Chelsea, Man City and Man United stars on shortlist for Ballon d’Or as Suarez snubbed

first_imgChelsea trio Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard are among five Premier League players named on FIFA’s 23-man shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or.Manchester United’s record signing Angel di Maria and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure are the other England-based stars nominated.Of the quintet, only two, Hazard and Toure, played in the Premier League last season, with Courtois and Costa starring for La Liga winners Atletico Madrid and Di Maria playing a key role in Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph.There is only one Briton on the list – Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale – while there is no place for Barcelona striker Luis Suarez.The Uruguayan scored 31 goals for Liverpool as they narrowly missed out on the Premier League title, but his season ended in controversy after he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini while playing for Uruguay at the World Cup and was served with a fourth-month ban by FIFA as a consequence.The battle for the tag of world’s best footballer is again expected to be a straight fight between Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and his old foe and the current Ballon D’or holder Cristiano Ronaldo.Ronaldo’s stunning form in 2014 puts him down as the clear favourite – he guided Real Madrid to Champions League glory in May and has 21 goals in 14 appearances so far this season.World Cup winners Germany have six players on the list – the most from any nation.The 23-man list will be whittled down to three on December 1, with the winner announced in Zurich on January 12.Also named are the nominees for coach of the year, with Manchester City’s title-winning manager Manuel Pellegrini and Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho amongst the 10.Ballon d’Or shortlist: Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), 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 (Brazil), Paul Pogba (France), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire).Coach of the Year shortlist: 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), Louis van Gaal (Netherlands/Netherlands national team/Manchester United FC). 1 Eden Hazard and Angel di Maria last_img

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