Ron­aldo, Messi, Aguero, oth­ers make Bal­lon d’Or list

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Manch­ester City trio Ser­gio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure are among five Pre­mier League play­ers on the 23-man Bal­lon d’Or short­list.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Arse­nal’s Alexis Sanchez are also in the frame to be named world foot­ball’s best player.

Bal­lon d’Or holder Cris­tiano Ron­aldo of Real Madrid and Barcelona’s Li­onel Messi, who have won the past seven awards be­tween them, lead the nom­i­nees.

Wales and Real Madrid for­ward Gareth Bale is the only Bri­tish player named.

Chelsea man­ager Jose Mour­inho and Arse­nal boss Arsene Wenger are on the 10-man Coach of the Year short­list.

They will con­tend with Barcelona man­ager Luis En­rique, who guided his side to the tre­ble of Cham­pi­ons League, Span­ish league and Span­ish cup ti­tles, and Bay­ern Mu­nich coach Pep Guardi­ola.

There are few sur­prise names on the play­ers’ list, with QPR mid­fielder Mas­simo Luongo and Bournemouth winger Chris­tian Atsu, who both re­port­edly made the 59-man long list, over­looked.

Mid­field­ers and for­wards vastly out­num­ber goal­keep­ers and de­fend­ers, with Bay­ern Mu­nich keeper Manuel Neuer and Barcelona cen­tre-back Javier Mascher­ano the only play­ers short­listed from their re­spec­tive po­si­tions.

Spain’s La Liga leads the way, with 11 play­ers nom­i­nated, while Ger­many’s Bun­desliga has six nom­i­nees. There are two from Italy’s Serie A and one - Paris St-Ger­main’s Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic - from France’s Ligue 1. Play­ers who have trans­ferred dur­ing the past year are recog­nised for their con­tri­bu­tion to both clubs.

Ser­gio Aguero

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