Ballon d'Or: Five FCB pros and Guardiola nominated
No fewer than five FC Bayern stars have been nominated for the 2015 World Player of the Year award. Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal are on the 23-strong list of candidates published by FIFA and the French magazine France Football on Tuesday.
Besides the five Bayern players -- as many as Real Madrid, only Barcelona boast six -- Pep Guardiola is one of ten nominees for the World Coach award. In last year's poll Manuel Neuer made the top three as the first goalkeeper since Oliver Kahn in 2002. The trophy went to Real's Cristiano Ronaldo. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) came second, followed by Neuer in third. The last German player to win the trophy was Lothar Matthäus in 1991.
National team coaches and captains plus an international panel of journalists now vote on the longlist until the end of November. The shortlists of three will be published on 30 November. The *Ballon d'Or*will be presented to the winner at a FIFA gala in Zurich on 11 January.
The 23 candidates for World Player of the Year:
6x Barcelona: Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Javier Mascherano, Lionel Messi (both Argentina), Neymar (Brazil), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia), Luis Suárez (Uruguay)
5x FC Bayern: Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller (both Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Arturo Vidal (Chile)
5x Real Madrid: Toni Kroos (Germany), Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), James Rodríguez (Colombia)
3x Manchester City: Sergio Agüero (Argentina), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium), Yaya Touré (Côte d'Ivoire)
1x Chelsea: Eden Hazard (Belgium)
1x Paris Saint-Germain: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
1x Juventus: Paul Pogba (France)
1x Arsenal: Alexis Sánchez (Chile)
The ten candidates for World Coach of the Year:
- Massimiliano Allegri (Italy/Juventus)
- Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid)
- Laurent Blanc (France/Paris Saint-Germain)
- Unai Emery (Spain/Sevilla)
- Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern)
- Luis Enrique (Spain/Barcelona)
- José Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea)
- Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina/Chile national team)
- Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atlético Madrid)
- Arsène Wenger (France/Arsenal)