Ballon d’ Or 23-man shortlist

The Ballon d’ Or shorlist was released this morning and includes world’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale who left Tottenham in September to join Real Madrid for 100 m euros (£ 85.3m). 2008 winner Cristiano Ronaldo and four time winner Lionel Messi will also be in contest.

The award which presents the world player of the year will unveil the winner on 13th January in Zurich. The winner should get a majority of votes from Coaches, Captains and Journalists.

Other finalists include Robin v. Persie, Yaya Toure, Luis Suarez, Eden Hazard, Mesut Ozil, Franck Ribery, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edison Cavani, Thiago Silva and Radamel Falcao.

Former Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson will lead a 10-man coach of the year shortlist along Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and spain boss Vincente Del Bosque.

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