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By ESPN Staff

Lionel Messi heads World XI shortlist

ZURICH -- Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic head the list of candidates for selection as forwards in a FIFPro World XI.

Neymar and Uruguay teammates Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are also among 15 nominees for three places in the world lineup.

Contenders from South America include Radamel Falcao and Sergio Aguero.

Manchester United teammates Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, and Aguero's Manchester City colleague Mario Balotelli represent the Premier League.

Africa has Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o in contention. France's Karim Benzema and Mario Gomez of Germany complete the list.

Candidates for other positions were previously announced.

The FIFPro World XI, chosen by 50,000 members of the global players' union, will be announced on Jan. 7 at the FIFA Ballon D'Or gala in Zurich.

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