The Portuguese superstar has maintained his proud record of being shortlisted for every award, while his French counterpart is making his debut
Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann both feature on the 55-strong shortlist for the FIFPro 2016 World 11.
Portugal captain Ronaldo, who lead his country to victory at Euro 2016, and Italy counterpart Gianluigi Buffon are the only men to have been included in all 12 editions of the award, which is based upon votes from 25,000 professional players across 75 countries.
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Meanwhile, France forward Griezmann, who won both the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot at Euro 2016, has made the cut for the first time in his career.
The Atletico Madrid ace is joined by 10 other newcomers: N’Golo Kante, Hector Bellerin, Leonardo Bonucci, Serge Aurier, Kevin De Bruyne, Dimitri Payet, Paulo Dybala and Jamie Vardy.
Elsewhere, there are returns for Claudio Bravo and Mesut Ozil, both of whom were last short-listed in 2014, while Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain features for the first time in six years – thanks in no small part to his record-breaking exploits in Serie A last season with Napoli.
Wayne Rooney misses out for the first time since the award’s inception but his Manchester United team-mates David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all included.
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The final 11 will be announced in Zurich on January 9 but readers can predict their own line-ups HERE!
WORLD 11 NOMINEES:
Goalkeepers (5): Claudio Bravo (Chile/FC Barcelona/Manchester City), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus), David de Gea (Spain/Manchester United), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica/Real Madrid) and Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich).
Defenders (20): David Alaba (Austria/FC Bayern Munich), Jordi Alba (Spain/FC Barcelona), Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire/Paris Saint-Germain), Héctor Bellerìn (Spain/Arsenal), Jerome Boateng (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Leonardo Bonucci (Italy/Juventus), Daniel Carvajal (Spain/Real Madrid), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus), Dani Alves (Brazil/FC Barcelona/Juventus), David Luiz (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain/Chelsea), Diego Godin (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid), Mats Hummels (Germany/Borussia Dortmund/FC Bayern Munich), Philipp Lahm (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Pepe (Portugal/Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain/FC Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain) and Raphael Varane (France/Real Madrid).
Midfielders (15): Xabi Alonso (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Sergio Busquets (Spain/FC Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona), N’Golo Kante (France/Leicester City/Chelsea) Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid), Mesut Özil (Germany/Arsenal), Dimitri Payet (France/West Ham United), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus/Manchester United), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/FC Barcelona), David Silva (Spain/Manchester City), Marco Verratti (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain) and Arturo Vidal (Chile/FC Bayern Munich).
Strikers (15): Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Argentina/Juventus), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina/Napoli/Juventus), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona) and Jamie Vardy (England/Leicester City).