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Oct 29, 2013

Bayern dominate Ballon d'Or shortlist

Gareth Bale is among the 23 players shortlisted for the award that will be handed out in Zurich on January 13th.

Franck Ribery leads the way as European champions Bayern Munich boast six players in the 23-man shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or announced on Tuesday.

Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller are among the Bayern stars on the shortlist.
Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller are among the Bayern stars on the shortlist.

Ribery targets Ballon d’Or
Wenger: Ibra is the best 
Johnson: The case for Ibra

Ribery, 30, who contributed significantly to his club's Treble triumph last season, is joined by teammates Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger among the nominees, who are selected by FIFA's Football Committee and experts from France Football magazine.

All players nominated for the award are currently based in Europe, with Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale and Liverpool's Luis Suarez also named alongside previous winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The list will be whittled down to three players in early December, with national team captains and coaches, as well as a select group of media representatives, voting for the winner, who will be announced on Jan. 13 in Zurich.

Robert Lewandowski, of Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund, is also nominated to complete a seven-strong Bundesliga contingent, the biggest single grouping from a European league.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is joined by teammates Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva as well as Monaco forward Radamel Falcao to give Ligue 1 four representatives.

Following his spectacular four-goal burst against Anderlecht in the Champions League last week, French media believe Ibrahimovic, 32 could sneak up on the rails to pip four-time winner Messi, regular candidate Ronaldo and Ribery.

Messi's Barcelona colleagues Xavi and Andres Iniesta are included, as is Neymar, whose spectacular start to the European chapter of his career has increased his profile still further. Summer signing Bale, after a fine final year with Tottenham, joins Ronaldo as Real Madrid's sole representatives.

Former Madrid man Mesut Ozil makes the list, forming part of a Premier League-based quintet which also features Robin van Persie, Eden Hazard, Yaya Toure and Suarez. Italian veteran Andrea Pirlo of Juventus is Serie A's sole representative.

The man who led Bayern to the summit of European club football last season, Jupp Heynckes, heads the ten-strong shortlist for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football with fellow retiree Sir Alex Ferguson also in the running.

Ballon d'Or shortlist: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/Wales), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain/Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Monaco/Colombia), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain/Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich/Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund/Poland), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich/Germany), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany), Neymar (Barcelona/Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/Italy), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/France), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich/Netherlands), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich/Germany), Luis Suarez (Liverpool/Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain/Brazil), Yaya Toure (Manchester City/Ivory Coast), Robin van Persie (Manchester United/Netherlands), Xavi (Barcelona/Spain).

Coach of the year shortlist: Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid/ex-Paris St Germain), Rafael Benitez (Napoli/ex-Chelsea), Antonio Conte (Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain), Sir Alex Ferguson (ex-Manchester United), Jupp Heynckes (ex-Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea/ex-Real Madrid), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).

Heat Map showing Franck Ribery's touches for Bayern Munich during the Bundesliga and Champions League in the 2012-13 season.
Heat Map showing Franck Ribery's touches for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and Champions League during the 2012-13 season.

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