For the tenth year running, Gigi Buffon is one of five goalkeepers in line for a place in the FIFA FIFPro World XI, following the release of the first shortlist on FIFA.com yesterday.
Pushing Buffon for the one and only spot between the sticks are Bayern’s Manuel Neuer (winner in 2013), Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, who returned to London after winning La Liga with Atletico Madrid last year.
Buffon, who has begun the season in fine form after inspiring Juventus to a third successive title in 2013/14, scooped the recognition in both 2006 and 2007 and is the only goalkeeper to appear in every year’s shortlist since the prize was first introduced in 2005.
The eventual starting XI is compiled by the votes of thousands of professional footballers across the globe, tasked with picking one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers. The remaining positions will be announced on Wednesday 26 November, Friday 28 November and Monday 1 December respectively.
The winning line-up is to be revealed on Monday 12 January.