Canadian Alphonso Davies' remarkable year continued Thursday when he became the first North American player ever to be voted onto the FIFPRO Men's World 11.
It was a vote of approval from his peers. FIFPRO which represents some 65,000 pro soccer players worldwide, said 15,878 took part in voting for the 16th edition of the men's World 11.
The 20-year-old Bayern Munich fullback was the first North American male to make the initial list of 55 players with the most votes. He went one better Thursday at the Best FIFA Football Awards, joining the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos on the World 11.
"Christmas came early this year," Davies said on social media. "Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Keep working hard and chasing your dreams."
Canadian Kadeisha Buchanan made the women's World 11 in 2015.
Davies edged Bayern teammate David Alaba by 275 votes, the closest race in positional voting.
Davies is the third-youngest player to be voted onto the World 11. French forward Kylian Mbappe was 19 years old when he was honoured in 2018. Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt was four days younger than Davies when he voted to the team in 2019.
Bayern teammates Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich also made this year's top 11. So did Thiago Alcantara, who left Bayern for Liverpool after winning the Champions League.
Lewandowski, a prolific goal-scorer for the German champion, was named Best FIFA Men’s Player over Ronaldo and Messi. England defender Lucy Bronze, who joined Manchester City from France's Lyon in 2020, took top women’s honours over Denmark's Pernille Harder (Chelsea) and France's Wendie Renard (Lyon).
it was a big night for Bayern. Manuel Neuer was named Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper while Hansi Flick was runner-up to Liverpool's Juergen Klopp for Best FIFA Men's Coach.
Club president President Herbert Hainer called it "a proud day for FC Bayern."
"The fact that Lewandowski, Joshua Kimmich, Alphonso Davies and our former player Thiago were chosen for the World 11 shows the terrific overall performance of our team," he said in a statement.
Ronaldo and Messi were voted onto the World 11 for a record 14th consecutive year. Ramos made the team for the 11th time.
Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) received the most votes followed by Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker (Liverpool) and Spain's Ramos (Real Madrid).
Davies, from his left fullback position, has won worldwide praise for his pace and athleticism while helping Bayern fill its trophy case.
So far in 2020, he has won the Champions League, German league title, DFB Cup and UEFA Super Cup. He was also named Bundesliga rookie of the season for 2019-20.
Off the field he was voted the Canadian Men's Player of the Year and was co-winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy, presented by the Toronto Star to the Canadian athlete of the year.
Davies returned to action last week after tearing ankle ligaments in Bayern's 5-0 win Oct. 24 over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Buchanan, who plays for French powerhouse Lyon, made the list of 55 top women vote-getters for the FIFPRO World 11.
The FIFA Awards also paid tribute to Canada captain Christine Sinclair for topping the all-time world goal-scoring list in 2020. The 37-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., now has 186 goals to her credit.
FIFPRO WORLD 11
Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker (Liverpool FC, Brazil).
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool FC, England), Alphonso Davies (FC Bayern Munich, Canada), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool FC, the Netherlands), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, Spain).
MIidfielders: Thiago Alcántara (Liverpool FC/FC Bayern Munich, Spain), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium), Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern Munich, Germany).
Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich, Poland), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona, Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Portugal).
Goalkeeper: Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain, Chile).
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea, England), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City/Olympique Lyonnais, England), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais, France).
Midfielders: Barbara Bonansea (Juventus, Italy), Veronica Boquete (AC Milan/Utah Royals, Spain), Delphine Cascarino (Olympique Lyonnais, France).
Forwards: Pernille Harder (Chelsea/VfL Wolfsburg, Denmark), Tobin Heath (Manchester United/Portland Thorns, U.S.), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal, the Netherlands), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign, U.S.).
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec, 17, 2020
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press