And with only one goalkeeping place up for grabs, many of the best world’s best shot-stoppers in the world — such as Liverpool’s Alisson, Manchester City’s Ederson and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak — all find themselves ousted.
Underlining his importance to the team, Kante won 72 tackles in 41 games for Chelsea over the course of 2021, and he made more average interceptions per 90 minutes (1.8) than any other player at the club to have amassed more than 2,000 total minutes on the pitch. Kante carried his form into Euro 2020, where he amassed more interceptions per 90 minutes (3.2) than any other player to have played at least 300 minutes at the tournament. The France international is also remarkable for the consistency with which he hits top form: he recovered possession 13 times during his man-of-the-match performance against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in March 2021, equaling the record he previously set against Barcelona in February 2018.
Seven players — Donnarumma, Dias, De Bruyne, Jorginho, Kante, Lewandowski and Messi — made it into both selections. Where the teams differ is the inclusion of Real Madrid utility man David Alaba and Italy stalwart Bonucci in the FIFPro World 11 defence, as well as Ronaldo and Haaland filling out a rather top-heavy 3-3-4 formation.
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