Five Premier League players join Bale, Messi and Ronaldo on Ballon d'Or shortlist
Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are joined by five Premier League players on the shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, Sky Sports has reported.
The honour is awarded to the player voted the best in the world for the year and is voted on by the coaches and captains of each FIFA member nation’s national team, as well as a journalist from each country. It is a 23-man shortlist, with the winner to be announced in the New Year. Messi is the current holder and has four Ballons d’Or to his name.
Manchester United’s Robin van Persie, Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Arsenal summer signing Mesut Ozil are the representatives of English football on the shortlist, but there are no English players named among the 23 possible winners.
European champions Bayern Munich have six players named among the contenders - UEFA player of the year Franck Ribery, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Manuel Neuer.
There is Premier League representation on the 10-man Coach of the year shortlist, however. Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is joined by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and the former and current Chelsea managers, Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho.
See what the expert tipsters are tipping on OLBG