A treble campaign leads to the most defender nominees for Bayern Munich in the history of the World XI.
David Alaba, Jérôme Boateng, Dante and Philipp Lahm all made the FIFA FIFPro World XI shortlist, making up 20 percent of the defender nominies. FC Bayern now have five players shortlisted for the team of the year after Manuel Neuer joined the goalkeeper shortlist Monday.
FIFPro nominated Lahm for the eighth consecutive year, although the 30-year-old German has never made a World XI. Alaba, Boateng and Dante are all shortlisted for the first time.
The four have started 19 games together in 2013 thus far, 13 under Pep Guardiola and 6 under Jupp Heynckes. Due to Guardiola's famous experiment 10 of the 19 times have been as a back four. Notable games together include the UEFA Champions League Final victory against Borussia Dortmund, the Bundesliga clinching match against Eintracht Frankfurt, and the extra time UEFA Super Cup thriller against Chelsea.
All four are also heavily involved in their respective national teams. Lahm and Boateng had nine and seven starts respectively in World Cup Qualifying for Germany, combining for three assists as well as aiding four clean sheets together. Alaba scored six goals in eight starts with Austria in World Cup Qualifying, while Dante made 10 appearances in his first year with the Brazil.
Mats Hummels was the only other Bundesliga defender nominated. Real Madrid had four defenders of their own nomitanted (Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, and Raphaël Varane) while Barcelona had three nominees as well (Jordi Alba, Dani Alves, and Gerard Pique).
The Barclays Premier League matched La Liga with seven shortlisted players (Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanović, David Luiz, Vincent Kompany, Nemanja Vidić, and Pablo Zabaleta). Dante's countryman Thiago Silva was the other nominee, the only player from a league outside the top three countries in UEFA coefficient.
FIFA will announce the 15 shortlisted midfielders on December 6 and the 15 shortlisted forwards on December 9.