ALL THREE players shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or award were selected by their peers for the 2014 FIFPro World XI team.
Lionel Messi, Manuel Neuer and Cristiano Ronaldo were among seven 2013 team members who retained their places in worldwide voting by 23,000 members of national players’ unions.
Germany’s World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm, Brazil captain Thiago Silva, and Spain pair Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta also stayed in the elite lineup.
David Luiz was voted into the defence despite playing in Brazil’s 7-1 rout by Germany in the World Cup semi-finals, when Thiago Silva was suspended.
The Brazilian pair later reunited for a second embarrassing loss, 3-0 against the Netherlands in the third-place match.
Arjen Robben was the only player picked from the Dutch team, which started the World Cup by thumping holders Spain 5-1.
Argentina had a second selection as Angel Di Maria joined teammate Messi.
Toni Kroos completed the lineup as the third Germany player and the fourth who played for Bayern Munich last year.
As Kroos transferred in the off-season to join Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid, the European champion also had four players in the FIFPro lineup. Di Maria was a standout in Madrid’s Champions League final victory against city rival Atletico, before joining Manchester United.
Luiz was the other World XI player who switched clubs last season, moving from Chelsea to join Thiago Silva at Paris Saint-Germain.
However, there was again no place for Brazil’s Neymar. He lost out to Robben in a three-man attack with Messi and Ronaldo, a year after Zlatan Ibrahimovic was elected as third striker.
The other 2013 team members who lost their places were Dani Alves, Xavi Hernandez and Franck Ribery.