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Ribery heads challenge for Messi's Ballon d'Or crown

30 October 2013, 12:37

Abuja - Franck Ribery, the newly-crowned European Footballer of the Year, will be hoping to end Lionel Messi's domination of the World Player awards in the 2013 Ballon d'Or vote.

Ribery joins Messi, winner for the past four years, on a list of 23 candidates named by football's world governing body FIFA and France Football magazine on Tuesday.

The France midfielder is accompanied by Bayern Munich teammates Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The list reflects a year in which Bayern won the UEFA Champions League and the German League and Cup double.

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal is the fifth German international among the candidates, while Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski completes a contingent of seven players from the Bundesliga.

The list has been drawn up by the FIFA Football Committee and experts from France Football.

The winner will be chosen by a vote by the captains and coaches of the men’s national teams and international media representatives selected by France Football.

The shortlist include Gareth Bale (Wales), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Philipp Lahm (Germany) and Robert Lewandowski (Poland).

Others are Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Franck Ribery (France), Arjen Robben (Netherlands) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal).

The rest are Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany).

The 10 coaches in contention for the World Coach of the Year award include Carlo Ancelotti (Paris Saint-Germain/Real Madrid), Antonio Conte (Juventus) and Vicente Del Bosque (Spain national team).

Others are Rafael Benitez (Chelsea/Napoli), Juergen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund) and Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid/Chelsea).

The rest are Sir Alex Ferguson (formerly Manchester United), Jupp Heynckes (formerly Bayern Munich), Luiz Scolari (Brazil national team) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).

In early December, FIFA and France Football will announce the names of those who have received the most votes.

These will be the three men and three women, as well as the three coaches for women’s football and three coaches for men’s football.

The eventual winners will be revealed at the Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich on January 13, 2014.

- dpa/NAN


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