Federation Internationale de Football Association on Monday announced 55 nominees to come up with a team of 11 players to be named the squad of the year.
Football's governing body FIFA and the worldwide players' union FIFPro have revealed a 55-man shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI for 2018.
The list is meant to honour contributions by individual players throughout the 2017/18 season.
All 55 players were selected by fellow professional footballers, as 25 000 players from 65 different countries voted for one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.
Forty-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is the oldest nominee on the list.
His effect on Liverpool's defence should not be underestimated; he has improved their distribution from the back as well as their defensive solidity, helping the Reds reach the Champions League final.
Luka Modric is named after his stellar season in 2017-18, helping Real Madrid to their third successive Champions League crown as well as starring in Croatia's run to the World Cup final.
Gonzalo Higuain, who scored 23 times for Juventus last season in all competitions, is also not included, but Mario Mandzukic returns after a five-year absence.
Nemanja Matic also features on a list that includes Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho, Chelsea's Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante, Real Madrid's Isco and Luka Modric as well as Manchester City pair Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.
The nominations are in for the FIFPro World XI and it includes 15 players now playing their trade in the Premier League.