Hoofddorp, Netherlands - Four FC Bayern München players and one from Borussia Dortmund have made the defenders shortlist for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2013.
Record-breaking defensive season for Bayern
FC Bayern quartet , Jerome Boateng, Dante and all join Dortmund centre back among the 20 contenders for a back-row berth in the team of the year, as voted for by professional footballers across the world.
All five were integral to their respective team's march towards the first all-German UEFA Champions League final at Wembley in May, which Bayern won to end the 2012/13 campaign with part two of an historic Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup treble. Among the many benchmarks the Reds set along the way to their domestic title success was a new record of just 18 goals conceded all season.
Up against the Bundesliga contingent are seven players from Spain's Primera Division, including the likes of FC Barcelona duo Jordi Alba and Dani Alves and Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, a further seven from the English Premier League and Paris Saint-Germain FC's Brazilian centre half Thiago Silva. The final XI will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland on 13 January 2014, where the winner of the prestigious FIFA Ballon D'Or will also be unveiled. No fewer than seven Bundesliga stars, six of them from FC Bayern, are still in the running for football's highest individual honour.