Cape Town - FIFA and France Football have released the 23 man
shortlist for the presitigious Ballon d’Or award. The list is spearheaded by
Cristiano Ronaldo and also includes Real Madrid teammates Gareth Bale, Toni
Kroos, James Rodriguez, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema.
The award is decided by votes cast by the captains
and head coaches of the men’s national teams as well as by international media
representatives selected by France Football.
What would it take to rival Cristiano Ronaldo as a leading contender for the award?
Sport24 has analysed the nominees for 2014 prize in order to create the ultimate Ballon d’Or
The perfect Ballon d’Or candidate:
The perfect Ballon d’Or candidate should be part
of the German national team (6 nominees), aged between 28 and 31 (9 nominees),
playing as a forward (12 nominees) in La Liga (10 nominees).
The second best candidate should be either Spanish or Argentinian (both 3 nominees), aged between 24 and 27 (7 seven nominees), playing as midfielder (7 nominees) in the Bundesliga (6 nominees)
Unfortunately neither such model candidate exists which leaves Cristiano Ronaldo free to claim his third Ballon d’Or title (2008 and 2013).
Luis Suárez did not make the shortlist despite
topping the English Premiership charts.
following 23 men (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA Ballon
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).