Coming off a Champions League triumph and second consecutive final appearance, a 97-point domestic season, and rightly installed as one of the favourites in both competitions again this season, it’s no surprise perhaps that Liverpool players have been heavily involved in recent award news.
Now, fresh off Virgil van Dijk being named UEFA’s Player of the Year and Van Dijk, Alisson, and manager Jürgen Klopp being nominated for FIFA’s top individual prizes, we’ve got seven Reds in the running to be named to FIFA’s World XI—including all the usual suspects and maybe a few surprises.
At the back, Alisson seems a certainty to be named starting goalkeeper as one of five finalists along with Ederson, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, David de Gea, and Jan Oblak. Then, expect Van Dijk and Andrew Robertson to be named starters in defence, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is also a finalist.
Liverpool’s hard-working midfielders were overlooked here by FIFA—unlike UEFA, who had Jordan Henderson as one of three finalists for the Champions League’s top midfielder last season for his role in leading the Reds to that second consecutive final and in the end their sixth European Cup.
While few would argue the likes of Man City stars Kevin De Bruyne and Bernanrdo Silva, or ex-Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong being ahead of any Liverpool players, the likes of Arturo Vidal and Segio Busquets being nominated for last season ahead of a Fabinho or Gini Wijnaldum doesn’t sit right.
FIFA, though, make up for that midfield slight by including Roberto Firmino amongst the forward finalists. He won’t be expected to make the final cut—though one of Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah likely will—but given how often his importance and quality is overlooked, it’s nice to see him in the mix.
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@fifpro_official and FIFA have today revealed the 55 footballers in contention for the FIFA FIFPro Men's World11 2019, selected by their fellow professionals. The final World11 2019 will be announced at #TheBest FIFA Football Awards on 23 September. Selecting one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards, what would your dream team look like?