In a surprising turn of events, Cristiano Ronaldo has earned a spot on the prestigious 23-player shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro Team of the Year, despite his recent move to Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr.
The Portuguese superstar, who bid farewell to Manchester United in 2023, showcased his prowess by ending the year as the top scorer in world football, netting an impressive 54 goals for both club and country.
The dominance of Manchester City players is evident on the shortlist, reflecting their triumphant campaign where they secured the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League titles.
Leading the pack of City stars is Erling Haaland, who scored 52 goals in 53 appearances, playing a pivotal role in their remarkable success.
The defensive backbone of the squad is fortified by City players, with Ederson, Ruben Dias, John Stones, and Kyle Walker all making the cut.
Midfield maestros Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva have rightfully earned their places due to their significant contributions to City’s victorious season.
The FIFA FIFPro Men’s Team of the Year shortlist features a formidable lineup of goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards from various top clubs, showcasing the global talent pool in football.
Notable mentions include Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois, Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.
As the football community eagerly anticipates the final lineup, the inclusion of Ronaldo on the shortlist has sparked discussions and debates among fans worldwide.
Will the Portuguese icon secure a spot in the ultimate XI, or will other stellar performers from the footballing world claim their spot in this prestigious team?