World football’s governing body has announced the 23-men shortlist for the prestigious individual award, with the winner to be announced on January 12
Six members of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad feature in Fifa’s shortlist for the Ballon d’Or released on Tuesday, with Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo again among the leading contenders for the prize.
Captain Philipp Lahm, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Bastian Schweinsteiger all tasted success in Brazil this year and have been rewarded for their efforts with a nomination.
Fifa’s award for the best player in a calendar year will be announced in Zurich on January 12.
Ronaldo won the prestigious award in 2013, with Messi emerging victorious in the preceding four years.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have six nominees each, while four Barcelona and three Chelsea players are still in the running.
Furthermore, Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus all have one candidate each.
2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist:
Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Diego Costa (Spain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Angel Di Maria (Argentina), Mario Gotze (Germany), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Paul Pogba (France), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)
Meanwhile, Fifa has also announced the names of the coaches who are in contention to scoop the Coach of the Year award, with Carlo Ancelotti and Joachim Low the favourites following their Champions League and World Cup success, respectively.
Coach of the Year shortlist:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus/Italy national team), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany/ USA national team), Joachim Low (Germany/Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea), Manuel Pellegrini (Chile/Manchester City), Alejandro Sabella (Argentina/Argentina national team), Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid), Louis van Gaal (Netherlands/Netherlands national team/Manchester United)