Today in "no duh" news, Manuel Neuer was announced as part of the 5-man short list of goalkeeper candidates for the FIFA FIFPro Best 11. The other candidates rounding out the shortlist are Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Claudio Bravo, and Thibait Courtouis.
After winning the award last season along with several of his teammates, Manuel Neuer is almost a guaranteed lock for this award. Not only did he put in another incredible shift as the most dominant goalkeeper in Europe, but he also won this small thing called the World Cup in July. You might have missed that, it wasn't a big deal or anything. That he did all of that while revitalizing and reinvigorating the role of the sweeper keeper for both Germany and Bayern Munich checks all the boxes one could want in a World Best 11 goalkeeper.
As this was a World Cup year, the World Cup performances are going to matter, which means Buffon and Casillas are going to take a hit considering both Spain and Italy failed to advance past the group stage. Courtouis on the other hand was a stud for both Atletico Madrid, Beligum, and has reached new heights with Chelsea this season. Courtouis may be the most dangerous challenger to Neuer's title, but the most interesting challenger to Neuer may actually be the Chilean Claudio Bravo. Bravo helped lead Chile out of a dangerous group that included both Spain and Netherlands, before almost eliminating Brazil, only losing on penalties.
The rest of the Best 11 shortlist is set to be released over the coming week.