Liverpool talisman, Mohamed Salah was snubbed in this year’s FIFA FIFPRO World XI 23-man shortlist despite being in an unstoppable form in 2021.
The 29-year-old Egyptian right-winger has scored a whopping 21 goals and provided 11 assists in 22 games so far this season. He scored and provided all these assists in 2021. Yet, the Liverpool and Egypt’s talisman was not deemed good enough to be shortlisted among FIFPRO World XI.
The argument was that the players were selected based on their performance during the 2020-2021 season. Even as that, Mohamed Salah was among the best goalscorers in the world last season. The Liverpool talisman scored a whopping 31 goals and provided 7 assists in 52 appearances in all competitions last season.
Despite Salah’s performance for Liverpool, he was not able to win any title for the club which probably put him in a disadvantaged position.
However, his teammate at Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the club’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker were shortlisted for the award because they were among the best in their positions.
Apart from being among the best in their positions, Alexander-Arnold led England to the final of the Euro 2020, and Alisson led Brazil to the final of the Copa America.
Notwithstanding, if one compares Mohamed Salah’s performance with some of the players listed in his position, one would see that the Egyptian performed better than some of the shortlisted players.
For instance, Paris Saint Germain talisman, Neymar who is a winger like Mohamed Salah scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in 31 games in all competitions last season. However, he led his country to the final of Copa America and won the French Cup with PSG.
Though Salah is currently one of the best footballers in the world, he did not totally outperform most of the players shortlisted in his position. Hence, it is safe to say it was a fair FIFA FIFPRO World XI 23-man shortlist.
How FIFA arrived at the 2021 FIFPRO World XI 23-man shortlist without Mohamed Salah
FIFPRO and FIFA invited professional footballers across the world to vote for the World XI which they did by selecting their best three players in the 2020-2021 season.
After their selections, FIFA and FIFPRO compiled the 23-man list which comprised of goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards that received the highest number of votes.
Afterward, the two football bodies would select 11 players out of the 23-man shortlist to form the World XI. The 11 players that will comprise a goalkeeper, three defenders, three forwards, three midfielders, and one outfield player are selected based on the number of votes they earned in their positions.
FIFA and FIFPRO will announce the World XI during the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in Zurich on January 17, 2022.
⭐️ Here are the 23 nominees for the 2021 Men’s FIFA FIFPRO #World11!— FIFPRO (@FIFPRO) December 14, 2021
The winners will be announced on 17.01.2022.
By the players, for the players.@FIFAcom pic.twitter.com/6lBPAoXlNO
Below is the 2021 FIFPRO World XI 23-man shortlist
Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich/Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Dani Alves (Sao Paulo/Barcelona), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Jorginho (Chelsea), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan/Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)