Tuesday 28 October 2014 21:44, UK
Five Premier League players have been named on the 23-man shortlist for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or award - with Luis Suarez a high-profile omission.
Current league-leaders Chelsea have a strong presence among the names, with Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois joining Diego Costa and Eden Hazard on the list.
Manchester United winger Angel di Maria and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure have also been nominated.
Lionel Messi, whose four Ballon d’Or trophies makes him the most-awarded player in history, represents Barcelona along with Neymar Junior, Javier Mascherano and Andres Iniesta - but Suarez is left off the list, despite being awarded the Golden Shoe last week.
Two-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who won last year's award and is earmarked as the favourite again, leads six Real Madrid players among the choices - the most of any team - along with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and James Rodriguez.
There are six German players, with Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze joining Kroos.
The list is completed by Paris Saint-Germain and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juventus and France midfielder Paul Pogba, and Netherlands and Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.
Meanwhile, three Premier League managers have been shortlisted for FIFA’s Coach of the Year including Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, Manchester United’s new manager Louis van Gaal and title-winning Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Carlo Ancelotti, who lifted the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, is in a strong position but faces competition from La Liga-winning boss Diego Simeone of rivals Atletico.
Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola clinched the Bundesliga in record time earlier this year and is also on the list along with Italy boss Antonio Conte, who won Serie A with Juventus before taking over the national team following the World Cup.
World Cup winning coach Joachim Low makes the list, along with Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella and USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Ballon d’Or nominations: Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Angel di Maria, Yaya Toure, Mario Gotze, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andres Iniesta, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm, Javier Mascherano, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Neymar, Paul Pogba, Sergio Ramos, Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez, Bastian Schweinsteiger
Coach of the Year nomination: Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klinsmann, Joachim Low, Manuel Pellegrini, Alejandro Sabella, Diego Simeone