WALES winger Gareth Bale is the only British player included in FIFA’s 23-man Ballon d’Or shortlist for the third successive year.
Bale is one of 11 players from Spain’s Primera Division to make the list, with the Premier League and Bundesliga each contributing five.
Manchester City trio Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure have been shortlisted alongside Chelsea winger Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez, who backed up his Arsenal form by helping his country Chile to Copa America success in 2015.
But it is once again Real Madrid and Barcelona who dominate the list, from which one player will be voted as the year’s best footballer at a ceremony in Zurich on January 11, 2016.
Bale is joined by 2014 winner Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow Real team-mates Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, while Lionel Messi has Barcelona quartet Neymar, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic for company,
Bayern Munich are represented by Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal, while Paul Pogba of Juventus and Paris St Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic complete the list.
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho are both on a 10-man shortlist for the coach of the year award, alongside Barcelona’s Champions League-winning coach Luis Enrique and Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola.
Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli is the only national team coach on the list, which also includes Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, Sevilla’s Unai Emery, Laurent Blanc of PSG, Atletico Madrid chief Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti, who left Real Madrid in the summer.
England women’s coach Mark Sampson is on the coach of the year for women’s football shortlist, alongside Englishmen Colin Bell (Frankfurt) and John Herdman (Canada), but there are no British footballers on the women’s player of the year list.
BALLON D’OR SHORTLIST: Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris St Germain), Andres Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany/Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Holland/Bayern Munich), James Rodriguez (Colombia/Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast/Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile/Bayern Munich).
COACH OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST: Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Carlo Ancelotti (Formerly of Real Madrid), Laurent Blanc (Paris St Germain), Unai Emery (Sevilla), Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich), Luis Enrique (Barcelona), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea), Jorge Sampaoli (Chile), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).