MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) — The shortlist for FIFA’s prestigious Ballon d’Or award, to be awarded next January, has been announced on FIFA.com.
Ten coaches and 23 players have been listed as contenders for the prestigious award.
The list of players, in alphabetical order, is as follows: Karim Benzema (France), Gareth Bale (Wales), Diego Costa (Spain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Angel Di Maria (Argentina), Mario Goetze (Germany), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Brazil), Paul Pogba (France), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), and Yaya Toure (Côte d'Ivoire).
The list of coaches includes: Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid CF), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus FC/Italy National Team), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Juergen Klinsmann (Germany/ USA National Team), Joachim Loew (Germany/Germany National Team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea FC), Manuel Pellegrini (Chile/Manchester City FC), Alejandro Sabella (Argentina/Argentina National Team), Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid), and Louis van Gaal (Netherlands/Netherlands National Team/Manchester United).
Sports news and analysis site BleacherReport.com listed Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo as the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or this year. Along with Ronaldo, the site put Germany’s Thomas Mueller, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Colombian James Rodriguez, and Argentinian Angel Di Maria in its list of top five contenders.
Among the coaches in the running for the Coach of the Year award, Italy’s Carlo Ancelotti and Germany’s Joachim Loew are seen as the favorites for their successes in the Champions League and the World Cup.
Five other Germans made the list, rewarding them for their spectacular win at this year’s World Cup in Brazil. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich each have six players in the list, while Barcelona has four and Chelsea has three.
The winners will be announced in Zurich January 12.