Virgil Van Dijk included in FIFPro World XI shortlist
Two England defenders are also on the list
The shortlist for goalkeepers and defenders for the FIFPro World XI has been released, and it features Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman enjoyed a very impressive second half to last season after joining Liverpool in January, scoring on his debut against local rivals Everton in the FA Cup.
His effect on Liverpool's defence should not be underestimated; he has improved their distribution from the back as well as their defensive solidity, helping the Reds reach the Champions League final.
As a calming influence on the players around him, such as Jordan Henderson and the junior Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold in defence, Van Dijk has more than justified his transfer fee of £75m.
Other defenders on the shortlist include England internationals Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier, as well as World Cup winners Raphaël Varane and Samuel Umtiti.
The full list of goalkeepers and defenders is as follows:
Gianluigi Buffon – Italy, Juventus/Paris Saint-Germain
Thibaut Courtois – Belgium, Chelsea/Real Madrid CF
David De Gea – Spain, Manchester United FC
Keylor Navas – Costa Rica, Real Madrid CF
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – Germany, FC Barcelona
Jordi Alba – Spain, FC Barcelona
Dani Alves – Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain
Daniel Carvajal – Spain, Real Madrid CF
Giorgio Chiellini – Italy, Juventus FC
Virgil van Dijk – The Netherlands, Southampton/Liverpool
Diego Godín – Uruguay, Atletico Madrid
Mats Hümmels – Germany, FC Bayern Munchen
Joshua Kimmich – Germany, FC Bayern Munchen
Dejan Lovren – Croatia, Liverpool FC
Marcelo – Brazil, Real Madrid CF
Yerry Mina – Colombia, FC Barcelona/Everton FC
Benjamin Pavard – France, VfB Stuttgart
Gerard Piqué – Spain, FC Barcelona
Sergio Ramos – Spain, Real Madrid CF
Thiago Silva – Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain
Kieran Trippier – England, Tottenham Hotspur
Samuel Umtiti – France, FC Barcelona
Raphaël Varane – France, Real Madrid CF
Sime Vrsaljko – Croatia, Atletico Madrid/Inter
Kyle Walker – England, Manchester City FC
The shortlist of midfielders and attackers is expected to be released in the coming days.