Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have been named in the 55-man shortlist for 2018 Fifa FIFPro World11 following their stellar performances at Liverpool and for their respective countries in the year under review.
Both players will slug it out with 13 other forwards for three attacking slots.
The recognition comes after Salah and Mane’s immense contributions to Liverpool’s 2017-18 campaign, helping the Reds to a third-place finish in the English Premier League and a Uefa Champions League final spot.
Salah, in his debut campaign at Anfield, scored 44 goals and swept major awards including the Premier League Player of the Year gong, and last week, was second runners-up at the Uefa Men’s Player of the Year award behind Cristiano Ronaldo and winner Luka Modric.
His Reds teammate Mane contributed 20 goals, including one in the Champions League final, thus, becoming the first Senegalese to do so.
After beating nerves to help Egypt secure a ticket to participate at the World Cup finals for the first time in 28 years, Salah’s unfortunate shoulder injury, picked in Liverpool’s UCL final loss against Real Madrid, prevented him from influencing the Pharaohs’ run in Russia, but he ended up with two goals.
Mane’s Senegal were a tad unlucky in Russia, losing a knockout stage slot due to cards accumulation. Their captain appeared in all three games and scored once.
This term, the duo have continued from where they stopped and already have six goals between themselves to help Jurgen Klopp’s side maintain their 100 per cent start to the season and a place at the summit of the Premier League log.
Samuel Eto’o [2005 & 2006] and Didier Drogba  are the only Africans to have made the World XI. The forwards will hope to emulate the Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire legends.
The full list:
Goalkeepers (5): Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain/Juventus FC), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid CF/Chelsea FC), David De Gea (Spain/Manchester United FC), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica/Real Madrid CF), Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany/FC Barcelona).
Defenders (20): Jordi Alba (Spain/FC Barcelona), Daniel Carvajal (Spain/Real Madrid CF), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus FC), Dani Alves (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain), Diego Godin (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid), Mats Hummels (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Germany/FC Bayern Munich) Dejan Lovren (Croatia/Liverpool FC), Marcelo (Brazil/Real Madrid CF), Yerry Mina (Colombia/Everton FC/FC Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (France/VfB Stuttgart), Gerard Pique (Spain/FC Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid CF), Thiago Silva (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain), Kieran Trippier (England/Tottenham Hotspur), Samuel Umtiti (France/FC Barcelona), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool FC), Raphael Varane (France/Real Madrid CF), Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia/Internazionale/Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (England/Manchester City FC).
Midfielders (15): Sergio Busquets (Spain/FC Barcelona), Casemiro (Brazil/Real Madrid CF), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City FC), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea FC), Andres Iniesta (Spain/Vissel Kobe/FC Barcelona), Isco (Spain/Real Madrid CF), N’Golo Kante (France/Chelsea FC), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid CF), Nemanja Matic (Serbia/Manchester United FC), Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid CF), Paul Pogba (France/Manchester United FC), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/FC Barcelona), David Silva (Spain/Manchester City FC), Arturo Vidal (Chile/FC Barcelona/FC Bayern Munich).
Forwards (15): Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid CF), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay/Paris Saint-Germain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus FC/Real Madrid CF), Paulo Dybala (Argentina/Juventus FC), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atletico Madrid), Harry Kane (England/Tottenham Hotspur), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium/Manchester United FC), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia/Juventus FC), Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool FC), Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain), Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool FC), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona).