Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Lionel Messi Launches Election for FIFA FIFPro World XI

September 12, 2013

BARCELONA, Spain, September 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

Lionel Messi gave the official start sign for election of the FIFA FIFPro World XI of
2013. In the coming months, FIFPro will be giving every professional football player in
the world the opportunity to select his favourite eleven players. Messi cast the first
vote on Thursday, thousands of other players will be filling in the voting papers soon.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130913/638654 )

Every year, FIFPro asks the reigning world footballer of the year to be the first
player to cast a vote for the FIFA FIFPro World XI. Messi eagerly took the opportunity of
filling in the form. His Barcelona team mates followed suit.

‘Of course I consider it an honour to be the first to cast a vote, particularly
because it is a very special election,’ explained Messi. ‘This is the only global award
that is one hundred percent based on the votes of the players. Your colleagues know why a
footballer is good. That is what makes being elected for the FIFA FIFPro World XI such a
significant prize.’

Messi knows what he’s talking about. In 2008, the then 21-year-old Messi received the
World XI trophy for the first time. Since then, he has been in every successive FIFA
FIFPro World XI. The Argentinian, now 26 years old, is the record holder with six
selections – just as many of Cristiano Ronaldo.

In 2013, Messi led Barcelona to a new national title and to the Spanish Supercup. In
the semi-finals of the Champions League, he had to watch injured from the side line as
Barca failed to beat Bayern Muenchen, who went on to win the title.

This is the ninth year that FIFPro organises the World XI election. The world players
union sent out almost 50,000 voting papers to 68 countries in Africa, America, Asia and
Europe. The players will be able to fill in their form until 1 November. The eleven
players (1 keeper, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 strikers) with the highest number of
votes will be honoured on Monday 13 January 2014 during the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala in
Zurich, Switzerland.

The FIFA FIFPro World XI of 2012 was: Iker Casillas; Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio
Ramos, Marcelo; Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez ; Lionel Messi, Cristiano
Ronaldo and Radamel Falcao.

Click here for a video interview with Messi:


A picture accompanying this release is available in the AP PhotoExpress feed using
ref# PRN22




Source: PR Newswire