During the FIFA Ballon D'Or Gala that recognized the best performers in 2014, five Barcelona players joined an elite group: they were elected among the FIFPro World 22, an award given to the 22 best footballers of last year.
Officially, there's only the FIFPro World XI, a lineup of the eleven top performers of the year. On that list, Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta get the nod alongside nine other players:
Full FIFPro World XI: Neuer, Ramos, Silva, Luiz, Lahm, Iniesta, Kroos, Di Maria, Robben, Ronaldo, Messi pic.twitter.com/2rqDIyOKPE— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) 12 janeiro 2015
There's also an alternative FIFPro XI. A smart move by FIFA to also recognize other great performers of 2014 without causing a lot of controversy about their choices. Three Barça players were named to this "reserve" lineup:
Thibaut Courtois; Dani Alves, Mats Hummels, David Alaba, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Yaya Toure, Luka Modric; Luis Suárez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar Jr.
The most anticipated award of the night, the Ballon D'Or, given to the best player of 2014, went to Cristiano Ronaldo, with Messi finishing second in voting.
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