Five FC Barcelona players pre-selected for the FIFA FIFPro 2012 team

The twenty defenders who received the most votes from their fellow professionals throughout the world are, in alphabetical order:

· Jordi Alba (Spain and Barcelona)

· Gareth Bale (Wales and Tottenham Hotspur)

· Giorgio Chiellini (Italy and Juventus)

· Ashley Cole (England and Chelsea)

· Dani Alves (Brazil and Barcelona)

· David Luiz (Brazil and Chelsea)

· Patrice Evra (France and Manchester United)

· Rio Ferdinand (England and Manchester United)

· Mats Hummels (Germany and Borussia Dortmund)

· Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia and Chelsea)

· Vincent Kompany (Belgium and Manchester City)

· Philipp Lahm (Germany and Bayern Munich)

· Marcelo (Brazil and Real Madrid)

· Javier Mascherano (Argentina and Barcelona)

· Pepe (Portugal and Real Madrid)

· Gerard Piqué (Spain and Barcelona)

· Carles Puyol (Spain and Barcelona)

· Sergio Ramos (Spain and Real Madrid)

· John Terry (England and Chelsea)

· Thiago Silva (Brazil and Paris St-Germain)

Jordi Alba, Mats Hummels and Branislav Ivanovic are appearing in the list for the first time. The Barça man made a great impression at the European Championships last summer and his great performances for Valencia last year paved the way for his return to Barça at the start of this season, where he immediately won a staring berth in the first team.

Hummels has been a rock at the heart of Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga winning team and was also a key part of the German side that reached the semifinals of the Euro2012 tournament.

Ivanovic has shown at Chelsea that he is a great man marker and the Serbian captain has featured at both right back and centre half. He was part of Chelsea’s European Cup winning campaign last season, though he was suspended for the final.

Ashley Cole, Carles Puyol and John Terry have all been in the list of pre-selected players every year since the awards started in 2005.

Puyol and Terry have received a number of FIFA FIFPro awards, with the Barça captain appearing in the World XI in 2007, 2008 and 2010, whilst Terry was a fixture in the selected team, appearing five times on the run from 2005 to 2009. Cole, in contrast, has never made it beyond the pre-selection process in all the seven times he’s been selected.

The FIFA FIFPro 2011 World XI was made up of : Iker Casillas, Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Nemanja Vidic, Xabi Alonso, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

This is the eighth year that the professional footballers association FIFPro has joined with FIFA to organise the awards and has this year distributed 45,000 voting papers through the various national players unions.

The players pre-selected in the process will be announced in four phases this year:

1. Monday 19th November: the top 5 keepers.

2. Thursday 22nd November: the top 20 defenders.

3. Monday 26th November: the top 15 midfielders.

4. Thursday 29th November: the top 15 strikers.