The World XI shortlist continues to have Bayern Munich's name all over it.
Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, and Bastian Schweisteiger were on the 15 midfield shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI. FC Bayern's shortlist tally is now up to eight with just forwards left to be nominated.
FIFA and FIFPro has nominated the trio three times each – Ribéry in 2008, 2009 and 2012; Robben in 2005, 2006 and 2010; Schweinstegier in 2010, 2011, and 2012 – although the governing football organizations have never included any of them in the final team. Arjen Robben's first two selections to the shortlist came when the Dutchman played in Chelsea Blue.
The three nominees combined for 33 goals and 37 assists for FC Bayern in all competitions in 2012/13, and all three are going to the World Cup with their National sides. All three are also on the Ballon d'Or shortlist as well.
Marco Reus was the only other Bundesliga player nominated, with Liga BBVA being the most represented league in the shortlist – Xabi Alonso, Gareth Bale, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Isco, and Xavi Hernandez. Mesut Özil was the third of Bastian Schweinsteiger's German teammates to make the list, joining Steven Gerrard and Yaya Toure as the three Barclays Premier League players. Juventus midfielders rounded out the field with Andre Pirlo and Arturo Vidal.
The curious absence is Thomas Müller, the only FC Bayern Ballon d'Or nominee not yet listed. Maybe it is not as much an oversight but more a technicallity. With FIFA and FIFPro revealing the final 15 players on Sunday, perhaps Müller was included with forwards instead of midfielders. Müller, Edin Hazard, Christiano Ronaldo and Neymar are the only Ballon d'Or "wingers" not to be included with the midfielders.
The World XI will be revealed on January 13 in Zurich as part of the Ballon d'Or award ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland.