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City and United strike partners on World XI shortlist

Harry Harris and ESPN staff
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Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli are in the 55-man shortlist © PA Photos
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FIFPro and FIFA have named the 15 best strikers in the world to complete their 55-man shortlist of the top players in world football.

In recent years Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have established themselves as certainties in this elite squad as they have captured five successive World XI awards.

But only three strikers have made the 55-player shortlist each year in the history of the World XI: Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Samuel Eto'o. The only other strikers on the current shortlist to collect a World XI trophy are Messi and Didier Drogba.

The announcement will be made during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala held on January 7. Players will be chosen by their fellow professionals.

This autumn FIFPro sent out 45,000 voting ballots to all affiliated players unions, who in turn distributed the forms among the players.

The 15 strikers comprising the shortlist are: Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o, Radamel Falcao, Mario Gomez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Robin van Persie, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez.

The 55 players on the shortlist are:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Petr Cech (Czech Republic, Chelsea), Joe Hart (England, Manchester City), Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich)

Defenders: Jordi Alba (Spain, Barcelona), Gareth Bale (Wales, Tottenham Hotspur), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy, Juventus), Ashley Cole (England, Chelsea), Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona), David Luiz (Brazil, Chelsea), Patrice Evra (France, Manchester United), Rio Ferdinand (England, Manchester United), Mats Hummels (Germany, Borussia Dortmund), Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia, Chelsea), Vincent Kompany (Belgium, Manchester City), Philipp Lahm (Germany, Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Argentina, Barcelona), Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Spain, Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), John Terry (England, Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Brazil, Paris St-Germain)

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Spain, Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Germany, Real Madrid), Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus), Franck Ribery (France, Bayern Munich), David Silva (Spain, Manchester City), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast, Manchester City), Xavi Hernandez (Spain, Barcelona)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City), Mario Balotelli (Italy, Manchester City), Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, AS Napoli), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Shanghai Shenhua), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Anzhi Makhachkala), Radamel Falcao (Colombia, Atlético Madrid), Mario Gomez (Germany, Bayern Munich), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil, Santos), Robin van Persie (The Netherlands, Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool).

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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