Virgil van Dijk is one of two Liverpool and one of three Dutch players to appear in the FIFA FIFPRO World 11.
Van Dijk had a stellar season, winning the Champions League with Liverpool and reaching the Nations League final with the Netherlands.
The Dutch defender is joined by teammate Alisson Becker, who helped Brazil clinch the Copa America title.
Becker and Van Dijk are two of four debutants, together with Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt. These two Dutchmen and former Ajax teammates are the first earning a World 11 award while playing for a team not belonging to the big five leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain). Both have moved on after last season, with De Ligt joining Juventus and De Jong heading to Barcelona.
FIFPRO, the World Player Union, invited professional male footballers worldwide to pick a team with 1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards based on their performance during the 2018-2019 season. The players with most votes in their position were selected for the World 11. FIFPRO received ballots from more than 23,000 footballers in 68 countries.
THE 2018-2019 FIFA FIFPRO MEN’S WORLD 11 IS
Player (country, last season’s team)
Alisson Becker (Brazil, Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk (The Netherlands, Liverpool)
Matthijs de Ligt (The Netherlands, Ajax/currently Juventus)
Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid)
Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid)
Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea/currently Real Madrid)
Frenkie de Jong (The Netherlands, Ajax/currently Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Juventus)
MORE FIFA FIFPRO MEN’S WORLD 11 FACTS
- This is the 15th edition of the World 11. The award was created by FIFPRO in 2005 and is part of FIFA’s annual award ceremony since 2009.
- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were picked by their colleagues worldwide for the 13th consecutive time: they are both record holders.
- Sergio Ramos is third on the all-time list, making his 10th appearance and surpassing Andres Iniesta (9 World 11 awards).
- Marcelo collected his 6th World 11 award and Luka Modric his 5th.
- Daniel Alves, David De Gea, Ngolo Kante and Raphael Varane did not receive enough votes after making the previous World 11. Alves had been part of 8 World 11.
- Most players picked Messi in their team: 19,381. Van Dijk was second (17,085) and Ronaldo third (16,943).
- Becker, De Jong and De Ligt all made the World 11 during the same season they made their debut on a World 11 shortlist. Only two players did the same in the 15-year World 11 history: Angel Di Maria and Toni Kroos in 2014.
- De Ligt is the second-youngest player to appear in any World 11. Only Kylian Mbappe was younger than the 20-year old Dutchman when he was picked in 2018.
- De Jong and De Ligt are the first Ajax players voted in the World 11. The Dutch club is only the 14th team represented in the World 11.
- Real Madrid have 3 players in the World 11, the most of any team.
- Real is closing in on Barcelona on the list of teams with most 11 awards: 46 versus 50. Chelsea is third, thanks to Hazard’s trophy, with 12 awards, one more than Juventus.
- The Spanish League again is represented by most players: 4. The English Premier League has 3.
- In the 15-year World 11 history, 64 players have received a World 11 award. Most players came from Brazil (12), with France and Spain tied for second (10).
- Spanish players have won most trophies (43), Brazilians are second with 31.
- FIFPRO received most votes from Japan (1,244), followed by Venezuela, England, Zimbabwe and Ukraine.