SIX members of the Germany team that won the World Cup have been included among the nominees for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
Mario Goetze, who scored the winning goal against Argentina in the World Cup final, was selected along with Germany teammates Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, and Bastian Schweinsteiger on the 23-man shortlist.
Uruguay and Barcelona forward Luis Suarez was left out following his biting ban.
Suarez was the top scorer in the English Premier League last season with 31 goals in 33 appearances for Liverpool. But his reputation took a hit when he was banned for four months for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup group phase.
Messi won the award for the first three years the FIFA and France Football merged their international player of the year awards, while Cristiano Ronaldo took the honour last year.
Germany coach Joachim Low leads the 10-man list of nominees for FIFA world coach of the year while Carlo Ancelotti, who guided Real Madrid to the Champions League title last season, was also selected.
The lists were selected by FIFA’s football committee and France Football, and FIFA’s women’s football committee helped select the coaches list.
The final decisions will be made by the captains and head coaches of national teams and international media representatives selected by France Football.
The three finalists with the most votes for each award will be announced on December 1 and the winners will be revealed the following month on January 12.
FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees
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 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).
FIFA world coach of the year nominees
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus/Italy national team), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany/ U.S. 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).