Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez are among the 23 names nominated for the 2015 Ballon d’Or, FIFA announced on Tuesday.
Also included in the list are Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, the only African in the 23.
According to fifa.com, the awards recognise the best players, without distinction of championship or nationality, for their respective achievements between 22 November 2014 and 20 November 2015 inclusive.
The final decisions will be made by the captains and head coaches of the men’s national teams as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football. The winners of all of the awards will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or as part of a televised show at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 11 January 2016.
The list of 23 male candidates has been drawn up by football experts from the FIFA Football Committee and a group of experts from France Football.
The voting period for the awards commences on 26 October 2015 and closes on 20 November 2015 (midnight CET). In the event that insufficient votes (less than two-thirds of all potential jury members) are cast during the voting period, FIFA and France Football may, at their discretion, extend the voting period by one week to allow only those participating jury members who have not yet cast their vote by 20 November 2015 (midnight CET) to do so.
On 30 November, FIFA and France Football will announce in a web show the names of the three women and three men, as well as the three coaches for women’s football and three coaches for men’s football, who have received the most votes (without announcing the winners). The three nominees for the FIFA Puskás Award (honouring the most beautiful goal of the year) will be also unveiled.
Men’s Football shortlists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015
The 23 players (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015:
Sergio Agüero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/VfL Wolfsburg/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain), Andrés Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Thomas Müller (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus), Ivan Rakitić (Croatia/FC Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Netherlands/FC Bayern Munich), James Rodríguez (Colombia/Real Madrid), Alexis Sánchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suárez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona), Yaya Touré (Côte d’Ivoire/Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile/Juventus/FC Bayern Munich).