Created on 09-10-2012 at 00:00 AM
Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Mario Gomez of Germany, France star Franck Ribéry, Netherlands winger Arjen Robben and Croat hitman Mario Mandzukic have been nominated for the annual world player of the year award, the FIFA Ballon d'Or. World governing body FIFA and an expert panel selected by French football magazine France Football have named the six Munich stars in the initial 52-player longlist for the prestigious honour. Bayern are the club with the third-highest number of nominees after Real Madrid (8) and Barcelona (7).
Jupp Heynckes is also a contender in the global vote as a nominee for the world’s best coach in 2012. The captains and head coaches of the world’s national teams, plus a jury of international football media representatives chosen by France Football, now cast their votes to determine the winner of the Ballon d'Or. In all likelihood, the names of the three players receiving the most votes will be announced in the course of December. The winner is revealed and presented with the award at a gala in Zurich in January.
Last year, Bayern men Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller made the initial list of candidates. The final shortlist comprised a trio from Spain’s La Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, and Lionel Messi, the eventual winner of the world player award.