FIFA RELEASES 23 MAN LIST FOR THE BALLON D’OR
Wales and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is the only player from the home nations on the 23-man shortlist for the Fifa 2014 men’s world footballer of the year award.
Bale, 25, scored 22 goals for Real Madrid last season, as the La Liga side won the Champions League.
Five Premier League players in Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa, Angel Di Maria, Eden Hazard and Yaya Toure have also been nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to retain the award.
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who has won the award three times in the last four years, is also on the shortlist, alongside team-mate Neymar.
The 23 shortlist will be reduced to three in December before the winners are announced on 12 January, 2015 in Zurich.
Wales the only home nation on the shortlist
For the second successive year, no player from England, Scotland or Northern Ireland are represented in the final 23.
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has know place in the list after he played a crucial role in helping Uruguay qualify for the last 16 in Brazil but was suspended from all football-related activity for four months for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
In terms of Premier League clubs, Chelsea have the most players on the list with three – Courtois, Costa and Hazard, with Manchester United (Di Maria) and Manchester City (Toure) each supplying one.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich players dominate the list, with each club supplying six players.
World Cup winners Germany have the most players nominated with six, with Spain and Argentina three apiece and France and Belgium two each.
Carlo Ancelotti, who guided Real Madrid to the Champions League, Super Cup and Copa del Rey last season, has been nominated for the coach of the year award.
Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho, Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini and Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, who guided Netherlands to the third place in the World Cup, are also on the 10-man list for the coach award, alongside World Cup winning coach Joachim Low.
FIFA WORLD MEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST:
Gareth Bale (Wales, Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), Diego Costa (Spain, Chelsea), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium, Chelsea), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Angel Di Maria (Argentina, Manchester United), Mario Gotze (Germany, Bayern Munich), Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Paris St-Germain), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Philipp Lahm (Germany, Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina, Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany, Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil, Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France, Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Arjen Robben (Netherlands, Bayern Munich), James Rodriguez (Colombia, Real Madrid), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast, Manchester City).
FIFA COACH OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST:
Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), Antonio Conte (Juventus/Italy national team), Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klinsmann (USA national team), Joachim Low (Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea), Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City), Alejandro Sabella (Argentina national team), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Louis van Gaal (Netherlands national team/Manchester United).