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Top 23 announced

Six Bayern stars nominated for World Player award

The footballing world has paid a huge compliment to Bayern and six of their stars with the nomination of Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger for the World Player of the Year award. The longlist of 23 candidates announced by FIFA on Tuesday includes half-a-dozen of the key figures from last season’s treble winners. The supremo who masterminded the historic campaign, Jupp Heynckes, is on the shortlist for Coach of the Year 2013.

Among the players, the shortlist of three will be announced in early December. The final vote is taken among the captains and coaches of the world’s men’s international teams, and a panel of international media representatives selected by leading magazine France Football. The winner of the vote will be announced on 13 January 2014 at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala in Zurich Kongresshaus.

The last German player to win the prestigious award was Lothar Matthäus in 1991. Argentina and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has topped the vote for the last four years in a row. Bayern’s Franck Ribéry could be poised to interrupt that streak, as he was named UEFA Best Player in Europe in August ahead of Messi and rates as one of the top favourites for the World Player vote.

Six Bayern stars were initially nominated for the award in 2012, but only Manuel Neuer made it into the final 23.

World Player 2013 long list of 23:

Gareth Bale (Wales)
Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
Radamel Falcao (Colombia)
Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden)
Andrés Iniesta (Spain)
Philipp Lahm (Germany)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Thomas Müller (Germany)
Manuel Neuer (Germany)

Neymar (Brazil)
Mesut Özil (Germany)
Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
Franck Ribéry (France)
Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
Luis Suárez (Uruguay)
Thiago Silva (Brazil)
Yaya Touré (Cote d’Ivoire)
Robin Van Persie (Netherlands)
Xavi (Spain)