Barca top Ballon d’Or shortlist

Argentinians Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano along with Andres Iniesta (Spain), Neymar (Brazil), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) and Luis Suarez (Uruguay) have all made the shortlist.

FC Barcelona won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League last season.   -  REUTERS

Spanish giants Barcelona top the FIFA shortlist for the Ballon d'Or world player of the year award with six players named in a second 23-strong selection.

They include the favourite for the prestigious award, Argentinian Lionel Messi, as well as Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Neymar (Brazil), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) and Luis Suarez (Uruguay).

They will be up against last year's winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, and his Real Madrid team-mates Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema as well as five players from German giants Bayern Munich.

The winner will be announced in a ceremony at Zurich on January 11.

Shortlist for FIFA World Player of the Year award:

Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/VfL Wolfsburg/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain), Andres Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany/Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Netherlands/ Bayern Munich), James Rodriguez (Colombia/Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast/Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile/Juventus/Bayern Munich).

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