According to the rules, players are to vote one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards based on the players' performances between 3 July 2017 and 15 July 2018 inclusive.
The International Association of Professional Footballers FIFPro, in collaboration with FIFA, has announced a list of 55 footballers who have found their name on the shortlist for the best team in 2018.
The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah and Luka Modric are among the big names on the list, but there were also some surprises.
Manchester United duo David De Gea and Paul Pogba have joined Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk among the contenders in the reckoning to feature in FIFPro and FIFA's World XI. De Gea and Navas are on the list for the fourth time in a row while Buffon was named the No.1 goalkeeper a year ago.
Dejan Lovren, who reached both the World Cup final and Champions League final with country and club, is named amongst the defenders - with Virgil van Dijk also part of the 20 man defenders list.
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However, United's Alexis Sanchez lost his place on the list following a tricky debut season at Old Trafford, with former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, now of LA Galaxy, also dropping out.
Spain (nine) and France (eight) are the countries with the most players represented on the list, with European players making up 71 per cent of the total players selected.
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been included after winning a third successive Champions League title with Real Madrid.
The nominations are in for the FIFPro World XI and it includes 15 players now playing their trade in the Premier League.