Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has once again been included in a list of 23 footballers vying for the Fifa Ballon d’Or award for 2014.
The reigning Caf Player of the Year, who has been in for a lot of criticism for his performance so far in the current season at club level, is in contention for the biggest prize in world football after helping Man City to a fourth Premier League title in May.
Reigning Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo has emerged favourite to claim a third Fifa Player of the Year recognition, but faces stiff competition from four-time winner Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona.
German World Cup winner and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, team-mate Arjen Robben of the Netherlands and Paris St-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic are also in contention.
The list of 23 male candidates has been drawn up by football experts from Fifa Football Committee and by a group of experts from France Football.
The list of ten coaches has been compiled by experts from Fifa’s Football Committee and Committee for Men’s Football and the FIFA Men’s World Cup as well as a group of experts from France Football.
Captains and head coaches of the men’s national teams as well as international media representatives selected by France Football will then cast votes to select the top three candidates.
The Top 3 candidates for the Fifa Ballon d’Or and the Fifa World Coach of the Year with the most votes will be announced in a live show by Fifa and France Football on December 1.
The three nominees for the Fifa Puskas Award and the Fifa FIFPro World XI shortlist for the best forwards (15), midfielders (15), defenders (20) and goalkeepers (5) will be unveiled in the end of November and the beginning of December.
The winner of the 2014 Fifa World Player of the Year and the Fifa World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football will be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d’Or as part of a televised show at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 12 January 2015. The winner of the Fifa FIFPro World XI, the Fifa Presidency Award and the Fifa Fair Play Award will also be presented during the same Zurich ceremony.
The following 23 men (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014:
Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Diego Costa (Spain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Angel Di Maria (Argentina), Mario Goetze (Germany), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Paul Pogba (France), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Yaya Toure (Côte d’Ivoire).
The following ten coaches (in alphabetical order, first nationality and then team) are in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football 2014:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid CF), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus FC/Italy national team), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Juergen Klinsmann (Germany/ USA national team), Joachim Loew (Germany/Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea FC), Manuel Pellegrini (Chile/Manchester City FC), Alejandro Sabella (Argentina/Argentina national team), Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid), Louis van Gaal (Netherlands/Netherlands national team/Manchester United FC).