The list of 23 players nominated for the FIFA Ballon D’Or Award 2014 has been declared. Germany has the highest number of names among these 23, with 6 players. And as a surprise to many, no English player has been given the chance to contest for the award which every player dreams of getting, at least once in his career. However, five players from the English Premier League have got a chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with 18 other men from various leagues.
Chelsea have a strong presence in the list with Eden Hazard, along with his team-mate and compatriot goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois and Spanish striker, Diego Costa. The other two players from the Premier League are Manchester United winger, Angel Di Maria, along with Manchester City’s Yaya Toure.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi representing Spanish Giants Barcelona along with teammates- Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano have all made it to the top 23. While bitter rivals Real Madrid have the highest representation among all other clubs, including last year’s winner and this year’s favourite, Cristiano Ronaldo, his teammates Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Sergio Ramos are also among the 23 nominated players.
Other names on the list are PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben, and 21-year-old Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, who is also the youngest player among these 23.
As far as FIFA’s Coach of the Year Award is concerned, three premier league managers have been nominated, which include – Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho, Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal, and Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini. The 2013-14 UEFA Champions League winning manager with Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti, is the favourite to win the award, but faces tough competition from Diego Simeone, who won the La Liga with local rivals Atletico Madrid.
Italy boss, Antonio Conte, who won Serie A with Juventus last season before taking over the national side for the FIFA World Cup, is also a good contestant. Adding to the intensity of competition is Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola, who won the Bundesliga in a record time with the German powerhouse last season.
The list would have been incomplete without the World Cup winning coach Joachim Low, and the man who led his side to the final of the tournament, Argentina’s Alejandro Sabella. USA head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, has also been shortlisted.
FIFA Ballon D’Or 2014 Nominations : Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea); Diego Costa (Spain, Chelsea); Thibaut Courtois (Belgium, Chelsea); Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona); Neymar (Brazil, Barcelona); Javier Mascherano (Argentina, Barcelona); Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid); Tony Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid); Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid); James Rodriguez (Columbia, Real Madrid); Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid); Gareth Bale (Wales, Real Madrid); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Paris Saint Germain); Arjen Robben (Netherlands, Bayern Munich); Paul Pogba (France, Juventus).
Coach of The Year Nominations: Jose Mourinho (Chelsea), Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), Louis van Gaal (Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich), Antonio Conte (Italy), Joachim Low (Germany), Jurgen Klinsmann (USA), Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City), Alejandro Sabella (Argentina), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid).
Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni