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Messi launches FIFA FIFPro World XI voting

The Barcelona forward was the first player to fill in his ballot paper at the club’s Juan Gamper training complex and many thousands of fellow professionals will follow his example in the coming weeks.
It has now become a FIFPro tradition for the FIFA Ballon d’Or winner from the previous year to cast the first vote for the new edition of the FIFA FIFPro World XI and this year is no different.
Messi was honoured as the world’s best during the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala held in Zurich in January. The Argentine player was also asked to take the spotlight with ten of his colleagues, who were all chosen in the FIFA FIFPro World XI.
After casting his vote, Messi said that it was the fact that the players themselves choose the World XI which made his selection extra special.
“Being chosen by my fellow players means a great deal to me,” he said.
“They know better than anyone what you have to do for it and what you have to abstain from in order to reach the top and stay there. It is a great thing that FIFPro has done in giving the players the chance to vote.”
FIFPro is organising the selection of the World XI for the seventh time this year. The world players’ union last week sent out approximately 45,000 ballot papers to professional footballers on every continent: from Australia to South Africa, from Finland to Costa Rica and from Russia to Argentina.
Following Messi’s example, the world’s players will put together their favourite team consisting of one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers.
Just like last year, the World XI will be announced in collaboration with FIFA at the FIFA Ballon d’Or. The gala, which will be held on 9 January 2012 in Zurich, will see the 11 players of the World XI receive their FIFA FIFPro World XI Award.
Until then, FIFPro will report regularly on the elections and the players who are casting their votes throughout the world. FIFPro will reveal which 55 players have made it through to the World XI shortlist in mid-November.
Story courtesy of FIFA.com.
For more on the world game go to www.fifa.com

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