N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard have been named in the FIFA FIFPro World 11 2018.
The Chelsea duo were selected for the prestigious honour at an awards ceremony in central London this evening, having enjoyed an impressive 2017/18 campaign for the Blues before going on to shine at the World Cup.
Our former player Thibaut Courtois won the Best Goalkeeper award for his performances with Chelsea and the Belgium national side. Courtois, who thanked his Stamford Bridge team-mates in his acceptance speech, played for the Blues during the period in which the votes are based.
Congratulations to all three players!
Tonight’s awards ceremony, hosted by actor Idris Elba, took place at the Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall, with some of the biggest names in football attending, including Chelsea legends Didier Drogba, Marcel Desailly and Michael Ballack.
Kante and Hazard were initially named on a 55-man shortlist for the team, which was voted for by professional footballers around the world, based on performances between 3 July 2017 and 15 July 2018 inclusive.
For Kante, it’s yet another huge personal honour after the overall quality of his performances at club level last season ensured he was named Chelsea Player of the Year. The midfielder, who scored the winner against his former club Leicester City, maintained the high standards which he had set in his maiden campaign at Stamford Bridge, with his energy, athleticism and technical quality pivotal in the middle of the park.
Having finished the season by helping the Blues lift the FA Cup, the winning feeling continued into the summer for Kante, who played an important role as France triumphed at the World Cup. The 27-year-old started every game for Didier Deschamps’s side as they secured the trophy courtesy of a 4-2 win over Croatia in the final.
Kante said: 'It means a lot. We did well with Chelsea and won one trophy, and then we did well with my team-mates for France at the World Cup. I’m really happy to receive this award and I’m looking forward to more good seasons in the future.
'I'm happy to have Eden by my side in this team and I'm happy to share this time with him. He had a beautiful World Cup, we all know the player he is and he deserves to be here.'
Hazard, who has started the current season in fine form and is the Premier League’s joint-top goalscorer, performed well for Chelsea last season and scored the goal which secured the FA Cup, the Belgian converting from the penalty spot having won the kick himself in a man-of-the-match display against Manchester United at Wembley.
The attacker was then awarded the Silver Ball trophy, which is given to the tournament’s second-best player, at the World Cup in Russia after skippering Belgium to the semi-finals. Hazard produced a string of standout displays, none more so than in their quarter-final victory over Brazil, and netted three times in total.
Like Kante, Hazard was delighted to be selected in the side.
'It’s great to be a part of this team,' he said. 'It’s something I couldn’t have imagined because all of them are top players so just to be with them is something special.
'When you have this feeling you want more and I hope next season is going to be the same, we will work for that.
'It's good for Chelsea. N'Golo is my friend so it's great, not just for myself and N'Golo but for the Chelsea fans. The Chelsea family is super.'
Deschamps, a former Chelsea midfielder, was named Best Men’s Coach after guiding France to World Cup glory, and there was also an award for another of our former players, Mohamed Salah, who won the FIFA Puskas prize for the best goal.
FIFA FIFPro World 11:
David de Gea