FIFPro, in association with FIFA, released the 55 man shortlist for the XI this week. Almost 25,000 players from 70 countries participated in this year’s ballot.
De Gea and Rooney have been included along with world-class talents such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Manuel Neuer and David Alaba. The team will be announced on January 11th next year at the Ballon D’Or ceremony in Zurich.
— FIFPRO (@FIFPro) November 26, 2015
The inclusion of Rooney will raise eyebrows, as the Man United captain hasn’t been in the best of form for some time now and you certainly wouldn’t put any money down in a top 5 online casino for him to score any time soon.
Rooney’s form has been so bad that there have been a number of calls for the 30-year-old to be dropped by Louis van Gaal, although he did perform admirably in the 0-0 draw against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday night.
De Gea, meanwhile, is truly deserving of his place on the shortlist. The Spaniard has been nothing short of exceptional for a number of months, despite his head being turned by Real Madrid and his subsequent failed transfer to the Bernabeu on the final day of the Spanish transfer window.