Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi Headline FIFA FIFPro World XI Team

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2013

VALLADOLID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 22:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on before the La Liga game between Real Valladolid and FC Barcelona at Jose Zorrilla on December 22, 2012 in Valladolid, Spain.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Arguably the planet's top two footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will headline FIFA's FIFPro World XI team according to @totalBarca on Twitter:

FIFA FIFPro World XI: Casillas, Dani Alves, Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Falcao, Ronaldo #BallondOr

— totalBarça (@totalBarca) January 7, 2013


There aren't many surprises on the 2012 FIFPro World XI Team, as the roster includes 10 players from Spain's top two clubs.

Messi is joined by several Barcelona teammates, including Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Dani Alves and Gerard Pique. Ronaldo, on the other hand, is joined by Real Madrid partners Iker Casillas, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso.

Atletico Madrid striker Falcao is being honored for the first time, replacing Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney in this year's 11-man lineup. Falcao is the only player on this year's team that does not play for either Barcelona or Real Madrid. 

This is also Madrid defender Marcelo's first appearance on the World XI squad. He replaces Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic. 

Messi, Ronaldo and Iniesta were all three contenders for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for 2012, given to the world's best player. 

The 25-year-old Messi scored a record 91 goals during the 2012 calendar year, making him the odds-on favorite to win the coveted Ballon d'Or award for the fourth time, which no player has ever done before. 

Messi and Ronaldo have now both been named to the FIFPro World XI team for the sixth straight year. Meanwhile, this year marks the fifth consecutive time that Barcelona midfielder Xavi has been honored on the World XI team.


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