This year’s 23 player shortlist for the annual Ballon d’Or player of the year prize has just been announced by FIFA. The prize is given annually to the best player in the world as chosen by coaches, international captains and journalists.
La Liga is the most represented league with 10 nominations and Germany lead the way for nationality with 6.
The following 23 men (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014:
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 (Côte d’Ivoire).
The award has been running in some shape or form since 1956 and originated in France as an award for the European Player of the Year. In 2010 the original award merged with FIFA’s award to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
Here is a complete list of previous winners (design by Italian artist Giuseppe Barbieri)