ZURICH: Gareth Bale may be enduring a tough time of it as he adjusts to life with Real Madrid after his £85m transfer but he is the first name – courtesy of alphabetical order – on the list of candidates for the FIFA World Player of the Year.
The 23 candidates have been named by the world federation ahead of the annual FIFA Gala in Zurich on January 13. The selection was made by the football committee and final decisions will be made by the captains and coaches of the men’s national teams as well as by international media representatives.
The Bundesliga is best represented with seven nominees, reflecting a dominant year at international club level while six players each play in the Spanish league and English Premier League. Four play in France.
Other awards at the Gala include the the FIFA FIFPro World XI, the FIFA Puskás Award – for the most beautiful goal of the year – the FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play prize. The three potential prize-winners will be named in early December.
Men’s shortlists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013:
Gareth Bale (Wales), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Müller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Özil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Franck Ribéry (France), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Yaya Touré (Côte d’Ivoire), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain).
The following 10 coaches (in alphabetical order, first nationality and then team) are in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football 2013:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain FC/Real Madrid CF), Rafael Benítez (Spain/Chelsea FC/SSC Napoli), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/FC Bayern München former coach), Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), José Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid CF/Chelsea FC), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil/Brazil national team), Arsène Wenger (France/Arsenal FC).