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Casillas On World XI Shortlist

Real Madrid's captain joins a strong group of keepers nominated.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Iker Casillas has had an up and down 12 months. Impressive shutout streaks marred by some shockingly clumsy displays in big moments for both club and country, Casillas has had one of the most challenging years of his life as a Real Madrid player. However, the world players' union, FIFPro and FIFA are choosing to accentuate the positives and have thus named him to the shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2014. Along with Iker, Bayern's Manuel Neuer, Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois, Barcelona's Claudio Bravo and Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon have been also included on the shortlist.

Iker Casillas, the captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, was the goalkeeper of the World XI for five straight years between 2008-12. Buffon, of Juventus, also won the award in 2006 and 2007 and he is the only goalkeeper who has been included in every shortlist since the award was created in 2005.

The players themselves will choose the winner and while incumbent Manuel Neuer will likely take the prize given the growing campaign surrounding him for the Ballon d'Or, it's still a nice feather in Iker's cap to be involved in the conversation given some of the high-profile goals conceded since the Champions League final.

However, absent from the list is Iker's teammate Keylor Navas, who protected a dreadful Levante defense last season and was a huge reason for Costa Rica's advancement in the World Cup. Between Iker's inclusion to an extent and Bravo even being in the conversation given that he was mediocre last season and is being protected by a possession-heavy side, Keylor's omission is surprising to say the least.

The outfield players will be announced between November 26 and December 1.

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