—No Nigerian Included In 59-Man List
By Johnny Edward:
World football governing body FIFA have snubbed Nigerian players for the umpteenth time in the race for football’s most coveted individual prize, the Ballon D’Or.
However, in a widely reported leaked list, four African players were short-listed for the award to be held in December.
They include Manchester City’s Ivorien duo of Wilfred Bony and Yaya Toure and Ghana’s Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew.
Also included is Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, who is not even the Gunners’ first choice and conceded a soft goal on Tuesday aga0 Olympiacos after a terrible error.
One of many surprises on this year’s shocking list is the inclusion of QPR midfielder Massimo Luongo, who spent last year at Swindon in League One.
He was nominated for his exploits in the Asian Cup.
Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney the only two English players listed while Real Madrid and Barcelona lead the way with seven players each.
Juventus also boast six players on the list.
THE 59-MAN BALLON D’OR LONG-LIST
Claudio Bravo – Barcelona
Javier Mascherano – Barcelona
Andres Iniesta – Barcelona
Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Ivan Rakitic – Barcelona
Neymar – Barcelona
Luis Suarez – Barcelona
Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
Karim Benzema – Real Madrid
Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
Luka Modric – Real Madrid
James Rodriguez – Real Madrid
Toni Kroos – Real Madrid
Giorgio Chiellini – Juventus
Paul Pogba – Juventus
Alvaro Morata – Juventus
Arturo Vidal – Juventus/Bayern
Andrea Pirlo – Juventus/NYCFC
Carlos Tevez – Juventus/Boca
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern
Arjen Robben – Bayern
David Alaba – Bayern
Thomas Muller – Bayern
Manuel Neuer – Bayern
Wilfried Bony – Manchester City
Yaya Toure – Manchester City
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
Nicolas Otamendi – valencia/Manchester City
Kevin de Bruyne – Wolfsburg/Manchester City
Diego Costa – Chelsea
Willian – Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea
Eden Hazard – Chelsea
Edinson Cavani – PSG
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG
Javier Pastore – PSG
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
David de Gea – Manchester United
Memphis Depay – PSV/Manchester United
David Ospina – Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid
Jackson Martinez – Porto/Atletico Madrid
Carlos Bacca – Sevilla/AC Milan
Giovani dos Santos – Villarreal/LA Galaxy
Phillippe Coutinho – Liverpool
Son Heung-Min – Leverkusen/Tottenham
Christian Atsu – Everton/Bournemouth
Paolo Guerrero – Flamengo/Corinthians
Eduardo Vargas – QPR/Hoffenheim
Gary Medel – Inter
Harry Kane – Tottenham
Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon
Andres Guardado – PSV
Carlos Sanchez – River Plate
Andre Ayew – Marseille/Swansea
Massimo Luongo – Swindon/QPR
Shinji Okazaki – Mainz/Leicester
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