TORONTO, Canada—Take yourself back two years. Imagine every player in world football.
Now pick the best XI.
In your wildest imagination, does a Canadian even come close to scratching that list? Does a U.S or Mexican international even come to mind? Probably not.
Well, on Thursday, FIFA FIFPro revealed its 16th edition of the World XI for 2019-20, and for the first time ever, a Canadian was included among the world’s elite.
The @FIFPro Men's World XI:— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) December 17, 2020
Virgil Van Dijk
Kevin de Bruyne
That's pretty decent company...
Alphonso Davies was one of four Bayern Munich players to be honoured among the World 11, capping off a historic campaign for the pacey fullback, which included becoming the first Canadian men’s national team player to win the UEFA Champions League. The Canadian also becomes the first North-American player to be named to the World XI.
Davies’ spot in the World XI was the ‘closest’ race, according to FIFPRO, as he beat out Bayern teammate David Alaba by 275 votes.
The 20 year old is the third youngest player to ever receive a World XI award, behind Kylian Mbappe and Matthis de Ligt. De Ligt was just four days younger than Davies.
Alphonso Davies is the first player from Concacaf to make the FIFPro Men's World XI. And only the third from outside Europe and South America, after Samuel Eto'o and Didier Drogba.#CanMNT pic.twitter.com/yGgdOgbjGu— Oliver Platt (@plattoli) December 17, 2020
In all, 15,878 male professional footballers voted for the World XI, with the majority of votes received stemming from Japan.
The best left-back in the world came through Major League Soccer and is Canadian. Let that sink in for a second. Yeah, we’ll go ahead and file this under things you absolutely love to see. Who’s next?