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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Neymar on FIFpro World XI shortlist

Brazilian starlet Neymar, Arsenal striker Robin van Persie and Napoli's Edinson Cavani are amongst fourteen news faces to make their debut as nominees for the FIFPro World XI award.

The 55-man FIFA shortlist for 2011 is dominated by players from Spain's Primera Division, which boasts usual suspects Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo amongst the league's 22 nominees, while the Premier League has 13 players in the running, including retired former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

Italy's Serie A contributes nine players to the list, four come from Germany's Bundesliga and one each from Russia's Premier League and Brazil's Campeonato.

Just like last year, Spaniards lead the way with 12 on the shortlist, Brazil is second with eight and there are five Englishmen - Ashley Cole, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney - in the running.

The fourteen debutants deemed to have emerged over the past year are: Sergio Aguero, Sergio Busquets, Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao, Mario Gomez, Vincent Kompany, David Luiz, Nani, Manuel Neuer, Neymar, Van Persie, David Silva, Luis Suarez and Victor Valdes.

The nominees were voted on by the 50,000 professional footballers belonging to the players' unions across the world that form FIFPro.

The final XI will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d'Or in Zurich on January 9, 2012.

The 55-player shortlist in full (home country, current club) is:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Victor Valdes (Spain, Barcelona), Edwin van der Sar (Holland, retired, formerly Manchester United).

Defenders: Eric Abidal (France, Barcelona), Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona), Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal, Real Madrid), Ashley Cole (England, Chelsea), Patrice Evra (France, Manchester United), Rio Ferdinand (England, Manchester United), Vincent Kompany (Belgium, Manchester City), Philipp Lahm (Germany, Bayern Munich), Lucio (Brazil, Internazionale), David Luiz (Brazil, Chelsea), Maicon (Brazil, Internazionale), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid), Alessandro Nesta (Italy, AC Milan), Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Spain, Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil, AC Milan), John Terry (England, Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United).

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid), Gareth Bale (Wales, Tottenham Hotspur), Sergio Busquets (Spain, Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Kaka (Brazil, Real Madrid), Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), Nani (Portugal, Manchester United), Mesut Ozil (Germany, Real Madrid), Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich), David Silva (Spain, Manchester City), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands, Internazionale), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast, Manchester City), Xavi (Spain, Barcelona).

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester Utd), David Villa (Spain, Barcelona), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Anzhi), Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City), Neymar (Brazil, Santos), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, AC Milan), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool), Radamel Falcao (Colombia, Atletico Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, Napoli), Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), Mario Gomez (Germany, Bayern Munich), Robin van Persie (Holland, Arsenal)

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