Tuesday, 20 October 2015

REVEALED: The 23-Man Shortlist For The World Player Of The Year Award

Cristiano Ronaldo, the injured Lionel Messi and Neymar lead FIFA's 23-player list of nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or Award announced early Wednesday for the men's player of the year.

The list of nominees will be shortened to the final three contenders for the Ballon d'Or Award on Nov. 30 with Barcelona's Messi and Real Madrid's Ronaldo almost certain to make the cut.

With Messi out injured, Brazil striker Neymar - who made his fifth consecutive 23-player list - has taken over the spotlight at Barcelona and is looking to prove he has what it takes to finally make the three-player shortlist.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who was last week handed a 50,000-pound ($77,400) fine and a suspended one-match stadium ban by England's Football Association, was included in the list of 10 nominees for World Coach of the Year.

The winners of Ballon d'Or and Coach of the Year will be announced Jan. 11.

Messi of Argentina and Portugal's Ronaldo have shared the Ballon d'Or between themselves since 2008, with Messi claiming four and Ronaldo three, including the 2013 and 2014 awards.

Mourinho was sanctioned for remarks that ''constituted improper conduct'' as they implied bias and brought the game into disrepute.a suspended one-game stadium ban for accusing referees of being biased against his team.

Speaking after a 3-1 loss to Southampton on Oct. 3, Mourinho said referees ''are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea.''

Player shortlist: Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/VfL Wolfsburg/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain), Andres Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/FC Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Netherlands/FC Bayern Munich), James Rodriguez (Colombia/Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona), Yaya Toure (Cote d'Ivoire/Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile/Juventus/FC Bayern Munich).

Coach shortlist: Massimiliano Allegri (Italy/Juventus), Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid), Laurent Blanc (France/Paris Saint-Germain), Unai Emery (Spain/Sevilla FC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Luis Enrique Martinez (Spain/FC Barcelona), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea), Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina/Chilean national team), Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid), Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal).