ONLY two Spanish players have been nominated for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or while a total of six German players have a chance of winning the award.
Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos are the only Spaniards in the 23-strong list that also features last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo and three-time consecutive champion Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
The nation with the most players up for the prize is World Cup winner Germany. Phillip Lahm, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Manuel Neuer are the German players hoping to be awarded football’s most prestigious prize.
The current Real Madrid team – who beat Barcelona last weekend in the first ‘El Clasico’ of the season – features six Ballon d’Or nominees, while four of Barcelona’s players are among the selection with Luis Suarez surprisingly not featured.
The bookies’ favourite for this year is current holder Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been in scintillating form for Real Madrid so far this season. At this week’s La Liga awards, the Portuguese number seven was awarded the prizes for best player, best goal and best forward of the season.
FIFA’s Ballon d’Or is awarded based on votes by captains and coaches of international teams, as well as journalists from around the world. The winner will be announced in mid-January 2015.