2021 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI: Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland lead the attack, Mohamed Salah and Edouard Mendy left out

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The world football governing body, FIFA and FIFPro have released the 2021 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI and Lionel Messi of Paris Saint Germain and Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund led the attack.

The 2021 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI came with a 3-3-4 formation to give room to four of the most prolific strikers in the world – Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The four players were nominated for the FIFA Best Men’s player but only Messi and the eventual winner of the award, Robert Lewandowski made it to the final phase of the award.

To the dismay of many people that followed the progress of the award, Mohamed Salah who made it to the last three shortlist for the FIFA Best Men’s player could not make it into the 2021 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.

He could not displace four of the forwards that made it to the first eleven based on their goals and assists contributions in the 2020-2021 season. Recall that Lewandowski scored 48 goals and provided 13 assists in 40 games in the year under review.

2021 FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI: Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland lead the attack, Mohamed Salah and Edouard Mendy left out

As for Erling Haaland, the 21-year-old Norwegian striker scored 41 goals and provided 14 assists in 41 games in the year under review.

While Lionel Messi scored 38 goals and provided 18 assists in 48 games under the year under review.

2021 FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI: Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland lead the attack, Mohamed Salah and Edouard Mendy left out

As for Ronaldo, the 36-year-old Portuguese star scored 36 goals and provided 5 assists in 45 games in the 2020-2021 season.

While Salah scored 31 goals and provided 7 assists in 52 games in the year under review.

This means that Salah failed to make it into the attacking lineup of the 2021 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI because his goalscoring ratio is not up to the ratios of those who made it to the starting eleven.

The defense of the 2021 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI featured David Alaba who joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich last summer. The remaining two defenders are Ruben Dias of Manchester City and Leonardo Bonucci of Juventus.

The three midfielders in the starting eleven are from Premier League clubs, two from UEFA Champions League winners, Chelsea (Jorginho and N’Golo Kante), and one from Manchester City (Kevin De Bruyne).

The goalpost is being mounted by a former AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma who now plays for Paris Saint Germain. His inclusion in the team came as a surprise. It was expected that Edouard Mendy who won 2021 The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award would occupy the role but FIFPro chose Donnarumma over Mendy.

Gianluigi Donnarumma of PSG and Edouard Mendy of Chelsea.

Recall that in the year under review, Donnarumma recorded 15 clean sheets and conceded 54 goals in 48 games for AC Milan. While Edouard Mendy kept 25 clean sheets and conceded 30 goals in 45 games.

Despite having a better season than Donnarumma, the 29-year-old Senegalese goalkeeper was not considered good enough to make it into the 2021 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI.

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