Leicester's heroes in contention as FIFA names candidates for Best Player of the Year

It's not the Ballon d'Or anymore, but FIFA will still recognise the best player in the game

BY Adrian Collins 13:19 Friday 4 November 2016, 13:19 4 Nov 2016

Picture by: Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images

FIFA have released the 23-man shortlist for the Best Player of the Year award, with plenty of Premier League representatives included. 

The award is no longer known as the Ballon d'Or, after FIFA and France Football decided to go their separate ways, but football's governing body will still present one of the players chosen with their own award for the best footballer on the planet in the last year. 

The 23-man list of candidates includes three players from Leicester''s title-winning side, including Riyad Mahrez, N'Golo Kante and Jamie Vardy. 

The usual suspects, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Aguero are all named too, while there are plenty of other players from the Premier League in contention. 

Kevin De Bruyne, Mesut Ozil, Dimitri Payet and  Alexis Sanchez all get the nod, while recent recruits Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are named on the shortlist. 

Gareth Bale features on the list, having helped his Wales team to a brilliant performance at the Euros in 2016 and winning the Champions League with Real Madrid, while Manuel Neuer and the evergreen Gianluigi Buffon are the only goalkeepers who made the cut.

Leicester were also recognised when FIFA announced their shortlist for the Manager of the Year award earlier this week, and voting for both awards opens today and finishes on November 22nd. 

The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 will be awarded in a combined voting process; 50% of the decision will be based on the votes of captains and head coaches from national teams around the globe, while the other 50% will be split between an online public ballot for those who have registered on FIFA.com, along with the selections group of over 200 media.

The names of the players in full (and in alphabetical order) is as follows:

Sergio Agüero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne(Belgium/Manchester City), Antoine Griezmann (France/Atlético Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United), Andrés Iniesta(Spain/FC Barcelona), N’Golo Kanté (France/Leicester City/Chelsea), Toni Kroos(Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria/Leicester City), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Luka Modrić(Croatia/Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Mesut Özil (Germany/Arsenal), Dimitri Payet (France/West Ham United),Paul Pogba (France/Juventus/Manchester United), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid), Alexis Sánchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suárez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona), Jamie Vardy(England/Leicester City).


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