MUNICH (Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all on the list of leading contenders for FIFA’s Ballon d’Or award this year.
Barcelona forward Messi continues to be the slight favorite, but there are section of the media who also believes thatand France forward Franck Ribery, who won the UEFA’s best player in Europe for the 2012-13 season, is also a strong contender to win the honor as well.
Also on the shortlist are Real Madrid and Wales winger Gareth Bale, Manchester United and Holland striker Robin van Persie, Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure and Uruguay and Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Vicente Del Bosque (Spain) and ex-Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes, who guided the German club to a treble last season, including the Champions League trophy, are on the coach of the year shortlist.
Ballon d’Or shortlist: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/Wales), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain/Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Monaco/Colombia), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain/Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich/Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund/Poland), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich/Germany), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany), Neymar (Barcelona/Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/Italy), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/France), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich/Netherlands), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich/Germany), Luis Suarez (Liverpool/Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain/Brazil), Yaya Toure (Manchester City/Ivory Coast), Robin van Persie (Manchester United/Netherlands), Xavi (Barcelona/Spain).
Coach of the year shortlist: Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid/ex-Paris St Germain), Rafael Benitez (Napoli/ex-Chelsea), Antonio Conte (Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain), Sir Alex Ferguson (ex-Manchester United), Jupp Heynckes (ex-Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea/ex-Real Madrid), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).