FIFA have revealed the Premier League came within just two votes of having a representative in their Team of the Year, with Paul Pogba narrowly missing the cut.
Football’s governing body hosted their inaugural ‘Best FIFA Football Awards 2016’ at a gala in Zurich, Switzerland on Monday night and the English top flight was given the cold shoulder.
Only one man, not employed by Barcelona or Real Madrid in 2016 was picked in the ‘FIFPro World XI’ – Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer – but the numbers show Manchester United midfielder Pogba could hardly have come much closer to making the line-up.
Andres Iniesta, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos made up the World XI midfield trio yet the latter only just edged his way in.
‘The closest call was the third midfield position, with Kroos narrowly beating Pogba by two votes,’ FIFA announced.
‘It is the smallest margin ever in the 12-year World XI history to decide on inclusion in the World XI.’
It is no surprise to see Pogba among the top contenders for the team, having helped Juventus to a fifth consecutive Serie A title and reached the Euro 2016 final before securing a world record transfer to Old Trafford.