Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar Headline Fifa Player of the Year Shortlist
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo lead the way in the 23-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award.
The inaugural version of the award comes after the split between Fifa and France Football in the old Fifa ballon d’Or, and will also be contested by three members of Leicester City’s title-winning squad – Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante.
Top names on the list also feature on the 30-man ballon d’Or shortlist released by France Football last week, including Ronaldo – bookies favourite, and Real Madrid teammates Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric.
Spanish double champions Barcelona has talisman Messi alongside Luis Suarez, Neymar and captain Andres Iniesta on the list.
Atletico Madrid and France forward Antoine Griezmann is also a key contender as his international teammate Dimitri Payet.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) November 4, 2016
Arsenal’s star duo – Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez – who missed out on a place on the Ballon d’Or shortlist, are also included, as are Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Goalkeepers Manuel Neuer, of Germany and Bayern Munich, and Gianluigi Buffon, of Italy join Manchester City stars Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero on the list.
The 23-man list will be reduced to three candidates on Dec. 2 ahead of the Jan. 9 ceremony, where the winner will be decided by votes from national coaches and captains, journalists and fans.
The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 shortlist
Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atletico Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United), Andres Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona), N’Golo Kante (France/Leicester City/Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria/Leicester City), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Mesut Ozil (Germany/Arsenal), Dimitri Payet (France/West Ham United), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus/Manchester United), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona), Jamie Vardy (England/Leicester City).
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