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World Player of the Year

Ribéry makes final shortlist of three

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Franck Ribéry’s dream of claiming the prestigious World Player of the Year award lives on after the France star was named on the final shortlist of three nominees. Bayern’s gifted winger is joined on the list announced by world governing body FIFA on Monday by Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. The three players also made up the shortlist for UEFA’s Best Player in Europe awards in the autumn.

“Franck has had an incredible year. I hope it all works out for him,” Pep Guardiola said on Friday in advance of the FIFA announcement. The original shortlist of 23 also included five other Bayern men: Bastian Schweinsteiger (German Footballer of the Year 2013), Thomas Müller, Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben. Following a vote among worldwide national team coaches and captains and a panel of journalists, Ribéry has made it through to the final face-off.

Nine FCB men up for world team awards

In the contest for places in the world team of the year, the FIFA/FIFPro World XI as voted for by more than 50,000 professional players from all over the world, a number of Munich men are in the running. The long list of 55 players includes nine Bayern stars: Neuer, Lahm, Dante, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba, Ribéry, Robben, Schweinsteiger and as of Monday Mario Mandzukic.

The elite group’s former coach is a strong candidate for an award in his specialist area too, as Jupp Heynckes leads the shortlist of three for the title of FIFA Coach of the Year. Heynckes is up against Sir Alex Ferguson and Jürgen Klopp.

The prestigious accolades will be awarded at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala on 13 January 2014 in Zurich.