Cristiano Ronaldo shortlisted into FIFA FIFPro despite Man United exit

Cristiano Ronaldo has been shortlisted as one of the candidates for the FIFPro team of the year.  However, many fans were surprised at the inclusion as the soccer superstar had left European soccer for Saudi Arabia.

Cristiano Ronaldo had a falling out with Premier League giants Manchester United resulting in his exit from the club in December. He then joined the Saudi club Al Nassr. As such many fans were visibly surprised to see the Portuguese on the 26-man shortlist.

The striker was United’s top scorer in the 2021-22 campaign with 24 goals. But their failure to qualify for Champions League football, which Ronaldo was involved in every season and a clash with manager Erik Ten Haag who benched the player continuously led to him wanting to leave the club. The final straw came when he gave an interview with Piers Morgan where he criticized both the club and its manager. He had his contract mutually terminated and left looking for new clubs.

With a lack of European interest in him, Cristiano decided to go for the deserts and joined Al Nassr.

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The Portuguese also had a World Cup to forget. In addition to a shock quarter-final exit against underdogs Morocco, Ronaldo also lost his starting place and only had one goal in the tournament. 

Other stars who made the shortlist is Lionel Messi who is a clear favorite due to his World Cup success as well as Kylian Mbappe who scored a hat trick in the World Cup final despite losing it to Messi. Benzema is also a favorite due to his being a Balon d’Or winner. Erling Haaland who played for both Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City and Robert Lewandowski for Bayern Munchen and Barcelona are also in with a chance.

The final FIFPro team will be completely decided by votes from players and only takes into account the performances of a player between August 8 2021 and December 18, 2022, which explains Cristiano’s inclusion.

The final team is decided with the goalkeeper with the most votes, and the top three players with the most votes, in defense, midfield, and attack.

To decide the final XI, the goalkeeper with the most votes is selected, this is then followed by the top three players from defense, midfield, and attack. The final position is then decided by the player with the most votes across all the outfield positions. The Best FIFA Men’s Player is then selected with the outfield player with the most votes.

FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony will take place on February 27 in Paris, France where the final FIFPro team will be revealed.


Fazal Al Bashar

481 articles

Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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