Vigo - German national coach Joachim Loew says he's optimistic that one of his World Cup winning players will be named FIFA World Player of the Year 2014.
"I think it's already becoming a close contest to see which player get this accolade," Loew said after Germany's 1-0 victory over Spain in Vigo on Tuesday. "But I think it will be one of the Germans."
World football governing body FIFA named six of Loew's world champions to its provisional list of award nominees: retired captain Philipp Lahm, current captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Thomas Mueller, Mario Goetze (all of Bayern Munich) and Real Madrid's Toni Kroos.
The list, drawn up by FIFA and France Football representatives and published at the end of October, named a total of 23 contenders for the award, including Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who has already won the award four times, and current holder Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Portugal.
The winner will be chosen by the captains and coaches of national teams, as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football, and will be announced on January 12, 2015, at a gala in Zurich.
Loew is also on the 10-man shortlist for FIFA's coach award.