusion in the final selection, Ronaldo and Messi will both be hoping to make it a record-extending 15th appearance.

Amazingly the pair, regarded by many as the two finest footballers of all time, haven’t missed out on being voted in the dream line-up by their peers since 2006!

Back then Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry were seen as the best attackers in the world, but here’s the best 23 players from 2021…

Ballon d'Or 2021: Final results


Where Ronaldo and Fernandes ranked for the main award, plus Greenwood's top-five finish for the Kopa prize.


Alisson Becker (Brazil/Liverpool)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy/Milan/PSG)
Edouard Mendy (Senegal/Chelsea)


David Alaba (Austria/Bayern Munich/Real Madrid)
Jordi Alba (Spain/ Barcelona)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (England/Liverpool)
Dani Alves (Brazil/Sao Paulo/Barcelona)
Leonardo Bonucci (Italy/Juventus)
Ruben Dias (Portugal/Manchester City)


Sergio Busquets (Spain/Barcelona)
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City)
Bruno Fernandes (Portugal/Manchester United)
Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands/Barcelona)
Jorginho (Italy/Chelsea)
N’Golo Kante (France/Chelsea)


Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus/Manchester United)
Erling Haaland (Norway/Borussia Dortmund)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich)
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium/Internazionale/Chelsea)
Kylian Mbappe (France/PSG)
Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona/PSG)
Neymar (Brazil/PSG)