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Germany’s 2014 World Cup winners fill FIFA Ballon d’Or list

Germany’s 2014 World Cup winners fill FIFA Ballon d’Or list
Holder Cristiano Ronaldo faces competition from six German World Cup winners in the 23 nominees for the Ballon d’Or world footballer of the year announced on Tuesday.

Spain’s La Liga dominated the FIFA list with 10 players including Ronaldo’s Real Madrid teammates Gareth Bale of Wales and Colombia’s James Rodriguez, but there was no room for new Barcelona signing Luis Suarez. The Catalans did provide Neymar of Brazil, Andres Iniesta of Spain and Argentines Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, though.

Messi has won the award four times, while Ronaldo will be looking for his third title. Despite a
spectacular season at Liverpool in which he was named Premier League player of the year, earning his move to Barca, Suarez of Uruguay has seemingly paid dearly for his four-month biting ban from the World Cup. Behind the dominant La Liga, which provided the two Champions League finalists in May, German Bundesliga accounts for six of the players while five ply their trade in England, although three of those were playing in Spain until May.

The only two players on the list not playing in one of three major leagues are Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, at France’s Paris Saint-Germain, and Frenchman Paul Pogba, who plays for Juventus in Italy. The list is striking for the absence of any English player or coach. It is the second year in a row that no English player has made the list. Germany’s World Cup winning coach Joachim Loew and Real’s Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti lead the 10-man coaches’ list.

LIST: Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Diego Costa (Spain), T Courtois (Belgium), C
Ronaldo (Portugal), 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), J Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast).
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