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FIFA bites back - Suarez left off this year's Ballon d'Or shortlist

Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to win another world footballer of the year award.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

BARCELONA STRIKER LUIS Suarez is the most notable omission from the FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist announced this morning.

Four-time winner Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the prize for a second time in 2013, again head up the list of 23 contenders.

The list will be cut to three names on 1 December before the winner is announced at a ceremony in the Zurich Kongresshaus on 12 January.

A total of five current Premier League players have been nominated — Chelsea trio Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Manchester United’s Angel di Maria.

But there is no place for Suarez who returned from his four-month biting ban in Saturday’s Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.

The Uruguayan was crowned Premier League Player of the Year while at Liverpool last season and also shared the European Golden Ball for most goals scored, but was disgraced when he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

The shortlist was selected by a panel from the FIFA Football Committee and France Football magazine.

FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist

  • Gareth Bale
  • Karim Benzema
  • Diego Costa
  • Thibaut Courtois
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Angel Di Maria
  • Mario Götze
  • Eden Hazard
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Andres Iniesta
  • Toni Kroos
  • Philipp Lahm
  • Javier Mascherano
  • Lionel Messi
  • Thomas Müller
  • Manuel Neuer
  • Neymar
  • Paul Pogba
  • Sergio Ramos
  • Arjen Robben
  • James Rodriguez
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger
  • Yaya Toure

Coach of the Year

  • Carlo Ancelotti
  • Antonio Conte
  • Pep Guardiola
  • Jürgen Klinsmann
  • Joachim Löw
  • Jose Mourinho
  • Manuel Pellegrini
  • Alejandro Sabella
  • Diego Simeone
  • Louis van Gaal

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Niall Kelly

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