Its that time of the year again when we pit Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo together and make a total flippin mess of it. FIFA announced the 23 man shortlist for 2013 Ballon d’Or award in the early hours of Tuesday.
Despite Messi and Ronaldo, this year their are other strong contenders in Franck Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Arjen Robben, Gareth Bale and Neymar.
Here are the 23 nominees for the best player of 2013 (alphabetical order):
Gareth Bale (Wales), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Franck Ribery (France), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast), Robin van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain)
Besides the best player, the shortlist for best coach of the year has also been announced. The list can be seen below (alphabetical order, country and then followed by teams managed)
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy, Paris Saint-Germain/Real Madrid), Rafael Benitez (Spain, Chelsea/Napoli), Antonio Conte (Italy, Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain, Spain), Alex Ferguson (Scotland, Manchester United, retired), Jupp Heynckes (Germany, Bayern Munich, retired), Juergen Klopp (Germany, Borussia Dortmund), Jose Mourinho (Portugal, Real Madrid/Chelsea), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil, Brazil), Arsene Wenger (France, Arsenal).
FIFA also said, “The final decisions will be made by the captains and head coaches of the men’s national teams as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football. The winners of all of the awards will be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d’Or as part of a televised show at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 13 January 2014, during which the FIFA FIFPro World XI, the FIFA Puskás Award – for the most beautiful goal of the year – the FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented.”